Clemson finalizes 2022 signing class
|Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 5:34 PM-|
CLEMSON, S.C. — After signing 12 new members of the Clemson Family during the early signing period in December, an additional eight future student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday to play football at Clemson. The group will be joined by transfer quarterback Hunter Johnson, whose return to Clemson was announced on Jan. 21.
Information on the team’s signees from Wednesday is included below.
Keith Adams Jr.
RB, St. George, Utah
Pine View HS (Coach Ray Hosner)
Earned first-team all-state and all-region honors in 2021 after rushing for 1,376 yards and 22 touchdowns on 219 carries as a senior … also added 217 yards and a touchdown on 17 receptions … helped Pine View to a UHSAA/Mountain America state semifinal appearance, upsetting two higher-seeded teams (including the state’s top seed) en route to the final four … named as the top running back in the Washington County area and one of the top three backs in Class 4A in Utah … recorded 252 yards and four touchdowns on only 18 carries against Cedar City … coached by Ray Hosner at Pine View High School … began his prep career at Cherokee High School in Canton, Ga. … two-time first-team all-region honoree for Class 7A at Cherokee, earning selections as a sophomore in 2019 and as a junior in 2020 … scored 14 touchdowns and gained 1,350 yards on 218 carries and caught 17 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown in 2020 … rushed for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns on 231 carries in 2019 in addition to catching 12 passes for 114 yards and a touchdown … committed to Clemson on National Signing Day, Feb. 2, 2022 … academic standout with a 3.87 high school GPA who plans to enroll at Clemson in the summer of 2022 … son of Clemson Hall of Famer Keith Adams, a two-time All-American linebacker who won 1999 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and still holds Clemson single-season records for tackles, tackles for loss and sacks … grandson of Julius Adams, a second-round pick in the 1971 NFL Draft who played 16 seasons with the New England Patriots and earned a Pro Bowl appearance in 1980 … born Dec. 19, 2003.
LB, Montgomery, Ala.
Montgomery Catholic Preparatory (Coach Kirk Johnson)
Three-time all-state selection … three-time All-Metro and All-Capital City Conference (CCC) honoree … 2021 CCC Defensive Player of the Year … 2021 Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 3A Lineman of the Year and earned “Super All-State” honors presented to the top 12 players in the state regardless of position or classification. … credited with 381 tackles (59 for loss), 10.5 sacks, seven interceptions, seven pass breakups and seven touchdowns in his prep career … selected to the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic … coached by Kirk Johnson at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory … along with fellow Clemson 2022 signee Kylon Griffin, led a defense that gave up just 43 points in 14 games and reached the state semifinals in 2021 … consensus four-star prospect … rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No. 147 overall player, as the country’s 10th-best linebacker and as the seventh-ranked prospect in the state of Alabama … PrepStar placed him as No. 168 among its national Top 300 … ESPN.com ranked him as the nation’s 10th-best linebacker and the 14th-best overall player in the state of Alabama … rated by 247Sports as the 13th-best player in Alabama … also played basketball at Montgomery Catholic, helping his team to a state title game appearance in 2021 … plays the piano … committed to Clemson on National Signing Day, Feb. 2, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … born Dec. 22, 2003.
S, Montgomery, Ala.
Montgomery Catholic Preparatory (Coach Kirk Johnson)
Three-time All-Capital City Conference selection at defensive back … twice named All-Metro … earned all-state honors in 2021 … credited with 161 tackles (20 for loss), three interceptions, 12 pass breakups and eight touchdowns in his prep career … helped the Knights to a 13-1 record and a berth in the state semifinals for Class 3A … along with fellow Clemson 2022 signee T.J. Dudley, led a defense that surrendered just 43 points in 14 games in 2021 … recorded 44 tackles (five for loss), six pass breakups and five interceptions and scored four touchdowns on defense and special teams as a senior … ranked among the top 30 players in the state of Alabama by On3 Sports … coached by Kirk Johnson at Montgomery Catholic Preparatory … also ran track at Montgomery Catholic … committed to Clemson on Jan. 25, 2022 … initially committed to Mississippi State but chose Clemson over USC and Nebraska, among others, down the stretch … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … born Dec. 18, 2003.
