Clemson secured a verbal commitment from 4-star running back Phil Mafah today. Mafah hails from high school powerhouse Grayson in Loganville, GA and is listed at 6’1” 215lbs. He is the #13 ranked running back in the 2021 class per the 247Sports Composite and the #226 player overall. Mafah owned a slew of offers from all over the country and chose the Tigers over primary competition form Auburn. The Clemson staff made their offer after an in-person evaluation during the 2019 Dabo Swinney football camp, basically sealing his pledge. Mafah’s commitment is Clemson’s first for the 2021 class, although several other 2021 recruits could join him in the near future.
Mafah’s athletic measurables are not available this early in his high school career. However, his high school stats, a Tony Elliott offer, and his highlight tape allow one to evaluate his potential. Mafah ran for 720 yards and 10 touchdowns for Grayson last year on only 89 carries - an 8.1 ypc average. He also posted five receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown in limited action. Mafah’s film shows him to be a proficient one-cut, between the tackles, runner with plus vision. He routinely sheds arm tackles while ripping off 20+ yard runs. His top end speed and acceleration won’t wow you, but should continue to improve as he matures and will not hamper his ability to contribute while at Clemson.
Clemson has also offered 4-star all-purpose back Will Shipley in the 2021 cycle. The Tigers will continue to recruit Shipley and perhaps take two running backs in the 2021 cycle if there proves to be a fit.
The projected 2021 running back room includes: Lyn-J Dixon, Chez Melusi, Mikey Dukes, Demarkus Bowman, Kobe Pryor, and Phil Mafah. Adding a seventh running back to that room would show great confidence from the staff that Dixon is NFL bound following his junior season.
You can watch Mafah’s sophomore season highlights below:
We said the 2021 class was about to kickoff into high gear and it just did. This is even faster than I thought (I thought I had until tonight to finish writing this...).
I’ll write more here in a bit, but I am happy to see Clemson evaluate a running back and move early. Mafah isn’t a 5* talent, but he is a solid player in your backyard that helps continue to recruit in Georgia and Grayson HS. Mafah has the potential to be a bigger back, an all-purpose runner who falls forward and gives you a nice blend of power and speed.