|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Thursday, May 16, 2013 11:15 AM||
College football coaches are out this month hitting the recruiting trail once again and Clemson's staff is no different. The Tigers' staff has a different situation this year though because they have to be very selective in who they offer due to lack of scholarships.
At this point Clemson is expected to sign around 15 players next February. Clemson has only nine scholarship seniors this year including Tajh Boyd, Rod McDowell, Darrell Smith, Brandon Thomas, Tyler Shatley, Quandon Christian, Spencer Shuey, Darius Robinson and Chandler Catanzaro. Many believe Sammy Watkins could leave school after his junior season, if he returns to the form of his freshman season and attrition almost always hits, so that number is expected to rise.
So far this year Clemson has five verbal commitments but that number could grow in the next few weeks. Yesterday we took a look at the offense. Here is a quick breakdown of the class on the defensive side of the ball at this point:
Like several positions on defense, Clemson is limited in scholarship numbers at defensive end. In fact, they don't have a senior at defensive end this season, so if they sign a defensive end it would be an over sign.
According to Ryan Bartow of tigerilliustrated.com on my radio show yesterday, Clemson is still recruiting some of the top defensive ends in the country. Andrew Williams Andrew Williams
View Full Profile McDonough, GA may be at the top of the staff's board. This four-star prospect has Clemson high on his list as well with Notre Dame also being a major factor.
Rick Leonard of Middleton, MD is an intriguing prospect because he has just taken up the game but is loaded with potential. This three-star prospect currently favors Clemson and Maryland.
Lorenzo Featherston of Greensboro, NC is another of the top defensive ends in the South. This four-star prospect has offers from most of the powers in the South as they like his 6-7 frame.
The state of South Carolina is loaded with defensive tackles in this upcoming cycle but unfortunately Clemson does not room to take more than one, if that many. Like defensive ends, Clemson does not have a senior at defensive tackle this season and the numbers are tight at this position.
Perhaps the top defensive tackle in the state is Dexter Wideman Dexter Wideman
View Full Profile of Saluda, SC. I have seen this four-star athlete play as a sophomore and loved his athleticism. I loved the way he moved his feet and I called him the top sophomore defensive lineman I saw two years ago.
Zeek Rodney Zeek Rodney
View Full Profile of Rock Hill, SC is a tackling machine. This is a player that reminds some of Clemson defensive tackle Grady Jarrett because he knows how to be productive using his leverage.
The Tigers will be able to take two or three linebackers in this class. They will lose Spencer Shuey and Quandon Christian next season, so there are two or three spots available here.
I have seen Kendall Joseph Kendall Joseph
View Full Profile of Belton, SC play many times in his career. This is an active linebacker that makes a ton of plays between the tackles. Joseph could pull the trigger in the next month or so and some think Clemson is in good shape here.
Chris Register Chris Register
View Full Profile of Greensboro, NC is another top-ranked prospect in a loaded year in North Carolina. Clemson offered early and this is a main reason Clemson has staying power for this four-star prospect.
Richard Yeargin Richard Yeargin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
View Full Profile Richard Yeargin
Fort Lauderdale, FL
View Full Profile III of Ft. Lauderdale, FL is yet another four-star prospect that is high on Clemson. Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile was recruiting Yeargin when he was at Oklahoma and the South Florida linebacker is close to Clemson's defensive coordinator.
Raekwon McMillan Raekwon McMillan
View Full Profile of Hinesville, GA is perhaps the highest rated linebacker on Clemson's board. This four-star prospect has been to Clemson on several occasions and really like the Tiger's staff. However, holding off Ohio State, Georgia and Alabama could be tough.
Clemson signed eight defensive backs last season and only loses Darius Robinson this year. Therefore the Tigers will be selective in offers to the defensive backs on their board as they will likely take only one cornerback.
Two four-star corners from the Atlanta area are near the top of the board. Wesley Green Wesley Green
View Full Profile of Lithonia, GA and DJ Smith Marietta, GA have Clemson offers and are interested in the Tigers. Qua Searcy of Barnsville, GA is a third Peach State corner prospect that has a Clemson offer.
Unfortunately Clemson loses one of the nation's top kickers after this season when Chandler Catanzaro graduates. According to Bartow, Alex Spence of West Florence High School in Florence, SC is one of the nation's top kickers and the Clemson staff has already seen him this spring. Spence is scheduled to attend camp at Clemson this summer and could leave with an offer.
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