DE, Central, S.C.
Daniel HS (Coach Jeff Fruster)
2021 SCFCA all-state selection … helped Daniel to back-to-back SCHSL Class 3A titles in 2020 and 2021 and posted a 46-3 record in his varsity career … finished his prep career with 153 tackles (40 for loss), 25 sacks, six forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, two pass breakups, two blocked kicks and interception and two touchdowns … credited with 75 tackles (25 for loss), 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two blocked kicks, two pass breakups, an interception, a fumble recovery and two touchdowns in 2021 … first-team all-region honoree who was named region co-defensive MVP in 2021 … played in the North-South All-Star Game and earned Defensive MVP honors for his performance … Shrine Bowl selection … Palmetto Champion All-Star Team selection … coached by Jeff Fruster at Daniel High School … also played basketball at Daniel … committed to Clemson on Jan. 28, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … brother of former Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, a 2015 consensus All-American who played 41 career games at Clemson from 2013-15 before being a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft … born Jan. 22, 2004
LB, Tampa, Fla.
Gaither HS (Coach Kirk Karsen)
Four-year starter who finished his prep career as the all-time winningest player in Gaither High School history (36-12) … posted school records in career tackles (234) and interceptions (13) … two-time all-conference and all-county selection … credited with 70 tackles and three interceptions as a senior in 2021 while also contributing 158 rushing yards on 25 carries on offense … selected to the Hillsborough County All-Star Game … as a junior in 2020, contributed at linebacker and quarterback on an 11-1 Gaither squad … academic standout who was an honor student and team captain … coached by Kirk Karsen at Gaither High School … committed to Clemson on Jan. 26, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … brother of former Clemson wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, a current Pittsburgh Steeler who was a PFF All-America punt returner who played 40 career games at Clemson from 2015-17 prior to being selected in the 2018 NFL Draft … also brother of Arizona quarterback Jordan McCloud … born May 7, 2003.
CB, Villa Rica, Ga.
Douglas County HS (Coach Johnny White)
Earned a 6A all-state selection in Georgia following a senior season in 2021 in which he posted 75 tackles with five interceptions … finished the season with 552 all-purpose yards (including 101 via interception returns) and four total touchdowns … won the Howard Thompson Trophy, which goes to the top senior in Georgia’s Douglas County … all-region honoree for Region 5-6A according to Georgia High School Football Daily … former quarterback who transitioned to defensive back prior to his junior season but contributed in all three phases, including a spot start at quarterback against Carrollton … coached by Johnny White at Douglas County High School … also ran track at Douglas County, finishing in the top six in the state in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays … committed to Clemson on Jan. 16, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … born March 26, 2004.
DL, Lanett, Ala.
Lanett HS (Coach Clifford Story)
Multi-time state champion and all-state selection who played for his father, Clifford Story, at Lanett High School … was one of the state’s most decorated defensive linemen in 2020 and 2021, as he earned first-team all-area from the Opelika-Auburn News and first-team all-state honors while earning both Valley-Times Defensive Player of the Year and AHSAA 2A Defensive Lineman of the Year in both seasons … named an All-American by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming … began playing varsity football in eighth grade … part of teams that went 59-8 over five seasons, never winning fewer than 10 games in a season … contributed to state title teams in 2017 and 2019 … credited with 184 tackles, 54 quarterback pressures, 37 sacks and two interceptions over his final three seasons … as a senior in 2021, credited with 73 tackles, 20 quarterback pressures and 17 sacks … as a junior in 2020, posted 64 tackles, 26 quarterback pressures, 14 sacks and two interceptions … recorded a four-sack game against rival Lafayette that year … added 47 tackles, eight quarterback pressures and six sacks in 2019 … consensus four-star prospect … 247Sports ranked him 23rd among the nation’s defensive tackles and 10th among all players in Alabama … Rivals.com placed him among the nation’s 30-best defensive tackles and No. 16 overall in the state of Alabama … member of the ESPN300 who ESPN.com ranked as the nation’s No. 23 defensive tackle and No. 11 player in Alabama … ranked by On3 Sports as the No. 16 player in Alabama and No. 38 defensive tackle in the class … PrepStar placed him as No. 221 among its national Top 300 … participated in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio … also played basketball, helping his team to back-to-back state championship game berths … National Beta Club honor society member … son of two former collegiate athletes … nephew of 14-year NFL tight end Marcus Pollard … committed to Clemson on National Signing Day, Feb. 2, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … brother of Alabama defensive back Kristian Story … born April 6, 2004.
