You want a happy post full of sunshine and hyperbole--well here it is. We could look back on this weekend as the catalyst for the greatest recruiting class in Clemson history. The class might be a bit smaller depending on grayshirts and attrition, which might hinder the rankings a bit, but right now 2016 looks like it will be Boss. Here are some of the major story-lines coming out of this weekend.
Clemson has its top 3 prospects on the board in for camp. Just an amazing feat. Clemson will be taking 2-3 WRs this cycle (more likely we take 3 with the possibility of taking an athlete as well, in addition to the 3 wide receivers). Cornell Powell (6'1 190) from Greenville, NC is my favorite WR directly connected to Clemson right now (Nate Craig-Myers a very early Auburn commit is probably my overall WR but we aren't a factor in his recruitment right now). Don't be fooled by rankings at this point--they will evolve dramatically (Powell isn't in the Rivals100 right now, for example, but that will certainly change). You may have seen the 'reports' from a certain coot 'reporter' about Powell possibly committing. Classic case of trying to let a cat out of the bag prematurely so that you can mess stuff up (often coaches during the junior day like to spread out the commits to maintain recruiting momentum and to have the commits check and re-check with their family but this one won't go that long).
We lead and this one won't last too long. What Korncoot didn't know or wouldn't say is that Clemson has been in this same position for close to three months now--not some new development. A matter of when not if it will happen. I don't think this one goes past this week.
Diondre Overton (6'5 195) from Greensboro, NC is an important piece for this class. While Mike Williams serves the role of the taller WR right now--we don't really have a jump ball, endzone threat that we have become accustomed to with Chad Morris. Overton would supply that and more. Jeff Scott has really taken lead over both of these recruitments but lots of schools are coming at Overton right now. Tennessee is just the latest and more will come but Clemson got in early and has established its staying power. UNC might offer the stiffest competition because Overton grew up a UNC fan and plays basketball (I don't see him playing both but does have an affinity for the baby blue).
TJ Chase is the other major target at WR that has committed. I have described what I think we get with Chase--good route running, explosive in short space. A guy who will start out at the 2 and someone who helps with the other IMG players.
2. More offensive line help
We are taking another big class of 3-4 Offensive lineman this year (with the recent offers I think the staff is going with 4 though--and I love it). Sean Pollard is already committed and enjoyed his visit to Clemson but lets focus on some other prospects we had in town.
I was extremely impressed with EJ Price (6'5 290) from Archer, GA. He looks the part of a franchise LT with a lean frame, yet strong upper body and massive arms despite his wingspan. Plays with a mean streak and can run and pass block. Looks to have good feet and overall athleticism--just needs to continue to work on pad level. Vaulted to the top of my Offensive line list. His recruitment won't end any time soon and Auburn is one of the leaders but Clemson is squarely in the mix--top three, which is huge.
Jay Jay McCargo (what a name for an Olineman, 6'4, 280) from Arlington, VA is another massive prospect. His pecking order is still taking shape. Tennessee is an early leader with Penn State and the Carolina schools all making a push. I think we made a good impression but nothing earth shattering. McCargo is a solid 3* but has a 4* offer sheet and his stock is rising.
We pulled the trigger on another OL prospect in Jack DeFoor (6'4, 270). Sounds like he is all Clemson. I haven't seen any film so I won't comment on his potential right now but he looks the part and projects as either a RT or Guard. He has enough length to stick at Tackle. Clemson has been taking their time with Oline offers this year so I trust Coach Caldwell on this one (see that, trusting the coaches). We also offered Luke Elder (6'5 275) from LaGrange, GA whose dad is like 7' tall. Projects as either a guard or tackle depending on his growth. He has visited UNC a bunch of times and seems to like every visit he has been on. Not sure how his list will shape up but Clemson is on it.
Overall I have Price and then any combination of Simpson, Clark Yardbrough and Parker Broudeaux as my wish-list.
Tavian Feaster. Stud. When not if.
When? Soon. Very soon. Like this week--say Wed. 6pm.
Feaster (assuming we keep all our current committed prospects) represents the last piece in the explosive offense puzzle. We will have an elite QB, WR play, and an improving OLine with better players than ever before. Throw in some quality TE play and your choice of all shapes and sizes of 'thumper' and you have the makings of the most elite offensive talent to ever play at Clemson.
The visit continued Clemson's momentum with big time recruits like Rashuan Smith and Saivion Smith of the IMG trio. But Clemson locked some other defensive talent in to place.
Clemson is looking to take 3 LB's in this class and one of them is Jamie Skalski (6'1, 225) from Newnan, Georgia. He played in only 7 games this year because of a broken thumb but recorded 78 tackles and three sacks in that time period. He hits hard and diagnoses plays well. Good closing speed, perhaps not elite sideline to sideline or in coverage but will be an inside linebacker/middle linebacker. His father played at Oklahoma (bowl game must have stung a bit) and Jamie has been on Clemson's radar since impressing at camp last summer. This is another of Coach Venables choices at linebacker and he led this recruitment. That man is money on the trail. Clemson didn't always lead for Skalski. At one point LSU was his top school and he wanted to go to the SEC but seeing Clemson's top ranked defense this season, mixed with Venables passion--he wants to be a Tiger. Another quality addition to the 2016 class.
Tre Lamar had another good visit and this giant of a MLB continues to have Clemson at the top of his list. Everyone is after him but we definitely have staying power and the current lead.
5* DT Dexter Lawrence didn't show because of a photo shoot at NC State but he didn't show up for that either--not much for recruiting. We will see how his recruitment unfolds but another big fish in our crosshairs.
Now we just need DE's.