DE Jordan Williams (6’4.5 260) from Virginia Beach, VA is a major coup for the Clemson coaching staff and yet another example of the power of Brent Venables on the recruiting trail. Clemson beat out finalists Tennessee, Virginia, and Virginia Tech, among a bevy of other national offers including offers from Alabama and Ohio State. When I said Tennessee fans were really going to be upset with Clemson, this is what I meant.
Brent Venables is an amazing defensive coordinator, but what no one acknowledged during his time at Oklahoma is that he one of the best recruiters in the nation. I can’t think of another DC who is a better recruiter than Brent Venables. Chad Morris as an OC was not a terrific recruiter. He had his QB targets, effectively pitched the offense, and patrolled his recruiting territory well enough but BV and Jeff Scott are on an entirely different level. Jordan Williams had all but eliminated Clemson from consideration when he released his initial top schools because he felt like Clemson’s depth chart wasn’t very favorable. Venables immediately jumped on the phone with Williams and explained how that was not the case. Clemson was back in the game. Chad Smith, Clelin Ferrell, K’von Wallace and now Jordan Williams. Its becoming an important list in addition to BV raiding South Florida, Kansas, and NJ.
But Clemson did not lead here until later in the process. After Williams visited for Dabo Swinney’s camp things started to trend more favorably towards the Tigers. Clemson thought it was getting Zach Carter at the time and was only going to take one more DE between Malik Herring and Jordan Williams. Williams was always more highly rated and more highly thought of by the coaching staff than Carter, but Carter was supposed to be a silent commitment. Before ‘The Opening’ Williams opened things up a bit to make more visits and checks things out, but after his visit for the All-In Cookout with his family—it was a done deal. He formed a bond with Christian Wilkins on campus, but also Clemson commits Amari Rodgers and especially Tee Higgins who helped him feel more comfortable leaving the state.
What Clemson Gets
Williams could play either the weakside or strongside DE positions. He is very long and showed out at the Opening as one of the top DE performers at the position this year. Frankly, I wasn’t too enthused by the Zach Carter commitment. I projected him as a Malliciah Goodman type solid player. Williams and Herring have the chance to be stars and elite prospects. Jordan fills a huge hole in this years recruiting class.
Clemson has some high end talent currently on the roster, but not much depth at all. Williams is a key recruit for the future at DE. Jordan uses his length exceptionally well and already possesses great strength and size/weight to play the position at the college level. He will need to continue to evolve as a pass rusher. Jordan is also a good student and will be yet another outstanding citizen at Clemson. He will fit in with the Clemson culture and is liked by teachers, administrations, etc. at his high school. Comes from a great family and he is very mature and will be a hard worker at Clemson.
I’m very high on Jordan Williams. I think he is definitely a top 100 player.
I have long argued that Virginia is where Clemson could most effectively place their recruiting efforts outside of the Carolinas, Georgia, and parts of Florida. Others recruiting services specifically said that we should go into Louisiana and luckily the coaching staff hasn’t followed that line of thinking (we haven’t landed a LA recruit in forever). Clemson is becoming a national recruiting power and a national brand that spot recruits everywhere, but Clemson is having a ton of success recruiting the talent rich state of Virginia, especially the Tidewater region. With Virginia and Virginia Tech down and no SEC powerhouse in-state, this just makes too much sense. Virginia and the northeast have been some of biggest scores for recent recruiting.