WR, Vestavia Hills, Ala.
Vestavia Hills HS
Named first-team All-South Metro as an athlete after recording 42 catches for 581 yards and seven touchdowns in addition to accounting for touchdowns via punt return and kickoff return … averaged 19.5 yards per punt return and 34.5 yards per kickoff return, finishing the season with 1,160 all-purpose yards … second-team all-state … coached by Buddy Anderson and Sean Calhoun at Vestavia Hills High School … initially focused on basketball before playing his first season of high school football as a junior … committed to Clemson on Jan. 16, 2022 … plans to enroll in the summer of 2022 … his late father, Kevin, played football with Dabo Swinney at Alabama … Kevin went on to play eight years in the NFL with New England and Philadelphia … his brother, Nolan, was a 2020 All-America safety who played 65 career games and earned two degrees at Clemson from 2016-21 … born April 11, 2003.
Included below are additional notes on the full class of 20 high school football student-athletes signed by Clemson this year:
- Clemson’s signees include nine members of the Rivals250: QB Cade Klubnik, CB Jeadyn Lukus, OL Collin Sadler, CB Toriano Pride Jr., OL Blake Miller, LB T.J. Dudley, WR Adam Randall, S Sherrod Covil Jr. and WR Antonio Williams.
- The group also includes nine members of the ESPN300: CB Jeadyn Lukus, QB Cade Klubnik, WR Antonio Williams, OL Collin Sadler, WR Adam Randall, CB Toriano Pride Jr., S Sherrod Covil Jr., OL Blake Miller and DT Caden Story.
- The group of signees also features seven members of the 247Sports Top247: QB Cade Klubnik, CB Jeadyn Lukus, CB Toriano Pride Jr., WR Antonio Williams, WR Adam Randall, DT Caden Story and S Sherrod Covil Jr.
- Entering this year, Clemson's recruiting classes finished in the top 15 of at least one primary recruiting service (ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports) every year since 2011. Clemson is one of only seven schools to produce a Top 15 class in each of the previous 11 recruiting cycles, a group that also includes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame and Ohio State. Pending final signings and rankings updates, Clemson appears on pace to extend that streak with its 2022 class.
- To date, every signing class in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure except the Class of 2021 has won at least one ACC Championship. All nine classes from 2012-20 earned at least one College Football Playoff berth.
- TE Josh Sapp (Greenville, S.C.) is the son of former Clemson letter-winner Patrick Sapp, who played both quarterback and outside linebacker in his time at Clemson from 1992-95 before becoming a second-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1996. The multi-talented elder Sapp led Clemson in pass efficiency in 1992 and 1993 then led Clemson in sacks on defense in 1995.
- When he signed in December, the younger Sapp became the first son of a former Clemson letter-winner to sign with the Tigers since 2019, when Clemson inked WR Brannon Spector (son of WR Robbie Spector).
- Clemson added another father-son legacy on Wednesday, signing RB Keith Adams Jr. (St. George, Utah). He is the son of Clemson Athletic Hall of Famer Keith Adams, a two-time All-American at linebacker who starred for the Tigers from 1998-2000.
