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Clemson Recruiting Update 11/8

Recruiting is about to enter a crucial stretch

NCAA Football: Clemson at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Catching up with the last few weeks

The Georgia Tech weekend was one of the biggest recruiting weekends left on Clemson’s calendar. The returns showed that it was a resounding success. Clemson hosted both current commits, and some of its top targets on a rainy Saturday in South Carolina.

Usually, it is not that notable to have current commits in for games, but the Georgia Tech weekend is a good example of the contrary. Having Clemson commits Xavier Thomas and Mike Jones there to recruit some of the Tiger’s top targets could pay dividends down the stretch.

Xavier Thomas made sure to spend a ton of time with Clemson’s top remaining defensive target, 5-star DE KJ Henry. Meanwhile, Mike Jones spent the day with longtime friend, then-Tennessee commit, and 5-star Tackle, Cade Mays. Both Henry and Mays have to be considered Clemson’s top targets for the remainder of the cycle.

Being that the Georgia Tech weekend was his official visit, Clemson made sure to roll out the red carpet for Henry. Clemson went very in depth in making Henry and his family feel at home, and important during the visit. From having a casual dinner with Clemson President James Clements, to an academic tour of Henry’s top choice of Major, I can’t remember a visit for a Clemson target being so carefully thought out. Henry definitely noticed this, as Clemson reminded him of why they’re considered the frontrunner.

As for Mays, his visit went extremely well too. Clemson really did a great job of selling him on how the “fun is in the winning”. Having the first visit here is huge, as now Mays will compare every visit he takes to the one he took to Clemson. Mays visited UGA this past weekend, and yesterday decommitted from Tennessee after being committed for nearly 2 years.

The Dawgs and the Tigers will clash on the recruiting trail yet again for this one.

FSU Recruiting weekend

The one downside of Florida State being down this season is that Clemson misses out on a huge recruiting weekend opportunity. What should have been a night game played in front of countless prospects, is now a 3:30 game with a moderate recruiting turnout.

That’s not to say the Tigers won’t be hosting top targets, but there might be only 1, maybe 2 top targets for 2018 in attendance. This game is more for 2019 recruits, as so far 3 5-star players from the next class are supposed to be in attendance.

Among them is maybe the best player in the 2019 class, Owen Pappoe. Now likely a heavy Georgia lean, Pappoe will make his first visit up to Clemson since the Summer when the Tigers took the lead his recruitment. How much a few months can change things though. This visit could be Clemson’s last chance to persuade Pappoe, at least for now.

Quavaris Crouch, a 5-star RB who Clemson is recruiting at LB will also be in attendance. Clemson is definitely towards the top of his favorites, and that will be even more of the case if Clemson continues to pursue him at LB.

Closing Thoughts and Observations

The same weekend Clemson hosted Georgia Tech, top CB target Brendan Radley-Hiles, or “Bookie”, took a trip to Norman, Oklahoma. Like many of the other prospects in attendance, Bookie had an amazing time. Considered a Clemson lean going into the weekend, some thought Bookie would commit to the Sooners sooner rather than later. The IMG product is scheduled to take his official visit when Clemson plays the Citadel, and if the 4-star Corner does not commit to the Sooners before that weekend, then Clemson has a chance to seize the momentum back in that recruitment.

Channing Tindall recently named a top 3 that did not include Clemson. Clemson just recently offered, so this is probably not a good sign for the Tigers. If Clemson manages to get him on campus things could change, although there’s no guarantee he makes it up for a visit.

Clemson offered 4-star, top 100 overall, edge-rusher, Kevin Harris out of Grayson High School. The offer was one that Harris wanted, and not so coincidentally two 24/7 Crystal Ball predictions went in for Harris to Clemson.

It’s been a while since Clemson has picked up a 2018 commitment, June to be exact, but that should change soon. With less than 3 months until signing day, expect Clemson’s class to add 8 or 9 more prospects.

Be patient on the top targets in 2019. I know it looks like all of them are heading to UGA, but there is a long, long way to go before signing day, and the seeds have already been planted (whether by Clemson, or other schools) for Clemson to turn the tide.

The Early signing period for High School Basketball began today, and continues for a week. Zion Williamson is slated to visit Clemson this weekend for his official visit. It will be his 5th and final official visit, and 2nd visit (unofficial or official) to Clemson since the season started. Based on the fact that his Official visits have been used up, and the early signing period is the next week, don’t be surprised if Zion ends his recruitment within the next 7 days.