Tuesday, February 4, 2014 2:56 PM
ESPN's Luginbill weighs in on Clemson recruiting class
by David Hood
Senior Writer

ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill said Monday that Clemson’s 2014 recruiting is the best of both worlds – the coaches filled needs while getting some of the best players available.

National Signing Day is Wednesday, and ESPN has Clemson’s 2014 recruiting class ranked 13th nationally. Luginbill told TigerNet that he feels like the coaching staff has done a good job of replacing quarterback Tajh Boyd and receivers Martavis Bryant and Sammy Watkins.

“Clemson has done a really good job with who they got to replace those guys,” Luginbill said. “Especially at receiver with some of the guys they got, and then with Deshaun Watson, who has been a high-profile verbal for two years now. And all of their need players are in the top five or six weighted prospects - guys like Milan Richard at tight end and Jae’lon Oglesby at running back and Trevion Thompson at wide receiver. They have done a very nice job there. I know they would love to get Andrew Williams on signing day, but the good news for Clemson fans is that the bulk of the roster that just won the Orange Bowl is back.”

I asked Luginbill to tell me who the best player – the best one not named Deshaun Watson - was in Clemson’s class, and he said wide receiver Artavis Scott.

As a senior, Scott had 37 receptions for 542 yards and five touchdowns and 67 carries for 729 yards and 13 touchdowns.

“Their best player overall might be Artavis Scott,” he said. “He has such a high ceiling, and I think he will develop into a special player. He can play a variety of roles in that offense. He is a little more explosive than Demarre Kitt and has a lot of upside.”

Luginbill said that while Clemson’s class may not have the star power of ACC Atlantic Division rival Florida St., Swinney needs to just continue drawing in top recruits and filling needs.

“I don’t think Dabo needs to worry about closing the gap with Florida St.,” he said. “He just needs to continue to duke it out tooth and nail with Florida St. over some of these players. He will win some battles and he will lose some battles. But it has been very clear the last three or four years that those two schools are the class of the league, and that has been reflected in our rankings. They do need to start beating FSU on some guys, and they have to win some of the in-state battles for some of those South Carolina players so they can turn things around on the field against their arch-rival. I know that doesn’t sit well with Clemson fans.”

David Hood can be reached at davidhood@tigernet.com