- Clemson signed three players on Wednesday who are brothers of former Clemson All-Americans: LB Kobe McCloud (Tampa, Fla.), DE Jahiem Lawson (Central, S.C.) and WR Cole Turner (Vestavia Hills, Ala.).
- McCloud is the brother of Ray-Ray McCloud, a former Clemson wide receiver and return specialist who was a 2017 PFF All-American as a returner. Ray-Ray just completed his fourth NFL season after a Clemson career spanning 2015-17.
- Lawson is the brother of Shaq Lawson, a former Clemson defensive end who earned consensus All-American status in 2015. After a standout Clemson career spanning 2013-15, Lawson was a first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and just completed his sixth NFL season.
- Turner is the brother of Nolan Turner, a former Clemson safety who was a 2020 All-America selection from the AFCA. Turner appeared in 65 games at Clemson from 2016-21 and was selected to Thursday’s East-West Shrine Bowl in preparation for the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Clemson tapped into a talent-rich class in its own state this year, signing six players from the state of South Carolina: DE Jahiem Lawson, CB Jeadyn Lukus, WR Adam Randall, OL Collin Sadler, TE Josh Sapp, WR Antonio Williams
- Clemson’s six South Carolina signings are its most since signing eight players from the state in 2018.
- With the additions of Randall (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) and Williams (Irmo, S.C.), Clemson signed two in-state wide receivers in a single class for the first time since 2011, when Clemson signed Dorman’s Charone Peake and Adam Humphries, a duo that has gone on to combine for more than 325 receptions and more than 3,200 receiving yards in the NFL.
- Randall will be Clemson’s first receiver from the Myrtle Beach area since Hunter Renfrow (2014-18), who began his storied Clemson career as a walk-on.
- Sadler (Inman, S.C.) becomes the first in-state offensive lineman signed by Clemson since 2018, when the Tigers signed Spartanburg’s Jordan McFadden out of Dorman. McFadden has started every game for Clemson over the last two seasons and was a 2021 All-ACC selection.
- Clemson’s high school recruiting class represents nine states: South Carolina (six), Alabama (five), Florida (three), Texas (one), Georgia (one), Missouri (one), Ohio (one), Utah (one) and Virginia (one). The transfer addition of Hunter Johnson (Brownsburg, Ind./Northwestern University) would represent a 10th different state.
- After beginning his prep career in Georgia, RB Keith Adams Jr. finished his high school career at Pine View High School in St. George, Utah. Adams becomes the first Clemson Football signee from Utah on record back to 1972.
- Swinney had added a new state six times in seven cycles from 2015-22: Utah in 2022; Kentucky in 2020; California, Michigan and Pennsylvania in 2019; Missouri in 2018; Indiana and Louisiana in 2017; Colorado, Kansas and Texas in 2016; and Massachusetts in 2015. The only recruiting class in that span in which Swinney signed players exclusively from existing pipelines was 2021.
- Since 1972, Clemson has signed student-athletes to football scholarships from 35 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
- Clemson added three players from the state of Florida: PK Robert Gunn (Seminole), LB Kobe McCloud (Gaither) and LB Wade Woodaz (Wesley Chapel), giving Clemson 19 Florida signees in the last four years. Clemson has now signed multiple players from Florida in four straight classes for the first time since 2013-16, when Clemson signed future NFL players Mackenzie Alexander, Jayron Kearse, Artavis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deon Cain and Trayvon Mullen, among others, from Florida.
- With the addition of S Sherrod Covil Jr. (Chesapeake, Va.), Clemson has now signed at least one player from Virginia in each of its last four classes for the first time since a seven-class streak from 1976-82. Clemson has signed eight players from Virginia since 2015, all but one of whom (OL Tristan Leigh) were defensive players. Included among that defensive group from Virginia are 2018 Ted Hendricks Award winner Clelin Ferrell (2015), 2019 Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP Chad Smith (2015), current Philadelphia Eagle K’Von Wallace (2016) and current Tigers Sheridan Jones (2019) and Malcolm Greene (2020).
