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The 2012 Clemson Tiger Recruiting Class

Bryant locker room speech to incoming freshmen

Recruit - Proj. position at CU - HS - any film I can get - vitals - rankings from Rivals and some of our thoughts after looking at their film.

Enrolled Commitments:

Isaiah Battle - OT - Blue Ridge Prep, VA --> Fork Union - HS Film -- 6'7" 270lbs, 3-star Offensive Tackle - #36 OT nationally and #11 in VA out of HS. 4-Star prep OT, #5 overall prep player. Offers from New Mexico and ECU out of HS. Basically he's a project. Football IQ is low and hasn't been taught things, so a year at Fork Union has been greatly beneficial to him. His frame is huge and his speed is very good (4.83 40), he's strong, but needs some coaching. He does not stay low enough, nor does he extend his long arms well enough, but he's got the physical makeup to play for Clemson a lot this fall. We do not think he takes a RS, and project him at least on the 2-deep at LT. He was originally recruited by Andre Powell. Pearman tends to take the mid-atlantic area prep schools.

Kevin Dodd - DT - Riverside HS, Greer SC --> Hargrave Military Academy - no film - 6'5" 280lb, 4.8 40, 3-star DT - #14 player in SC out of HS- #7 overall Prep player and top DT at 4 stars this year in Prep. Clemson is the only offer. Flown under the radar a bit because he didn't take up football until recently, so he's very raw. He has a powerful first step and like most guys this size in HS, he just outmuscles his opponent instead of using his hands or any technique, which is understandable if he has not been coached. Pad level is wayyyyy too high. Guys this size tend to get moved inside to DT eventually, so I do expect him to end up at the 3-technique. Really showed out at the Shrine Bowl Camp, that resulted in him winning the offer. Unlikely to RS. Originally recruited by Andre Powell, with assistance from Jeff Scott. Pearman tends to take the mid-atlantic area prep schools.

Travis Blanks - CB/S - N. Florida Christian HS, Tallahassee FL - Film 1, 2, 3 - 6'1" 195lb 4.4 40', 4-star Safety -- #4 Safety nationally and #12 player in FL, #60 in Rivals100. Offered by everyone in the southeast, but UGA was a prime contender early on. What stands out most is that he's already got the ball skills and instincts you want in an elite CB, along with exceptional speed and good footwork. He's got the frame size to be physical and isn't scared of laying a hit either. Hip flexibility is very good, but he can be overaggressive with his hands. Blanks open field tackling is quite good, showing that he's been taught well on his fundamentals. He is a 2012 US Army All-American. Not a RS. Recruited by Jeff Scott.

Zac Brooks - RB - Jonesboro HS, Jonesboro AR - film - 6'2" 190lb 4.53 40', 4-star Athlete - #15 athlete and #202 in the Rivals250, #1 player in Arkansas. Offered by Arkansas, Auburn, Notre Dame and UNC among others. Brooks wasn't even recruited heavily by us until the end of March. Played RB as a Jr and Sr, WR as a soph. He's specifically recruited to be RB here, but in this offense the RB position is meant to be a good receiving position as well. His film shows he will go up for a football and his breakaway speed is outstanding. As a runner he does look like a WR-convert taking the football. He seems to be one of those guys that is simply a good athlete in that he's not excellent in any particular area but is good at everything he tries to do. As a college RB he'd need to add some lower body mass because he's pretty thin on tape. I doubt he takes a RS, unless Bellamy and some others put it all together this offseason. Recruited by The Chad.

