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Recruiting wish list - Defense


  by David Hood - Senior Writer - Wednesday, July 11, 2012 3:01 PM
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Yesterday, I took a look at what I consider to be the top five targets remaining for Clemson in the 2013 recruiting class on the offensive side of the ball.

Today, I want to take a look at the defense.

The Tigers have anywhere from six to eight slots remaining in this recruiting cycle – provided that all 12 current commitments stay true to their word – and these are who I consider to be the top five defenders remaining.

One good thing is this – the Tigers are still in the running for many of the nation’s best defensive prospects, including several that are rated as the best at their position. That’s how championships are won, folks.


*DT Montravius Adams – The Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County prospect is considered by many services to be the top-rated defensive tackle in the nation. I’ve seen his highlights and I believe it. Any time you watch a national championship contender play, it seems like they always have those great defensive linemen who can not only occupy blockers – thereby freeing up the linebackers to make plays – but can make plays on their own. Adams is one of those building blocks the Tigers need if they want to take that next step nationally. He is also listed as the No. 13 overall player in the nation according to ESPN. His first offer was from Clemson, and the Tigers are at or near the top for Adams. He spent four days on campus two weeks ago, and may return to Clemson later this month for another visit. As a junior, Adams led the nation with 45 tackles for loss. Overall, he had 84 tackles and 10 sacks.

*DB Kendall Fuller – Fuller is No. 1-rated cornerback prospect in the nation according to many sites, and sits at No. 28 overall according to ESPN. The Olney (MD) Our Lady of Good Counsel prospect was recently seen at Nike’s The Opening with an unusual haircut – he had a Tiger paw shaved into one side of his head, and a Virginia Tech logo on the other. The teammate of current Clemson commit Dorian O’Daniel, he will also be in Clemson on July 20th. He is the younger brother of former Hokie defensive back Vincent Fuller, senior wide receiver Corey Fuller and defensive back Kyle Fuller. This looks like yet another battle between the Tigers and the Hokies.

*DB Mackensie Alexander - Alexander is another 5-star guy, rated as the No. 6 player overall in the nation according to ESPN and the No. 2-rated corner in the nation behind Vernon Hargreaves, another Clemson target. The Immokalee (FL) standout grew up liking Clemson, and plans on taking an official visit at some point. He recently mentioned that he would love to take official visits to four schools – Clemson, Kentucky, Arkansas and Notre Dame, four schools he thinks he can attend and get on the field right away. The former Tennessee commitment had 42 tackles, three interceptions and two fumble recoveries as a junior.

*DE DeMarcus Walker – The Jacksonville (FL) Sandalwood 5-star prospect is ranked as the No. 24 player overall in the nation by ESPN. The Tigers already have filled their available defensive end slots, but Walker is the kind of player you don’t turn down. He said he was going to be in attendance for Dabo Swinney’s high school camp in June, but took a trip to Alabama instead. However, Clemson coaches hope to get him on campus later this month. Right now, this also shapes up to be a two-team battle, this time between the Tigers and Alabama.

*DT Scott Pagano – This 4-star prospect out of Honolulu (HI) Moanalua High School has ties to the Upstate and is considered to be the top prospect in the Aloha State. Right now, he has a short list of LSU and Florida. However, his mother attended Clemson and he still has a lot of family in the Greenville area. As a result, he hopes to make it in for a visit in a few weeks. This is another one of those space-eaters the Tigers need. In addition to his visits in a few weeks, he also plans to make official visits in the fall.

BEST OF THE REST

*ATH Jayron Kearse – Attended Dabo’s camp and backed off on his commitment to Miami. Clemson is a major player here.

CB Vernon Hargreaves - Also one of the nations's best corners. Would love to have him, and he is coming in on a visit. Not sure how much of a factor Clemson is at this point.

*DT Michael Hill – The Pendleton product recently committed to Ohio St., and he says his commitment is solid. However, he is the No. 1 prospect in the state and can almost see Death Valley from his high school. I don’t imagine the Clemson coaches will back off entirely.

*ATH Juwaan Williams – Came to Swinney’s camp last month and is making a return trip with his mother. Has a top four of Vanderbilt, Clemson, FSU and Notre Dame.

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