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Post-Swinney Camp Observations

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Its time for some post-Swinney camp observations told through bullet points. With a commitment every day for about the past week (both 2013 and 2014 commits) there is a ton to go over. I thought I was being liberal in predicting 2-3 camp commits but when the number one consensus player in the nation picks you over Alabama, LSU and Georgia things get rolling. We are still projecting the 18ish number for this class. No more than 20 but no less than 17. Several players from last year's class are still waiting on their ACT scores such as Josh Brown, Tankerseley, and McCullough. When we get that information we can better gauge how the numbers will ultimately work out. (the picture is of Dabo willing his recruiting class to greatness)

  • Everyone wants to know how solid Nkemdiche's verbal commitment is to Clemson. Don't listen to someone like Kornblut running their mouths about interviews and other ridiculousness. Nkemdiche said today his commitment is 'Solid' and, again, Clemson is better positioned than any other school to retain his commitment with friends and Coach Conn. One thing to watch is Ole Miss offering another one of Nkemdiche's friends and Grayson teammate RB Ryan Carter. Carter wants an offer from Clemson and would commit on the spot. The talk about dissatisfied parents was way overblown. I think LSU's ship has sailed and was too far away for Robert so if Kamara stays committed you really only have Ole Miss to compete with. Clemson does need to have a decent season, however, or all bets are off. Nkemdiche hasn't completely ruled out taking any other officials but right now it doesn't sound like he will. He will most certainly go and see his brother play at Ole Miss.
  • Elijah Daniels from Indiana was the next to commit, which propelled Dane Rogers to also commit before the numbers filled up. Venables was the coach who scouted Daniels up in Indiana and it is becoming clearer that Venables will indeed be a recruiting force during his tenure in Tigertown. Clemson only wants to take 3 DE's in this class and this has to be in the running for top DE class in the nation right now. Demarcus Walker and Ty Lewis are the remaining players out there. I see Walker as a heavy Alabama lean but it will be interesting to see if the staff would take Lewis's commitment now. I think that he is over-sign worthy--this is that difficult numbers game and Scott/Swinney don't participate in the SEC luxury of over-signing or running off players (that is, of course, their choice).
  • One of the top offensive performers at camp was 2014 OL Donell Stanley (6'3"-6'4", 311) from Latta. SC who could be the top overall prospect in the state next year. Really quick feet and impressive offer sheet already. He will push for 5*/high 4* status and will be the best offensive lineman from the state of South Carolina in quite some time. Clemson is already in a good position with him. Check out some freshman highlights below the fold.
  • Another top offensive performer at camp was 2013 GA WR Demarcus Robinson (6'2", 195) who now has Clemson out in front. He is a top 100/150 prospect who would be a nice addition to this class, very fluid in his routes and great film. Clemson would like to push for a commit here so they don't have to wait on too many players. We have 3 WR slots in this class with Marquez North at the top of the list. He unfortunately didn't get down to camp but wanted to be there and hopefully will visit later in the summer. Many think Clemson is in the lead here but is it extremely hard to get a beat on. I will feel more comfortable when he visits the campus. If you have North #1 but not committing conceivably until signing day you want to lock down the other two spots. More notes (and WR predictions) after the break.
  • Ryan Jenkins also competed during camp and will decide between OK St. and Clemson at the Opening during the first week of July. Other schools were trying to slow-play Jenkins and get him to wait around for a potential offer. Jenkins stuck to his guns though and said he would commit during the summer. Alabama was one of the schools doing this and they didn't come through with an offer. Jenkins has previously said that Bama was our main competition, but that was before his OK St. visits. I feel pretty confident, however, that Jenkins will announce on national television for the Tigers. North, Jenkins, and Robinson would be a great haul. Other potential WR in camp were Mike Williams and Richard Benjamin. Benjamin has set a decision date of July 3rd but UCF is also very high on his list. He has a long offer sheet but its unclear how many are committable offers. A good athlete who would make a fine addition if their weren't others higher on the board and the numbers crunch.
  • Thought that the OL situation would become clearer after camp but it is looking even more confusing right now. Crowder and Droogsma both were on campus, although half of Droogsma's visit was spent over the toilet with the flu which isn't the best impression in the world. Maverick Morris impressed the staff and earned his first offer. He has since debuted as a 3* prospect. We are only taking 2 OL this class but we had another committable offer out to Gabe Brandner who is a 6'6" 250 pound project at tackle. That just made me scratch my head. This is arguably the most important position to recruit on the offensive side of the ball this year (maybe RB is more important??) and we line-up two underrated projects. He committed to Duke on Monday (we offered after he committed to Duke) and will stick to that commitment he has said so unless this is some serious recruiting jujitsu where we are enticing other OLineman to commit I can't say I understand it. Brandner plays at a small private school near Columbia, Heathwood Hall, against weak competition. In defense of the staff. apparently USC line coach Elliott was going to offer if they hadn't already taken all the tackle talent in the state. So we are competing with UNC. Florida, and possibly USC for Crowder and FSU for Droogsma. Both had better be over-sign worthy.
  • The only negatives from camp were the prospects who couldn't make it. The list of notables I compiled included Marquez North, TJ Logan, Dexter Wideman, and Kevin Crosby. I will post more camp observations shortly about RB's, 2014 prospects, and potential DB takes.