The 2020 class could produce a special haul on the Offensive side of the ball for the Tigers. Despite scoring 44 points in the championship game less than 2 months ago, Clemson is looking to continue adding more and more talent to its Offense. At the moment, it appears the Tigers could be on track to sign their most impressive haul on Offense ever. This article will examine who Clemson’s primary targets on Offense are, as well as how likely it is the given prospect will end up playing in Death Valley.
Right now Clemson is only courting one 2020 passer and his name is DJ Uiagalelei. The 5-star California signal caller’s top school has remained unchanged since his initial visit to campus this past Summer, and plans on making his 3rd visit at the upcoming Spring Game. There is some school of thought that DJ will commit at the Spring game, and it certainly would not surprise me to see him do so. Uiagalelei is clearly the top Quarterback in the 2020 class, a top 10 player per 24/7’s composite ranking, and the #1 player in the nation according to Rivals.
After missing on Jerrion Ealy, Clemson looks set to take 2 Running Backs in 2020. 5-star DeMarkcus Bowman out of Lakeland High School is the name being recruiting harder than any right now. Lakeland is a recruiting stronghold for the Florida Gators, so pulling Bowman will likely prove to be extremely difficult. The Gators lead right now, however, Bowman is not deciding until at least this Summer, and Clemson is willing to play the long game here.
Clemson is also heavily recruiting fellow Floridian Jaylan Knighton. The 4-star has not been shy about declaring the Tigers as his leader, and it sure seems like if Knighton has a spot in the class he will be a Tiger. The staff has also been in communication with 5-stars Kendall Milton and Zach Evans, and visits from those prospects could occur this Spring as well. Sam Adams, a 4-star out of Washington is another name to keep an eye on.
Jeff Scott has zeroed in on 4 targets to fill 2 or 3 spots. Two prospects that will likely have a spot no matter what are 5-stars Julian Fleming and Rakim Jarrett. Fleming in particular is a mega-talent who might be a top 10 prospect nationally depending on how well he tests. neither has been on campus yet, although both have scheduled visits within the next month or so. Jarrett will be in town next week, while Fleming has stated he will make the trip sometime in March. It should go without saying that if either receiver makes it to campus, Clemson has more than a solid shot of landing said prospect.
The other 2 prospects in the equation that make things a little more interesting are 4-stars Xzavier Henderson, and Eddie Williams. There’s a good chance that both will want to be Tigers, but unless both move their decisions timelines up it doesn’t seem likely for that to happen. Both are talented and would be valued takes, but if the Tigers make a move for either of the “Big Fish” in the next few weeks spots could get really tight. With all 4 prospects set to be on campus again before the end of Spring, look for the situation to receive some clarity over the upcoming months.
The top target here is clearly Arik Gilbert, and rightfully so. The 5-star is absolutely freakish, and carries 250 pounds at 6’5 like it’s 220. Gilbert might be the top overall prospect in the country, however, he will be an incredibly difficult pull from Georgia. Clemson has its work cut out for itself if it wants to land the 5-star from Georgia, but the Tigers are attempting to chip away, and have exceptional Quarterback play to sell to the talented pass-catcher. Lukas Ungar is the other name to know right now, and is incredibly athletic and talented in his own right. The blue chip prospect’s recruitment is still in the relatively early stages, but it will be a hotly contested one among national powers.
Currently, the Tigers have 3 players projected for Offense committed, all Offensive Lineman; a nice change from the usual late-cycle scramble for prospects at the position. But the players already committed are also very talented, and all possess good upside. In order to close the line class out though, Clemson will first have to land 2 more prospects. Since a majority of the spots for this position are already gone, the staff can afford to be extremely selective with its final 2 takes.
Highly-rated 4-stars Mitchell Mayes and Bryn Tucker appear to be 2 of the prime candidates to fill those spots. The duo bonded with the current OL commits, and the group of 5 envisioned playing together. Clemson made a major impression on both, and should be considered the team to beat for both going forward. The in-state schools in North Carolina will be toughest competition for Mayes, while Notre Dame and Virginia Tech could be the biggest competitors for Tucker’s signature.
While Mayes and Tucker will be heavily pursued for the remainder of the cycle, Clemson is casting a larger net than that. Paris Johnson, unanimous top 10 prospect, and 5-star tackle will be someone Clemson tries to flip until the day he signs. Johnson seems to be easily the best Tackle prospect in the class, but unfortunately committed to the in-state Buckeyes last Summer. This will be a very difficult flip to pull off for Clemson, however, there is mutual interest between the 2 parties, and Clemson has been able to land an elite Tackle prospect from Ohio before.