Four star safety RJ Mickens officially signed to play football at Clemson today. Mickens is out of Southlake, Texas and played high school ball at Southlake Carroll. He committed back in April. the weekend of the Spring Game. He had offers from all over, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and LSU, but the Tigers main competition for him was Ohio State.
At one time he was the top safety in the 2020 class in the 247 Composite Rankings, but is now listed at number 7. At 6’1 and pushing 200 pounds, he is ranked at 98 overall and is the 15th best player out of the state of Texas. This was a big get for Mike Reed and Mickey Conn, the main recruiters, as Mickens was the top safety on the Tigers board. He also marks the first player the staff has signed out of the state of Texas since JC Chalk in 2016.
He runs a 4.68 40, 4.22 shuttle, and has a vertical of 35 inches. He is extremely athletic, with a high football IQ, and has consistently been praised for his technique. He is the son of former NFL CB Ray Mickens, and he has the physical tools the Brent Venables craves in his defensive backs.
R.J. Mickens father is former NFL player Ray Mickens and R.J.’s football acumen shows on the field. He is well schooled and understands the nuances of playing defensive back. He started at corner and has transitioned to Safety and could fill a Nickel role for Clemson as well (the position his father played in the NFL). Southlake Carroll is a powerhouse Texas program and he has been coached well at the high school level.
Mickens represents the first high profile Safety take for Clemson in quite some time. Mickens doesn’t possess one elite physical trait, but is solid across the board. Good tackler, good hitter, decent speed and fluidity, and decent DB frame. His elite attributes at this point are his knowledge, instincts, and ball skills and hopefully those all translate to the college level. His straight line speed is the question mark that needs to be answered.