- Though he lists his hometown as St. Louis, Mo., CB Toriano Pride Jr. finished his high school career in East St. Louis, Ill., the first Illinois high school player to sign with Clemson since 2006.
LONE STAR STATE STAR
- Cade Klubnik became Clemson’s second signing out of Austin, Texas in the last two years, joining 2021 Freshman All-American and ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year Andrew Mukuba.
- Klubnik hails from Austin’s Westlake High School, which produced Super Bowl MVPs Drew Brees and Nick Foles, as well as NFL quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Westlake is one of only two high schools in the country to produce two different quarterbacks who started in Super Bowl victories; the other is Louisiana’s Isidore Newman (Peyton and Eli Manning).
- With the signings of Klubnik (2022), Mukuba (2021) and R.J. Mickens (2020), Clemson has now signed a player from Texas in three consecutive classes for the first time since 1989-91. Klubnik is the first Texas quarterback signed by Clemson since that 1989 class (Harlingen’s Garth Fennegan).
- According to consensus rankings from major recruiting services, Klubnik becomes Clemson’s fifth five-star quarterback signee in its last nine classes, joining Deshaun Watson (2014), Hunter Johnson (2017), Trevor Lawrence (2018) and DJ Uiagalelei (2020). With Uiagalelei entering his junior season and Johnson transferring back to Clemson, Clemson will have three five-star quarterbacks on its 2022 roster.
O-H TO C-U
- OL Blake Miller (Strongsville, Ohio) became Clemson’s third signee from Ohio since 2017.
- Both Ohio products preceding Miller at Clemson in recent years were offensive linemen who earned all-conference honors during their Clemson tenures. OL Matt Bockhorst (Cincinnati, Ohio) signed in 2017 and was a second-team All-ACC pick in 2020 who played in 47 career games at Clemson with 20 starts. OT Jackson Carman (Fairfield, Ohio) signed in 2018 and was a second-team All-American and All-ACC honoree who was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the No. 46 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Carman is one of four former Clemson players on rosters of teams set to play in Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
BRING A FRIEND
- For the second straight year, Clemson signed at least one pair of teammates from the same high school, adding Collin Sadler and Josh Sapp out of Greenville (S.C.) High School in December and LB T.J. Dudley and S Kylon Griffin out of Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic Preparatory on Wednesday. Clemson has signed at least one pair of high school teammates in four out of its last five classes and has now signed multiple pairs of high school teammates for the first time since 2018.
- 2022: Greenville (S.C.) HS (Collin Sadler and Josh Sapp);
Montgomery (Ala.) Catholic Preparatory (T.J. Dudley and Kylon Griffin)
- 2020: N/A
- 2019: Archer (Ga.) HS (Andrew Booth Jr. and Jalyn Phillips)
- 2018: South Pointe (S.C.) HS (Derion Kendrick and B.T. Potter);
IMG (Fla.) Academy (Mike Jones Jr. and Xavier Thomas)
- One year after signing QB/WR Will Taylor out of Dutch Fork High School (Irmo, S.C.), Clemson signed WR Antonio Williams out of Dutch Fork.
- With Williams’ addition, Clemson once again signed a pair of high school teammates over a two-year cycle. In 2020 and 2021, Clemson signed teammates out of St. John Bosco High School in California (D.J. Uiagalelei in 2020, Beaux Collins in 2021) and Damascus High School in Maryland (Bryan Bresee in 2020, Ryan Linthicum in 2021). Clemson signed teammates from Central High School in Phenix City, Ala. three straight years from 2018-20 (Justyn Ross in 2018, Ray Thornton in 2019, E.J. Williams in 2020), and added preferred walk-on Caleb Nix out of that school in 2022.
In addition to the signees, Clemson announced five preferred walk-on additions on Wednesday:
TE, Clemson, S.C.
