Clemson made moves on the recruiting trail today after flipping 4-star safety Malcolm Greene from LSU. Greene will come to Clemson from Highland Springs, Virginia (Highland Springs) and is 5-10, 180 pounds. He is the 29th rated safety in the 2020 class per the 247Sports Composite and the #299 player overall. Greene’s commitment comes as a surprise considering Clemson was thought to be finished with defensive back recruiting as recently as two weeks ago. Since, of course, Clemson has seemingly become aware of attrition. Greene becomes Clemson’s third safety commit of the 2020 class.
Mike Reed was the man working in the shadows for this recruitment. It should be noted, especially with Clemson losing its top recruiter in Jeff Scott, that Reed has been the most underappreciated recruiter on the staff for some time. His name isn’t brought up with fellow ace recruiters like Scott, Bates, and Venables but that should change starting now. His recruiting wins over the past few years include Fred Davis, Andrew Booth and AJ Terrell.
Greene is 22nd commitment of a class that could reach as many as 25-26 signees. Verified measurables aren’t readily available but owning offers from top DB schools like LSU, Alabama, and Florida should help one understand the caliber of player he is. Greene offers the versatility to play both safety and nickel corner, similar to what we have recently seen from K’Von Wallace. It is believed Clemson views him primarily as a cornerback. His film shows a smooth athlete with a willingness to attack the ball carrier in the run game. Evaluations also compliment his instincts and football IQ. One concern will be his size at only 5’10”. If that size is accurate, he would be the shortest scholarship safety on the team according to Clemson’s online roster and is likely a reason why Clemson will try him at nickel corner to start.
It should also be noted that Greene flipped to Clemson on his own and he was not a victim of attrition from LSU. The Bayou Tigers valued his commitment and this is a big recruiting win for the good guys.
You can watch his highlights below:
This is Reed’s guy. He was the one that Coach wanted to grab if the scholarship opened up and Clemson does expect DB attrition. The other player in contention here was Lakeland’s Kendall Dennis. Dennis has better track speed but Reed wanted Greene’s instincts and ability to play Safety.
This entire cycle the defensive staff saw as a need and wanted to add a Nickel DB (think Ryan Carter) who could give them more options in Nickel and Dime packages. They didn’t have the scholarship until this late juncture. It is my understanding that LSU didn’t sacrifice Greene to make room for others higher on the board or top recruits. They wanted to keep Greene.
On tape Greene shows a fluid backpedal and the ability to flip his hips in coverage (one of the reasons why Reed likes him a lot). The main question is his size at 5’10 and ability to hold up in run support if he isn’t playing corner, but is playing more of a Safety role. He is a willing run defender, but size is an issue right now. Plays well in space overall.