Patrick Destefano - OG - Dorman HS, Spartanburg SC -film 1, 2 - 6'4" 275lb 5.3 40', 3-star OT - #28 player in SC. He chose CU over verbal offers from Duke, SC, Penn State, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and UNC among others. He was invited to the US Marines Corp All-American squad. Graded natinnally as a Tackle, but definite Guard here. Played a lot as a blocking H-back/TE at Dorman as well. I’ve seen him play many times over the years, even before his back injury. In my opinion the 5.7 3-star rating is correct, he is not a 4-star caliber player. His foot quickness is good and he moves well for a big guy, so his pass blocking has been OK against some good DEs in the area. The reason why he isn’t rated higher is his run blocking and a lack of strength. At his size, he should dominate more than he does, and since Dorman uses a heavy package out of the Wildcat, I would’ve expected him to show up more on run film than pass, and he doesn’t. Needs to use his legs better to drive people, and get lower. Doesn't seem to play angry and needs to hit the weight room. Definite RS. Recruited by Jeff Scott.

Jay Guillermo - OC - Maryville HS, Maryville TN - film 1, film 2 film 3- 6'2" 287lb 3-star OC - #13 Center overall, #17 player in TN. Pursued by Miami FL and Cincinatti, but ended his recruitment very quickly last winter. US Army All-Combine team Center and AA. Always felt like Guillermo was a bit underrated, because he's done well at camps. Needs to work on his punches but has really good pad level and power off the snap, and holds his leverage well. Likely RS, but watch what they do with Norton in this position. Recruited by Dan Brooks.

Oliver Jones - OT - Ninety-Six HS, Ninety-Six SC - film - 6'6" 320lb 3-star OT - #17 player in SC. Offers from SC, ECU, NC and NC State. Had he not suffered the ACL injury that cost him his Jr season, there likely would be far more offers on his plate, and a maybe higher rating, but his knee bend is good in a pass set. Having seen Jones, I'm not thrilled with his lack of aggression at all. He needs to reshape his body a little because he's put on some weight. Also he needs lateral footwork coaching, which is bad because he's more of a pass blocker than rush, and thats because of that lack of aggressiveness. He just isn't a mean player yet. That is why I feel the 3-star rating is correct. Athletically he's got it, however. Likely RS. Recruited by Charlie Harbison and Jeff Scott.

Bradley Pinion - P - NW Cabarrus HS, Concord NC - film, film 2 - 6'5" 220lb 3-star Kicker - #4 Kicker nationally. Offered by UNC, ECU and TCU. At just about every camp he attends, he kicked off through the endzone and boomed punts as long as 65+ yards. Only complaint I see anywhere is that he's slow with the punt, and despite his booming kicks at camps, his HS Jr. average was still 38yds. US Army All-American. Highly unlikely to RS. Recruited by Brooks initially, then Pearman.

Signed LOI

Martin Aiken - DE - Bamberg-Ehrhardt HS, Bamberg SC -film, film 2, film 3 - 6'3" 245lb 4.9 40' 3-star DE - #25 SDE nationally and #8 player in SC. Offered by GT, Auburn, SCe, UNC, USC, and Tennessee among others. Grew up a Clemson fan and was coming here all along. Aiken is listed as a Strongside End but at this weight he's almost guaranteed to be moved to Bandit End until he grows. His best skill on tape is his first step off the snap, but he's not so much a power guy as he is simply faster than everyone he faces. Aiken is very quick for a big guy and his agility/footwork is good for his size. As good as his footwork is, with the addition of Hobby's hand technique teaching, he could be a very good football player here. He even has a reputation as a mean player, so I like him already. Unlikely to RS, but depends bigtime on Lawson too (see below). Recruited by Marion Hobby.

Josh Brown - DT - South Aiken HS, Aiken SC - film 1, film 2 - 6'4" 292lb 4.91 40' 3-star DT - #19 player in SC. Had no notable offers. High 2-star/low 3 is accurate. Brown has largely flown under the radar and his possible academic troubles have scared away some programs. He has good foot quickness for a big guy, but his pad level is high, which is normal for a 6'4" guy in HS. And it is possible he tries out along the OL if the numbers crunch at DT kept him off the field. He played OT as a Junior. Registered 90 tackles, 22 TFL and 8 sacks as a senior. An aggressive and strong player as well. Definite RS. Recruited by Harbison with Brooks.