All-state linebacker at Daniel High School expected to transition to tight end full-time at Clemson … part of consecutive state title teams at Daniel in 2020 and 2021 … notched 108 tackles (13 for loss) during Daniel’s 14-0 state championship season in 2021 … also added 3.0 sacks, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups and one blocked kick to earn all-region honors … coached by Jeff Fruster at Daniel … chose to play at Clemson despite fielding interest from Ivy League programs … born April 11, 2003.
S/P, Clemson, S.C.
Multi-sport athlete who hopes to play both football and baseball at Clemson … key contributor on Class 3A state title teams in 2020 and 2021 … recorded 45 tackles (3.0 for loss) at safety in 2021 … also added 10 pass breakups, two forced fumbles and an interception to earn all-region honors … punted 24 times in 14 games in 2021, including four downed inside the 10-yard line, to earn all-state punting recognition … two-time all-region selection at safety and punter … also long snapped, earning 2019 High School Blitz Long Snapper of the Year … played for Jeff Fruster at Daniel High School … originally committed to play baseball at TCU before instead electing to pursue both sports at Clemson … four-year varsity baseball player at Daniel who entered his senior season as one of the top-rated second basemen in the state … 2021 preseason high school baseball All-American … 2020 and 2021 Palmetto Games selection … son of Clemson Co-Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Mickey Conn … born Aug. 30, 2003.
S, Phenix City, Ala.
Incoming safety who played quarterback at Central High School, accounting for 5,415 total yds and 67 TDs during his prep career … recorded 2,897 passing yards and 38 touchdowns while running for 639 yards and an additional 12 touchdowns as a senior in 2021 … earned all-state honors and All-Area Player of the Year in helping the Red Devils to a 13-1 record and Class 7A state title game berth as a senior … earned Opelika-Auburn News Offensive Player of the Year after leading Class 7A in passing yards, total yards, and total touchdowns … played for his father, Patrick Nix, at Central High School … played at the same high school program that produced Clemson signees Justyn Ross, Ray Thornton III and E.J. Williams … spent his first two seasons at Pinson Valley before playing his final two at Central, playing on teams that went a combined 44-10 over his four years … played baseball at Central and basketball at Pinson Valley … his father, Patrick, played quarterback at Auburn from 1992-95 under former Clemson head coach and then-Auburn offensive coordinator Tommy Bowden … his brother, Bo, played quarterback at Auburn from 2019-21 and transferred to Oregon for 2022 … academic standout who graduated in the top 10 in his class … born Feb. 28, 2003.
QB, Clemson, S.C.
Two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in South Carolina … finished with a 24-0 career record as starting quarterback, completing 455-of-599 career passes for 6,555 yards and 80 touchdowns with an additional 476 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground … guided Daniel High School to back-to-back Class 3A state titles, leading Daniel in 2020 to its first state title in 22 years and then leading the Lions to another state title in 2021 … led the state in passing yards (3,769), passing touchdowns (45) and completions (291) in posting a 14-0 record as a senior … all-region and all-state selection and finalist for Mr. Football in South Carolina … Palmetto Champion All-Star Team selection … Shrine Bowl selection and Offensive MVP of the 2021 South Carolina North-South All-State Game … earned 2020 South Carolina Offensive Player of the Year from USA Today … played for Jeff Fruster at Daniel … also played basketball … son of Clemson Director of Football Scouting Danny Pearman … born Feb. 8, 2004.
WR, Clemson, S.C.
Part of consecutive state championship teams at Daniel High School in 2020 and 2021 … caught 37 passes for 416 yards and six touchdowns as a senior in 2021 … also contributed as a kick returner and punt returner … played for Jeff Fruster at Daniel … also contributed on Daniel’s basketball team … son of Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, becoming the third of Swinney’s three sons to play at Clemson … his oldest brother, Will, tied the school and modern FBS record by playing 69 career games at Clemson from 2017-21 … his other brother, Drew, is a receiver on Clemson’s 2022 roster … born July 29, 2003.