Clelin Ferrell (6'5, 220, 4.7 40), a Weakside DE from Richmond VA, committed to Clemson today at his school, though we knew of this a couple days ago. Ferrell is ranked the 5th player in Virginia, #6 WDE nationally and #77 player overall. He has offers from FSU, Florida, Ohio State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Va Tech, and just about everyone else.
This was more of a surprise commitment in that we had heard very little about Ferrell's interest in Clemson, but Venables and Hobby have been working this kid since his Sophomore year, when we gave him one of his early offers, so we'll give credit to both coaches. He and his mother really liked Clemson on a visit for the Spring Game, and apparently this sealed the deal for him.
With his frame, Ferrell could play pretty quickly at Clemson. He looks more like a Jason Taylor type of rush end who could also play Jack in a 3-4. Clemson has told him that they see him as another Andre Branch. On film I see a guy who plays like a 6'5 guy, too high, which is normal for a HS player. He's also left free a little too much on the film, coming completely unblocked off the edge from a 6 or 7 technique, which makes me wonder about the level of competition he's playing against. In some camps he has been pushed around by some good linemen, which gives me some pause as to how to rate his hand usage and how well he sheds. Right now, he's just beating guys with athleticism and not moves, but again you rarely see a guy in HS get more than 1 move down.
Two WDEs would fill those slots up on the roster. My personal opinion is that we may have a very tough time holding onto someone at this distance and with this many prominent suitors. However, this is one of the elite DE prospects that we've been harping about Clemson needing for several years.