Clemson-FSU recruiting battles: Can the Tigers bridge the gap? Part 2


by - Staff Writer -
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Clemson commitment Chris Register

When Clemson and Florida State lined up against each other last Saturday night, the Seminoles had a distinct talent advantage at some positions on the field.

It’s not that the Clemson coaching staff has done a poor job of recruiting, it’s just that Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State staff has done a little bit better. There is no doubt that the Seminoles’ program sales itself with the history of national championships and the culture that goes along with playing football in Tallahassee.

Make no mistake, Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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and recruiting coordinator Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Asst. Coach (WR) / Recruiting Coord.
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have made significant strides in upgrading the talent at Clemson over the last three years – all three classes have been ranked in the top-15.

While Clemson has brought in three of the best classes in its history, the ‘Noles have brought in five consecutive top-10 classes.

The Seminoles will lose 18 seniors after this season, including wide receiver Kenny Shaw, defensive back Lamarcus Joyner and linebackers Christian Jones and Telvin Smith – all who were key in Florida State’s victory.

Clemson, on the other hand, loses 10 scholarship athletes including Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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, Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
Sumter, SC

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, Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
Gr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

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, Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
Gr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
Icard, NC

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, Quandon ChristianQuandon Christian
RS Sr. Linebacker
#34 6-2, 225
Lake View, SC

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, Darius RobinsonDarius Robinson
Cornerback
#8 5-10, 175
College Park, GA

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, and Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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– all of which have been major contributors during the Tigers’ success.

Can Clemson bridge the talent gap with the 2014 recruiting class?

In the second part of this series, let’s take a look at where the two schools stand with defensive commitments as of today.

Defensive End
The Tigers currently have nine defensive ends on campus – four of which are freshman – and could only lose Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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if he decides to declare for the NFL Draft. With those types of numbers, defensive end isn’t exactly high on the priority list, but if the right person comes along, there is over sign potential. Florida State, has two defensive end commits – three-star Rick Leonard and three-star Black McClain. Because of the depth already at Clemson, it’s hard to give either team a decided advantage.

ADVANTAGE: EVEN

Defensive Tackle
Florida State has a distinct advantage when it comes to defensive tackle. The Seminoles have five commits, including South Carolinian Dexter Wideman. Besides Wideman, the ‘Noles are slated to sign four star- Demarcus Christmas, three-star Adam Torres, and two-stars Frederick Jones and Arthur Williams. The Tigers really wanted to keep Wideman in state, but lost the battle, despite being his first offer during his sophomore year at Saluda High School. Clemson will add two-star Jabril Robinson to a solid group that is currently on the team.

ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA STATE

Linebacker
The Tigers have signed impressive linebacker over the last couple of years, including Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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, Tony StewardTony Steward
Jr. Linebacker
#7 6-0, 235
Hastings, FL

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, and Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Fr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-1, 230
Anderson, SC

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. The 2014 class will be no different. Clemson has four commits, headlined by four-star Korie Rogers. Included in that group are three-stars Kendall Joseph and Chris Register. But, the most overlooked member of this group is three-star Jalen Williams from Blythewood who out-performed some of the top-linebacker prospects in the country at Dabo Swinney’s football camp over the summer. The ‘Noles have a trio of four-stars in Kain Daub, Jacob Pugh, and Delvin Purifoy. All three, have offers from all across the ACC and SEC, and should be able to fill the void left by Christian Jones and Telvin Smith.

ADVANTAGE: FLORIDA STATE

Defensive Back
Clemson is recruiting three-star athlete Jefferie Gibson as a defensive back and could move Easley standout C.J. Fuller to the defensive side once he gets on campus. Gibson has played just about every skill position on the field and recorded four interceptions as a junior. The Seminoles lone commitment is from four-star Trey Marshall who picked Florida State over Ole Miss during the summer.

ADVANTAGE: SLIGHT CLEMSON

Special Teams
The Tigers will need to replace All-ACC and Lou Groza nominee Chandler Catanzaro who will leave Clemson as the all-time leading scorer. Alex Spence – the three-star Florence native - hopes to step in and never miss a beat. The Seminoles don’t have an specialists currently committed, but their starting kicker is a redshirt freshman and punter is a sophomore.

ADVANTAGE: SLIGHT CLEMSON

Clemson-FSU recruiting battles: Can the Tigers bridge the gap? Part 1


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