Its t hat time of year again where Clemson recruiting takes off...wait...we are at 18 commits already?
Coach Swinney and company have zeroed in on the remaining targets and there really isn't much room left in this class. Here are the projected spots remaining.
WR-- 0-1 (probably a slot type who could line up in the backfield)
OL-- 0-1 (we have three or possibly four names on the board, first to sign gets the spot but if we land no one then we stay put with current Oline takes)
DE-- 1 (this gets muddy because of Huggins and the staff insisting he can be a defensive end. For now let's just consider him a defensive tackle. I don't see any way the staff would not consider him an over-sign prospect.)
Yep. That is it folks, only 4-5 more takes in the class with the possibility of a few oversigns as the coaching staff gets itchy moving towards signing day. Now I know that numbers are one of the hardest parts about recruiting but with the amount of talented prospects interested in Clemson those of you moaning about the moaning about the 3 grayshirts that count towards the 2015 class should reevaluate your stance. I'm going to give you the players that could have been.
The coaching staff is 'all-in' for Ray Ray McCloud. They see him as a slot receiver who can line up in the backfield and play all over but he has the hands and elite route running to play WR. Seeing Cain and Ray Ray on the same field, my two man-crushes, I couldn't be happier. Both were as good as advertised--didn't drop a ball and just looked fluid and fast on the field.
Unfortunately I have learned that this means that we are all but passing on Randleman, NC's Juval Mollette (6'4 185). Have we pulled the scholarship? No, but we are giving him the cold shoulder. Basically we are pushing him to UNC as we have locked in on Ray Ray. While this is positive because it shows the amount of confidence we have in landing McCloud, Mollete is a good prospect just out of elite range but possess ideal height at 6'4 that we are currently lacking. It is a shame that we are gifting him to a rival because I am convinced this is the reason he is leaning toward UNC (we haven't really been in contact since his last visit, over a month if not two).
We pulled out all the stops for Summerville product Zach Bailey (6'5 315). He loves the coaching of Coach Elliott at USCjr and that relationship is putting them on top right now. I think he has moved from being genuinely torn to being put in USCjr's column. Remember he started out being considered close to a lock for Clemson. This is Clemson's last stand with Bailey and he will make his decision by the end of the summer (this is probably his last visit to Clemson).
Clemson had all of our Oline commits on campus with Jake Fruhmorgan coming in Monday to workout with Bailey. You got Coach Caldwell teaching, Summerville product and GA Dustin Fry trying to work him and Mitch Hyatt and Noah Green coming on Tuesday to try and build camaraderie. Its unclear if anything can sway Zach at this point but relationships matter so his comfort level with fellow commits might make things interesting. Nothing right now is showing that USCjr will be unseated, however.
Tyree St. Louis (awesome name) (6'4, 300) from IMG Academy, FL was also in attendance on Tuesday and worked out. Will wait to hear the returns from the coaching staff on whether he was impressive enough to garner any thoughts about an offer but the last spot is really reserved for these last three guys (I like Giella a lot but again, did you take the bird in hand too quickly--always tough).
The last spot is a first come, first serve spot reserved for either Bailey, AL Brandon Kennedy (6'2 290) or OK native Josh Wariboko (6'3 320). Kennedy is a talented center from the state of Alabama that doesn't have a committable offer from Bama or Auburn right now. Auburn was aggressive and filled up their Oline slots early. Kennedy visited the Clemson campus and enjoyed it but wants to wait to see who else might offer. Wariboko wants a package deal with him and his 2016 CB brother Max Wariboko. Its a tough decision to make because Wariboko is an impressive prospect. Despite being so big (he has some weight that needs to come off), he has incredibly quick feet and surprising lateral agility that he displayed at the Rivals100 camp. He was slated to attend the camp with his brother but those plans fell through (Clemson definitely needs to see his brother in person).
2015 prospect Damian Dozier (6'3/4 220) from Ravenscroft, NC, turned some heads during the Monday camp session. He profiles as another WDE and becomes redundant with Ferrell and Davis already in the fold (did we move too quickly on Davis?) so I don't anticipate much more to come of this.
Bert Huggins (6'2/3 280) of Orangeburg, SC, didn't work out but he was walking around like he owned the place. He is really starting to develop physically and looks even better than he did last year. I think he makes a serious run for number one player in the state by the end of his senior year. I have consistently said we lead but Huggins still wants to get out and see some other schools before calling it a day. We cannot miss on him.
His SBNation profile can be found here.
Austin Bryant should be in this week as well.
Tim Settle (6'2, 310) from Manassas, VA, tweeted that we are his number one right now. While this is very encouraging Settle has gone through a bunch of leaders during his recruitment and he might have some work to do in the classroom (but a year out it is hard to judge that). Chad Smith has been doing a lot of work trying to attract high end Virginia players as his stock has continued to climb. He was at the Rivals100 camp wearing a Clemson Tiger Paw shirt. Smith will give Settle a ride to the camp.
Jones released a top 10 and Clemson came in at number 3. Alabama is number two and is the wildcard--if they really push I think they can secure that commitment. Tennessee is at the top but will need to start delivering on the Butch Jones promise of being good soon to keep that spot. Tennessee will be in it until the end though. Jones feels he is a one and done player though, which doesn't exactly help us in terms of depth. With Huggins, Jones, and Settle a possibility you have to wonder if we pulled the trigger on Sterling Johnson too quickly. We won't take all three (DT Casualty??). Tennessee wanted to wait because they have guys like Jones and Shy Tuttle that they are waiting on. Yep, Shy won't be at Clemson's camp and it is still looking like his ship is sailing other places.
Thanks Danny P. for working tirelessly to get him on campus.
I could see us taking a SAM backer like Roquan Smith who we are currently running third for but with the emergence of Chad Smith as a national recruit that doesn't look likely. That means that both Jahvoni Simmons and Tyler Cooksey are being pushed elsewhere (Tyler's mother is closely associated with Clemson). Cooksey really wanted that Tigers offer and wanted to come to camp but we told him we're full and that he should pursue other options. The UNC coaching staff loves us right now as they have embraced Tyler. (Casualties #2 and #3: Simmons and Cooksey)
Will keep you updated in the comments!