T.J. Burrell - WLB/SS - Goose Creek HS, Goose Creek SC - film 1, 2, 3 - 5'11" 200lb 4.7 40 3-star OLB - #26 player in SC. Offered by SC, Illinois. Plays for former Danny Ford assistant Chuck Reedy. I think a low 3-star/high 2-star rating is accurate. Burrell is not quite bulky enough to play SAM or MIKE, and would be a WILL linebacker or SS here. Size is really the main question mark for Burrell. As a player he's fast and likes to hit. He doesn't wrap up as well as I'd like. His pad level is good and you can tell he's been coached on his fundamentals. He sets his base and takes on the blocker like you would want to see. His backpedal/slide can be cleaned up some but he's got a good starting point. His highlight film even shows him in coverage, which is rare for LBs. Given what Clemson has at LB, I'm not thrilled with this commitment. I think CU could've gotten a better player here but didn't try hard enough earlier on in the process. I expect a RS. Recruited by Tony Elliott.

Ronald Geohaghan - SS - Allendale-Fairfax HS, Fairfax SC - film 1, film 2, film 3 - 6'0" 185lb 4.59 40' 4-star Safety. #10 Safety overall and #5 player in SC, formerly Rivals250. Offers from UNC, NC State, SC. Probably a SS at Clemson. A safety that plays more like a linebacker, and played LB as a Jr. Good speed, and plays aggressive to the ball. He'll need to really work on his coverage skills because he looks a bit weak there. I expect a RS. Recruited by Marion Hobby.

Germone Hopper - WR - Phillip Berry Academy, Charlotte NC - film 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 - 6'0" 165lb 4.4 40' 4-star WR. #11 WR nationally and #5 player in NC, #75 in Rivals100. Would be higher if he was bigger. Offers from everywhere. Hopper is tailor-made for this offense because he's a bit of a tweener slot WR/back. His agility and explosiveness are great, hands are good, and his feet move so fast that you can't see them. This one can be a special player. Will not RS. Grew up a Clemson fan, recruited by Dan Pearman.

Chad Kelly - QB - St. Josephs, Buffalo NY - film 1, film 2, film 3 - 6'3" 208lb 4.6 40' 4-star QB. #1 in NY, #4 QB nationally and #150 national player. Offered by Alabama, Penn State, FSU, Michigan State. Physically he is a fit for our system, and his coaching on footwork has been good on film, but we saw some happy feet in the UA game. He throws really well on the run and the system he played in HS translates well to our own. His arm strength is not the greatest, but otherwise his mechanics are pretty sound and he throws a nice enough ball. He has a bit of a tendency to take it himself too much, but I'm not alarmed with that....pretty standard for a HS QB that can run this good. My problem is more off-the-field. Chad has played on 3 teams because he's quit or got kicked off, for reasons I do not know. At one time he played in Pennsylvania and was dismissed from his team midseason, after that he moved to Buffalo. He already called out Cole Stoudt on twitter, where I'm sure his days as an account holder are numbered. Dabo better put him on twitter lockdown from Day 1. All that I can say is that I get a "prima donna" vibe here and I never like that. I doubt he takes a RS, but I would put him on one. Recruited by Chad Morris.

Shaq Lawson - DE - Daniel HS, Central SC - no avail film - 6'3" 240lb 4.6 40' 4-star DE. #3 player in SC, #19 DE overall. Offered by Maryland and Tennesee as well, but was Clemson's all the way. His motor and first step looks very good on highlight clips, which is always the first thing to look at with a defensive lineman, and his long arms and overall lower body strength is good. Speed is very good, pad level is good too. I think 4-stars is right for him, and I don't think he has gotten the pub that he should've. I don't think he RSs, but it may depend on which DE can play Weakside behind Crawford (him or Aiken) in '12. Hard to say who gets credit for the commit here, since the school is right there at CU. We'll give it to Steele and Hobby.

