I've been too quiet lately because of a job hunt but wanted to give you what I know about Huggins on the eve of his announcement tomorrow at OW, which is set for around 11 am.
Here is my nugget I've been stashing in my back pocket. Georgia believes they will get current South Carolina commit Arden Key to switch. Some of my earlier posts speculated on this possibility but Georgia coaches see this as a done deal. Like a really done deal. This just adds to an already large class of defensive lineman for the Dawgs, which is something that Huggins has monitored closely throughout the entire process. This was one of many indications this week that the momentum in this recruitment has completely shifted.
As you know, Georgia has been trending for Huggins significantly since his official visit. This was almost a done deal for Georgia as Coach Richt and company put the hard sell on the entire Huggins family. Huggins father has always been a large SEC supporter because he sees the conference as helping Albert play at the NFL level among other factors. There are also family ties to the Georgia program coupled with Huggins own emotional childhood connection to the Dawgs. Things were so dire for Clemson that it leaked out that some players were even told that Huggins would be a Dawg. Most importantly, however, Mama Huggins gave her consent to allow Albert to go to Georgia if he wanted. At the time that felt like the final piece of the puzzle Al needed to jump away from the hometown consensus pick of Clemson.
It is not insignificant that Florida dropped out of the running without an official visit. With the dismantling of that coaching staff Huggins was really only left with the two schools. Another SEC school could have sneaked in here late with Georgia going in other directions and bringing in too many other quality defensive lineman.
So what is working in Clemson's favor?
Huggins knows he is the priority of the coaching staff. He is intimately familiar with the people and facilities. This was used against Clemson to a certain degree by rival schools. Everyone just assumed he would eventually be a Tiger and no one likes to hear that their decision has already been made for them (another reason why no one should be plastering across TigerNet and social media that Huggins is a Clemson lock). Huggins is still an important piece to this years recruiting class at DE (I still say his home is at DT but whatever floats his boat). As far as I know this doesn't impact the recruitment of DT Christian Wilkins.
Mama also wants her son relatively close to home and she knows and trusts the coaching staff very much.
Huggins taking the official visit to Clemson turns out to be very important. He almost didn't take the trip but got that Dabo Swinney coaching one on one treatment that everyone in the family appreciated. Clemson beat USCjr and once again reinforced in a visceral way how Clemson players take a back seat to no one.
***Update: Coach Richt cancelled his in-home visit this evening per multiple Georgia sources. This tells you everything that you need to know.
Coach Hobby will be there in the morning for a visit. This is a great strategic idea going forward--save a close position coach to go in-home the morning of the announcement. It isn't an illegal police parade like Tennessee used to grab Josh Malone last year.
I'm not going to call this one. All the momentum is firmly in Clemson's favor right now but Huggins has remained his own man. I expect Huggins to commit to Clemson tomorrow but there is a small possibility that Huggins will shock everyone and blaze his own way. Keep the positive Twitter messages to Albert coming. The momentum is ours, we just need to seal the deal.