With Clemson's class officially complete we asked each of the STS writers to offer up their overall thoughts on Clemson's recruiting class.
Ryan Kantor: Obviously very pleased we landed everyone we expected. We didn't need any surprises to make this class great. We're not going to out-recruit FSU, but we are keeping up.
I'm impressed with the brand Dabo has established for Clemson with guys like Ray Ray and Deon Cain following other electric playmakers such as CJ Spiller, Sammy Watkins, and Artavis Scott. It's no coincidence all of those players are from Florida. That pipeline has been huge for the program.
With so many early enrollees I was mostly focused on Ray Ray McCloud, Deon Cain, and the Feaster tonight.
Jay Ingles: Clemson has been building momentum on the recruiting trail over the past few years, and it shows with what may be the Tigers' best class ever. We all know about the premier talent at the top of the class, but what's just as impressive is the depth of talent across different position groups on the football field. Clemson's 3.61 star average for 2015 is as high as I can remember for any of its classes. The staff snagged elite offensive playmakers but also managed to sign an outstanding offensive line class - something we just haven't seen. You can also find special talent at all three levels of the defense in this group. Kudos to Clemson's recruiting staff, which proved once again it's as good as any there is in the country.
ClemsonFinn: This signing class makes me proud to be a Clemson fan. It took a few years, but Dabo finally has Clemson recruiting at a top 5 level and it looks to stay that way for the next few years. Dabo leads a staff of great recruiters, arguably one of the top five recruiting staffs in the country. As long as Dabo is in charge we can count on great recruiting from the Tigers' coaching staff. While Dabo is a great recruiter himself, the help of other great recruiters on staff including Jeff Scott, Tony Elliott, Brent Venables, and Mike Reed are what made this top five recruiting class and what will make Clemson a force to be reckoned with on the recruiting trail the next few years.
I love this recruiting class but there are a few names that stick out to me. Top commit, Mitch Hyatt is by far the best offensive lineman the Tigers have recruited in a while and I would not be surprised at all if he is the starter at left tackle against Wofford. And while they won't start right away with the amount of talent we already have, I expect Ray Ray McCloud and Deon Cain to be heavily involved in the offense right off the bat as unique wrinkles to what is expected to be a very potent offense next season. It won't take long before defensive coordinators lose sleep over figuring out ways to stop them. The additions of Albert Huggins and Christian Wilkins were key to reloading a defensive line that will be losing six seniors and they provide a nice foundation for the future. An under the radar signing from this class that I really like is safety Tanner Muse out of Belmont, North Carolina. A hard hitting safety, it is unknown whether Muse will stick at safety or move to linebacker. This is an underrated signing as Muse will possibly be looked upon to replace Jayron Kearse as early as 2016. Muse is also a highly regarded baseball player so he will provide much needed value to the Clemson baseball program as well.
CoachCraft: Really excited about the program's direction. Really the only ugly points these days are the 5 heart guys, but I can live with it as long as we are loading up otherwise, and we are. I am taking a look at the 2011 class now for a perspective piece and am reminded once more that it will be 2 to 3 years before we can really judge this class. Hopefully the OL/DL pan out because we have plenty skill to go around.
CUVince81: The two main things you look at when evaluating a recruiting class are needs and talent. Did we meet our needs and did we meet them with above average or better players? The places we needed an immediate upgrade in talent were the offensive line, tight end and defensive end in my opinion. We added two 4 stars on the line (Hyatt and Fruhmorgen), a 4 star tight end (Williams) and two 4 star defensive ends (Ferrell and Bryant). We upgraded talent at the correct positions. The key positions we really needed to build depth at were wide receiver, quarterback, the offensive line (guards) and defensive tackle. We addressed the quarterback need by adding two quality guys, giving us four to work with. We also addressed the need at defensive tackle by adding four guys and could maybe move Kevin Dodd over in a pinch.
We added four offensive linemen but they are all tackles. We currently have eight tackles on scholarship and only two guards. There is definitely going to have to be some shifting around here. At wide receiver, we added three guys. I would have liked to have seen one or two more depth guys due to the dismissal of Priester and the departure of Kitt, but we couldn’t do that due to short numbers because we signed too many "5 Heart Dabos". It looks like we met most of our needs in both departments. It would have to be perfect for me to give it an A+. We kill that when we sign guys like the Davis twins and Jalen Williams. I’m still going to give it a solid A. I’d compare it favorably to our 2011 class. It may even be a little bit better than that one. Outstanding job for keeping all the guys we had. I’d rather keep all our guys and have no last minute surprise additions than have those big name commitments on signing day and have some of our higher rated guys flip to other schools at the last minute.
Spencer York: This is arguably the best class that Clemson has ever had. We’ve had pretty good classes before, like 2011, but this one is top to bottom a much better class. Not only did we hit our needs (except a day 1 starter/2 deep at DE) but we also hit the magic number of 50% bluechip recruits. That percentage is the type we need to have if we want to consistently make the playoffs and compete for a national title class. This is a class that could form the foundation for a national title. It has that much talent. Obviously our recruiting will have to continue to operate at this level for that to happen and I believe it will. The job that Dabo has done with establishing Clemson as a national brand is remarkable. The hire of Thad Turnipseed is already reaping rewards and will only continue to do so. He has moved Clemson to the cutting edge of marketing to recruits.
I think the position in this class that I’m most excited about is the offensive line. Not only did we secure some great talent but they are pretty much all on campus already for the spring. I’ve seen Hyatt, Giella, and Fruhmorgen around on campus and they look like they could play right away, especially Fruhmorgen. The quarterback battle will also be interesting with Israel and Bryant. Israel is most likely more ready to step in and play in mop up duty but Bryant most likely has the higher ceiling due to his athleticism. Hopefully Garrett Williams can improve our TE play. All in all, I’m very excited about this class and expect great things from them.