Jay Jay McCullough - TE - Nation Ford HS, Fort Mill SC - film 1, film 2, film 3 - 6'5" 232lb 4.5 40' 3-star Athlete. #27 player in SC. An incredibly athletic, physically imposing prospect, McCullough is a high school running back with breakaway speed. At camps this spring and summer McCullough showed his athletic ability, beating many top defensive prospects deep. However, he was unable to turn most of those opportunities into big plays, and showed he was not very comfortable as a TE at this point. I expect a RS. Recruited by Jeff Scott.

Cordrea Tankersley - S - Silver Bluff HS, Aiken SC - film - 6'2" 195lb 4.4 40' 3-star Safety. #10 player in SC, and #39 safety nationally. Offers from Miami and SC. Tankersley has been recruited to play DB at Clemson, but plays both ways at Silver Bluff and is the QB, leading rusher, and a part-time pass defender. Unfortunately there is not enough film of him as a DB to get a solid footing for any assessment of his ability with the ball in the air. I would bet that he needs considerable attention to his footwork if he played mostly offense. I can see that he's going to be big a CB if he goes that route, but his frame says Safety, and he doesnt appear to be scared of laying a hit, and has a developed lower body (arms are pretty skinny still). He's a bit stiff on defense, so I wouldnt be surprised to see him ever line up at WR, but he did OK at DB in the Shrine Bowl. I expect him to RS. Recruited by Charlie Harbison.

Carlos Watkins - DT - Chase HS, Forest City NC - film - 6'4" 275lbs 5.2 40' 4-star DT. #8 DT overall, #104 in Rivals250 and #7 player in NC. Offered by everyone, but Florida was the true competition. Carlos Watkins is the type of top-flight DT that Clemson needed to pull in this year. Watkins is big, even for a HS tackle, and a powerful rusher. His first step is really quick, and his shuttle time of 4.66 is pretty good for the size. Chase does not play the best competition, but what he does face he dominates. He has a decent rip move, but he will need real technique work to dominate this way in college. Not a refined pass rusher, Carlos is one of those guys who bulldozes HS OL because he's so much bigger. Plays high with his pads, which isnt uncommon at 6'4, but he does use his hands well. I think he could play the NG or 3, but probably starts out at 3. Even with our high numbers at DT because of the large class we took in the last cycle, I do not see Watkins taking a redshirt in 2012. Recruited by Dan Brooks.

Marty Williams - CB/S - Fox Creek HS, N. Augusta SC - film 1, film 2- 6'1" 200lbs 4.6 40' 3-star Athlete. #47 athlete nationally and #16 player in SC. Offered by ECU, SC, Notre Dame and Miami. It is debatable how many were committable offers aside from ECU. He's not so high regarded more because of grades than ability. We think Williams is better than Elder, a high 4-star DB in Alabama who considered CU strongly. Williams' rating of 3 stars is fair only in that he doesn't get much opportunity to showcase his coverage skills as the QB at Fox Creek. In that sense he's in a similar situation as Cordrea Tankersley. We don't have much to grade besides his athleticism, but we do notice the hip flexibility. Because of that lack of defensive work, he would likely be a RS.

D.J. Reader - NG - Grimsley HS, Greensboro NC - film, film 2, film 3 - 6'3" 306lb 4.98 40' 3-star OG. #20 player in NC and #19 OG nationally. Prime contender for him was Maryland, but was offered by UNC, Auburn, and SC. Reader was recruited to play OG at some places but is set to play Nose Guard on defense here. Reader doesn't have the great first step, but his pads stay low enough, his motor runs, and he plays mean. On film he's another guy who uses his size and muscle to beat his opponent instead of technique. I could see how some offered him as an OG as well because he does anchor well. He wants to play baseball as well, but he'd better be in good shape to play for Jack Leggett. Likely RS. Recruited by Dan Brooks.

Clemson had a commitment from Javarius Leamon, who was the in-state OT we wanted most. Unfortunately he won't sign a LOI because his grades are so bad, but Clemson offered to place him in a JUCO or a call to SC State. It appears that is where he'll go.