Why hello again! Clemson lands its third commitment in two days and number eighteen overall. Ray Thornton (6’2, 195) from Phenix City, Alabama committed to Clemson shortly after receiving an offer directly from Dabo Swinney. I have followed Thornton for two to three years now on social media and this was the offered he wanted. When it came it didn’t take him long to shut everything down. Thornton is the teammate of 2018 commit 5* WR Justyn Ross. Clemson beat Duke, Georgia Tech, and others for his commitment.
Thornton is ranked as the number 683rd overall prospect in the class and that ranking is probably appropriate as a 3* prospect. I’m biased because I like Ray and it is a great story of personal perseverance. He kept coming to Clemson, kept knocking on the door and it paid off. Hard not to root for a player who shows that desire. Ray will need to get bigger and stronger at the next level. He was seen by many programs as a bit of a tweener, perhaps a Safety but more likely a SAM LB projection. You hope he could progress along the lines of a Jadar Johnson on the field, but he could also fill out more and grow into a Nickel/SAM. He profiles much the same as Jalyn Phillips, who is very high on Clemson. If he is going to play Safety he will need work on his closing speed and impact at the point of attack. He is decent in coverage, but will need to adjust to the speed of players at the college level.
Bottom-line, Dabo Swinney likes to reward intangibles with some of his recruits. Whether you agree with arguments about ideas like chemistry, Dabo has an undeniable track record recently and has done it his own way. Congrats to Ray on his commitment.