As you’ve probably all seen by now, Clemson knocked its Spring Game recruiting weekend out of the park. While the Tigers only picked up one public commitment over the weekend in RJ Mickens, it took just a few more days for a second highly-touted Defensive back to commit in high 4-star Fred Davis. While the Spring game itself may have lacked public commitments, it doesn’t mean that the Tigers didn’t further their standing with numerous 2020 targets, quite the opposite in fact. As a result, two 5-star prospects have announced their decision dates within the next 3 weeks, and Clemson will be hoping for some fireworks in next month and a half.
Analysis of the 2 newest commits
As stated in the opening paragraph, Clemson picked up 2 highly-rated DB targets. I am a fan of both prospects, and so I’ll give my thoughts on both. Similar to QT, I believe RJ Mickens to be a tad over-ranked by major recruiting services. This mostly stems from questions about Mickens’ body type as it relates to his position at the next level, along with his physical attributes. Mickens has the ideal body to be a corner in Clemson’s defensive scheme, however, both functionally, and athletically he plays more as a true Safety. In a conference that does not require Safeties to be as big/physical in the box like the ACC, Mickens is a great fit. At Clemson, RJ will play mostly Safety, yet will also be able to Corner in a pinch if necessary.
While he does not possess ideal Corner traits and athleticism, his verified 4.68 40-yard dash, and 4.22 Shuttle times are not poor by any stretch, and are actually very solid. Additionally, Mickens has a high Football IQ that you can see manifest itself especially when he is defending the deep middle portion of the field as a safety. Despite my minor criticisms of his stature, Mickens is a willing tackler, and uses his length well while stopping the run. He doubles as a WR for his High school team, and because of that possesses strong ball skills. He owns NFL bloodlines through his Father, and is also very competitive. Overall, I have Mickens as a top 4 or 5 safety in a down year for the position, however, he is someone who will likely be a multi-year starter for the Tigers with an NFL future.
As for Davis, I believe he is the type of talent who could earn a unanimous 5-star rating among recruiting services if he continues the level of play he has brought to multiple 7on7 camps and has shown on tape. Davis is long, and understands how to use his length in man coverage. Throwing on Davis during recent 7on7 camps has been entirely futile.
He is extremely fluid especially at his size, and he is a good athlete, but seems to lack elite athleticism compared to some of the other corners at the very top of the class. His technique could also use some more polish, and he needs to continue to add weight, but it’s hard to draw ‘em up better than Fred. Davis is the best 2020 Cornerback prospect in the entire South East, and winning this recruitment was a statement win for the Tigers.
Fred Davis is the kind of recruit that never would have left the state prior to #Clemson and their recent surge. This is a blow to all the big three in Florida. Expected, but still a blow.— Mike Farrell (@rivalsmike) April 9, 2019
Upcoming 5-Star decisions
Commitment day set April 23rd!— Bryan Bresee (@bryan_bresee) April 12, 2019
Since the Spring game weekend concluded, 2 incredibly high-profile prospects have either announced or strongly hinted at their respective commitment dates. Those 2 prospects also happen to be likely the 2 highest-rated players on the Tigers’ board in terms of both talent and importance. This upcoming Tuesday, 5-star DL, and #1 overall player in the country Bryan Bresee will make his collegiate decision. You can see QT rave about Bresee here, as he accurately sums up my thoughts on the incredible prospect from Maryland. Bresee is without a doubt in my mind the top prospect in the country in a very top-heavy 2020 class, and landing him would be big for more than one reason. All signs point to Bresee choosing the Tigers this Tuesday.
Multiple recruiting services have reported that 5-star and #1 QB in the 2020 class, DJ Uiagalelei will be making his decision soon as well. The Polynesian superstar seems likely to make his choice on May 5th, a mere 2 weeks after his 5-star counterpart Bresee. The only thing standing between DJ and being a Clemson Tiger is a trip to Oregon this upcoming weekend. Uiagalelei has connections to the staff there and a few other various pulls to Eugene, but at this point it would take a miracle of sorts from Oregon to persuade the California QB not to end up at Clemson. I would not be at all surprised if Clemson’s class begins the month of June with 14 total commitments...
Random news and notes
Since the Spring game, 24/7 Sports first top 24/7 was released for the 2021 class. It’s never too early to start scouting these prospects, and there’s plenty to get excited about as a Clemson fan in that class too. A link to those rankings can be found here. Clemson is involved with many of the top 24/7 prospects already in what will likely be a smaller class than its 2020 one.
During a podcast this week in which he was interviewed by Steve Wiltfong, the #1 WR in the 2020 class, Julian Fleming mentioned his best relationship was with Ohio State WR coach Brian Hartline. It is imperative that Clemson gets Fleming back on campus. If Clemson lands Uiagalelei, its chances of landing the stud from Pennsylvania will increase drastically. One would have to think that extending this recruitment into the season in order to earn an official visit would be key for the Tigers.
The #1 LB in America and top-5 prospect nationally, Justin Flowe released his top 12 this week. A top 12 is very early, of course, but with a prospect this good being in a top group is always notable. According to a West Coast insider, while USC is his childhood favorite, UGA and Clemson are 2 schools that will likely receive an official visit down the road and could be his favorite schools at the moment. This is a recruitment to track heading into Football season.