|by David Hood|
During the 2012 recruiting cycle, the Tigers were shut out of the state of Georgia, and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney vowed that would change.
It did, as the Tigers picked up five commitments from the Peach State in 2013, and have five commitments from the state this recruiting cycle. Several of the state’s top players will be on hand Saturday night, and head coach Dabo Swinney was asked Wednesday if the final score affects recruiting when two schools are vying for a particular player.
“I’ve been a part of big wins against a team you’re recruiting against and you still don’t get the guy,” Swinney said after Wednesday’s practice. “You thought it might matter. Then, I’ve been on the other side of it where you get beat by them. You think it might hurt you, but it doesn’t.”
However, he did say that Clemson recruits Georgia just like it recruits the state of South Carolina.
“It’s important,” Swinney said of recruiting Georgia. “Georgia is about 20 miles from here. We recruit Georgia like it’s in-state.”
Swinney then said that Saturday provides all of the recruits – no matter what state they hail from – the chance to see Clemson at its finest.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a huge game where you have an opportunity to get so many people on your campus, have GameDay and all that to showcase Clemson,” Swinney said. “I think that’s a big thing. At the end of the day, with guys making decisions, it’s about the program. It’s about what they feel like the best fit for them is. It’s not necessarily about one particular game.”
Committed prospects from Georgia that will be at the game include Deshaun Watson, Korie Rogers, Demarre Kitt, Adam Choice and Milan Richard. Some of the top non-committed Peach State prospects include Raekwon McMillan, D.J. Smith and Andrew Williams.
Some of the best of the 2015 cycle will also be on hand, including OT Mitch Hyatt, DT Tim Settle and OLB Ricky Deberry.
Other 2014 Clemson commits
WR Artavis Scott, Tarpon Springs (FL) East Lake
RB C.J. Fuller, Easley (SC) Easley
K Alex Spence, Florence (SC) West Florence
LB Kendall Joseph, Belton (SC) B-HP
TE Cannon Smith, Columbia (SC) Hammond School
OL Taylor Hearn, Williston (SC) Williston Elko
RB Jae'lon Oglesby, Central (SC) Daniel
Other 2014 visitors
WR Trevion Thompson, Durham (NC) Hillside
OG Donell Stanley, Latta (SC) Latta
OL David Sharpe, Jacksonville (FL) Providence School
ATH Jefferie Gibson, Hope Mills (NC) Grays Creek
LB Jalen Williams, Blythewood (SC) Blythewood
2015 Clemson commitments
LB J.D. Davis, Clemson (SC) Daniel
LB Judah Davis, Clemson (SC) Daniel
Other 2015 visitors
RB Reggie Gallaspy, Greensboro (NC) Southern Guilford
RB Bryce Love, Wake Forest (NC) Wake Forest-Rolesville
QB Anthony Ratliff, Matthews (NC) Butler
DB J.K. Britt, Newnan (GA) Newnan
QB Kelly Bryant, Piedmont (SC) Wren
LB Johnathan Sutton, Swansea (SC) Swansea
ATH Van Smith, Charlotte (NC) West Mecklenburg
QB Lorenzo Nunez, Kennesaw (GA) Harrison
DE Darian Roseboro, Lincolnton (NC) Lincolnton
LB Tanner Muse, Belmont (NC) South Point
OL Mason Veal, Charlotte (NC) Ardrey Kell
ATH Nyheim Hines, Garner (NC) Garner
DB Kaleb Chalmers, Greenwood (SC) Greenwood
DB Mark Fields, Charlotte (NC) Hough
RB Taj Griffin, Powder Springs (GA) McEachern
OL Chuma Edoga, Powder Springs (GA) McEachern
TE Garrett Williams, Orlando (FL) First Academy
TE Harrison Moon, Chattanooga (TN) Signal Mountain
David Hood can be reached at email@example.com