Over the weekend rumors began to fly that the nation’s #1 overall recruit, Defensive End Korey Foreman, was potentially wavering on his commitment to Clemson. Those rumors continued to pick up steam until this afternoon when Foreman finally made it official. This is a huge loss for the Tigers at present, not just because of Foreman’s talent and status as a recruit, but also because it has been nearly 6 years since Clemson suffered a non-academic decommitment.
Breaking : the #1 player in the class of 2021 [Korey Foreman] has decommited from the Clemson Tigers..— TM (@CFBLive247) April 21, 2020
Foreman commited to the Tigers earlier this year.
This is the first player to decommit from Clemson since 2014.
Hell of a run by Dabo and company. pic.twitter.com/prC6iNC8j5
As everyone knows by now, Clemson’s visit policy states that once a prospect commits, they are effectively shutting down their recruitment. This is why it is made clear to every prospect before the commit that should they choose the Tigers, visits to other schools are not allowed in any capacity. There have been people in Korey’s camp who have been pushing him to take more visits, and have sold him on the idea that he has earned the right to take them.
These are people with a heavy influence on Foreman, and have even insulted the same Clemson visit policy that Korey had no problem with upon initially committing in January. These influences ended up having a significant impact on Foreman’s recruitment. By nearly all accounts distance is not an issue, but having hometown USC pick up much-needed recruiting momentum at the same time these influences started pushing him to decommit has registered strongly.
Where do the Tigers and Foreman go from here?
For starters, Clemson will continue to pursue Foreman as they still have a great shot to land him. Korey did not want to back off his commitment and it was not his idea to do so. Both he and the coaching staff wanted him to continue thinking on the decision due to the current Coronavirus-related restrictions regarding prospect visits. However, people in his camp insisted that he open up his recruitment. All this to say that Korey still loves Clemson, and has an outstanding relationship with Dabo Swinney and staff. It is in my opinion that once Foreman makes it back to campus, Clemson will be back in this. I expect Clemson to get an Official Visit, and in an ideal scenario Korey will attend the cookout as well (if it occurs).
It is safe to say at this point that USC is the leader in the clubhouse and they have sunk their teeth in this recruitment in more ways than one. Korey is going to take visits to other schools now, among them USC, Oregon, Ohio State, Georgia, LSU, and possibly Alabama as well. With that opens up potentially more cans of worms outside of Clemson’s control. So while the Tigers will pursue Foreman, they must also cover their bases at the DE position. Zaire Patterson out of North Carolina, and Jeremiah Williams out of Alabama are two 4-stars to keep an eye on right now. Both are high-quality prospects with nice upsides, and Clemson will likely continue to develop its contingency plan in the mean time.
In summary, it is possible that Foreman returns to Clemson’s commit list, however, it will be much more difficult to win this time around. This one will come down to Official visits, on-field performance, and relationships. The Tigers are in a rare position following a decommitment, but they’re not done fighting either.