Clemson is up to #4 in the 2023 247 recruiting rankings (and they’ll eventually jump Texas Tech who is currently ranked #3 due to a large number of 3-stars already committed). The Tigers pivoted recently to become more aggressive in scheduling visits and giving out offers. In past years, they’ve been low on numbers and slow to add them, but we’re seeing the changes to that strategy that we were practically begging for; Dabo is adjusting very well.
Will Harper wrote about the 2023 recruiting class earlier in June - since then, the story has only gotten better. The Tigers up are to nine commitments this month with the most recent being 4-star linebacker Dee Crayton. Clemson now has 12 commits.
The change in timing is notable, but so is the fact that Clemson has held firm on NIL. They are of course building a whole branding institute that will help athletes land legitimate NIL deals and excel with them, but they haven’t eschewed education, the college experience, or winning championships to make room for it in their recruiting pitch.
Clemson, five-star QB Chris Vizzina told TigerNet’s Senior Writer David Hood that other schools lead with it while Clemson saved it for the last day and that was appealing to him. A very different approach can be seen at Louisville:
Louisville football is hosting its biggest recruiting weekend ever and it has gone all-in on impressing recruits.— State of Louisville (@thestateoflou) June 18, 2022
The visits began Friday with a deep-dive into UofL, followed by a trip to Bowman Field where players ate dinner with private jets and insane cars pic.twitter.com/XYW5PGkn0b
Such a flamboyant show of money put at the center of Louisville’s recruiting pitch definitely makes for a different culture. They just landed the top running back in the country and are currently ranked #11 by 247 Sports — incredible compared to their recent classes — so perhaps this approach can work too, but the contrast is stark.
Five-star RB Rueben Owens said he's going to Louisville. The No. 16 overall recruit in the 2023 class is a huge get for Scott Satterfield. U of L now has four commits ranked among the 247's top 200. That's as many top 200 recruits as they had in previous 13 YRs combined.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) June 20, 2022
The culture it creates may be most interesting. Is an 11th-ranked class built around this comparable to a similarly ranked class that is full of players attracted to the school for the opportunity to win championships and have a great college experience? It’ll take years to find out.
What we do know now is that Clemson, at least in terms of recruiting, isn’t on the way out. Last year’s class had 10 blue chippers (four-star or five-star recruits) out of 20 total commits. This class has 10 blue chippers with just 12 committed so far!
There is no doubt reason to worry about teams using NIL as an inducement while Clemson at least appears to be refusing to get in the mud and muck with them. WR Nathaniel Joseph recently de-committed from Clemson and perhaps we’ll see him go somewhere for NIL promises (just my speculation), but overall Clemson has adjusted and is faring quite well in the wonky new world of recruiting. Long-term prospects are looking brighter than before. Perhaps little ‘ol Clemson can survive in the new world of college football after all.