|Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 9:17 AM- -|
Clemson is off to a terrific start on the recruiting trail for the next cycle of top prospects from around the South.
The Tiger staff has secured five commitments already which is about a third of what they are expected to ink next February. The major issue is a lack of scholarships because there are only nine scholarship seniors in the program at this point. Sammy Watkins is a good candidate to leave early and others will leave for one reason or another, so the staff expects to sign about 14-15 players in the class of 2014. Remember that number is always changing though.
The key to the next class is All-American quarterback DeShaun Watson of Gainesville, GA. Watson has been committed to Clemson but that could change if
Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
View Full Profile is not here after next December.
As a sophomore, Watson hit on 229-of-337 passes for 3,221 yards with 41 touchdowns, the most in the state of Georgia, and six interceptions. Watson rushed 156 times for 1,073 yards and 16 touchdowns, leading the Red Elephants to a 12-2 record.
As a junior, Watson hit on 305-of-434 passes (70 percent) for 4,011 yards, 50 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,430 yards and 24 touchdowns leading his team to the AAAAA State Championship.
Over the last two seasons, Watson has completed 544 of his 771 passes for 7,232 yards for 91 touchdowns and only 14 interceptions. He has also rushed for 2,503 yards and 40 touchdowns. Over the past two seasons Watson has 9,735 total yards and accounted for 131 touchdowns.
Clemson did not take a quarterback in the class of 2013 and plans on taking Watson next year. This should lead to two things. First, a depth issue. Second is a terrific battle for the starting spot between Chad Kelly and Watson.
Watson is the key to the class for several reasons. From a ranking standpoint, Watson is a five star (6.1) prospect according to rivals.com. He is rated as the nation's top quarterback and 11th overall prospect.
Another reason he is the key to the class is his magnetic personality and how much weight he carries in recruiting. Watson is an early enrollee and is great recruiter for the Tigers. He is the main reason why wide receiver prospect
Demarre Kitt Demarre Kitt
View Full Profile is favoring the Tigers. Kitt (6-1, 195) of Sandy Creek High School in Tyrone, GA is considered almost a lock to go to the same school as Watson due to the bond the two have formed in recent years.
Kitt is a four star prospect and is ranked 67th in the country according to rivals.com. he has offers from over 20 schools including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Southern Cal and other national powers but he favors Clemson over Ohio State at this early venture.
Watson could also be the key to replenishing the wide receiver corps. The nation's top quarterback could make a school a lot more attractive to potential wide outs.
Besides Kitt, Clemson is good shape with
Jacob McCrary Jacob McCrary
View Full Profile (6-0, 185) of Coral Reef High School in Miami, FL. McCrary favors Clemson over Florida State and Notre Dame at this point.
Trevion Thompson Trevion Thompson
View Full Profile is perhaps the top wide receiver prospect in North Carolina and Clemson is in good shape here as well. The Durham, NC prospect is another four-star wide out according to rivals and he favors Clemson over Ohio State, North Carolina, Florida and several other offers.
Clemson has used its tight ends as much as any team in the South and the Tigers are looking for one more elite tight end in this class. Watson is a definite selling point to Charlotte Christian School tight end
Jeb Blazevich Jeb Blazevich
View Full Profile (6-5, 240). Clemson leads Georgia in this early race but Notre Dame is spending a lot of time in Charlotte. The Tigers have help here from his brother who is currently enrolled at Clemson.
At this point I expect Clemson to sign one quarterback, two running backs, about three wide receivers, one tight end, two offensive linemen, three defensive linemen, around three linebackers and maybe three defensive backs. That would be 16 so there will have to be some attrition before next January as well.
The class should have a chance at a high ranking despite the low numbers. Watson is a five star. Both running back commitments,
Jae'lon Oglesby Jae'lon Oglesby
View Full Profile and Dalvin Cook Dalvin Cook
View Full Profile are four stars. Tight end/offensive lineman Cannon Smith Cannon Smith
View Full Profile and offensive lineman Taylor Hearn Taylor Hearn
View Full Profile are two other highly thought of commitments.
The Tigers are also in the lead group for future five star plays like defensive tackle
Andrew Brown Andrew Brown
View Full Profile , defensive end Kentavious Street, and linebacker Raekwon McMillan Raekwon McMillan
View Full Profile .
This has the potential to be another excellent class and is shaping up to be a special one at this point. However, remember this time last year Clemson was in good shape with players like Robert Nkkemdiche,
Montravius Adams Montravius Adams
View Full Profile and Kendall Fuller Kendall Fuller
View Full Profile .
There will be several keys to the class of 2014 but none any bigger than the Tigers keeping DeShawn Watson in the fold.
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