According to his Twitter account, T.J. (Tavares) Chase has committed to Clemson for the 2016 recruiting class. Chase (6'2 180) is a 4* WR out of IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL. Blessed To Announce I Am Officially Committed To Clemson University ! #ALLIN #WeTooDeep pic.twitter.com/oeDoGvtpH2
— ⚡️T.Jezzy⚡️ (@tjchase3) February 1, 2015
Chase is a Top 150 recruit nationally according to 247 and is one of the top players in the state of Florida. Clemson has dominated recruiting in the greater Tampa area of late and now has an in at IMG with Chase. He made the trip up to Clemson with two of Clemson's other top targets and IMG teammates, 5* DB Saivion Smith and 5* LB Rahshaun Smith. FSU has a pretty solid link to IMG, since Chris Weinke is the head coach down there.
In an interview with SBNation over the summer, Chase mentioned his relationship with Jeff Scott as one of the reasons for wanting to visit Clemson. I don't think that Chase has the top end speed of someone like Artavis Scott or Sammy Watkins, but he should be dangerous over the middle, on jet sweeps, and wide receiver screens. According to Bud Elliot, Chase doesn't have the elite size or speed that would make him a 5*. However, with his agility and quickness he should be deadly in our offense.
Off the field, TJ is by all accounts a stand up young man. He's a hard worker that he is committed to making himself a better player, even if it means that his high school stats decrease. For example transferring to IMG is better for him in the long run. However, IMG plays some of Florida's best and their offense is primarily run-first, meaning less opportunities for passes. From the earlier interview with SBNation, Chase claims that he'll do whatever his team asks in order to win.
QT's take: Frankly, I'm surprised he committed this quickly, thrilled but surprised. This is very big for Clemson because it is the first of the three main targets at IMG. Saivion and Rashaun are legit top 25 players in the country overall and while TJ Chase is very good, he isn't at the same level as the other two. That is no slight to TJ--the other two guys are just that good. While FSU has been at the top of Chase's list for quite some time they haven't offered and Clemson is grabbing a great player that will help with the other big fish (definitely isn't some package deal but it helps). It remains to be seen if FSU will ever offer and heavily pursue TJ, they have others on their board.
In talking to some of our recruiting folks in the network and TomahawkNation--the feeling is that Chase would jump to FSU if they offered. Is this still the case after spending time with Dabo? We don't know but it is important to note that it is a possibility. Regardless, Clemson goes into Florida once again and pulls out a premier talent. More to come on Clemson legitimately becoming a modern WRU.
Notice that tweet he sent out? We now take pictures of the recruits designed specifically for social media--just a brilliant idea. Very well done (you think Munson was going to do anything similar to that?). We have developed our own distinct iconography/branding--it is just good stuff.
TJ Chase plays against some of the toughest competition you will find at the high school level so he doesn't have the stats that he would otherwise have. More quick than fast but is very elusive in short spaces. Good hands and I think more time in the IMG system will help him to continue to progress. I like his advanced route running at this stage in his career. Needs to continue to gain good weight.