CLEMSON -- As if losing 38-6 on national television wasn’t bad enough, the Tigers also had top offensive line prospect Jarrod Britt (6-5 270) of Powder Spring, GA, decommit from the Tigers last week as well.
“We shouldn’t have made a commitment so soon,” said Britt’s father, Don Sunday afternoon. “But he is an outdoorsman, and he got on the campus and made a quick decision. He really liked the Clemson campus. If any mistake was made it was a mistake to commit so early. I don’t have anything negative to say about school or coaching staff. We just need to find the best fit.”
He added that Britt now has over 40 scholarships offers with Georgia, Oklahoma, and Notre Dame at the top now but with no favorite among those three. As for Clemson, Don Britt said, “If you were to ask about any other school right now we couldn’t tell you.”
Don Britt said they would put off any more recruiting decisions till after his son finished his high school season.
Recruiting analyst Mickey Plyler says the decommitment of Britt is a setback to the Clemson football program.
“Losing a player with Britt’s ability really hurts their program especially when you consider they have to have offensive lineman in this class,” said Plyler. “Britt was also the best of the 3 offensive lineman commitments they have. So losing the best one obviously is not what the program needs.”
The decommitment of Britt is the latest in what has become a pattern of losing offensive lineman commitments in the last few years:
Oliver Springs, TN 5A offensive lineman of the year Greg Woofter committed in 1998 before former Clemson head coach Tommy West was fired. Coach Tommy Bowden was later hired but unable to hold on to Woofter who went on to sign with North Carolina
In 1999 USA Today first-team All-America lineman Shawn Young committed to the Tigers after being the only recruit to visit one weekend in December. A week later he changed his mind and the next month he committed to Tennessee.
In June 2001, Carterville, GA offensive lineman Josh Brock committed to the Tigers. By September the Georgia Bulldogs had persuaded him to decommit, and he signed with the Bulldogs.
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden admitted in May that the one area the Tigers have fallen a little behind in recruiting was the offensive line, but said they were back on track by signing five in 2002 and would need to sign four more in 2003.
“We tried some blue chip guys in Georgia and lost them to Georgia,” said Bowden in May.”We tried some blue chip guys in Florida and lost them to Florida, Florida State, and Miami. We kind of had to rethink our process till we win some more games and the university finishes some facilities work. I think then we will be able to go out and get those guys.”
The Tigers remaining two offensive lineman commitments for 2003 are Clint LaTray (6-3, 265) from Allen, TX and Marion Dukes (6-4, 290) from Pickens, SC.
2003 Reported Commitments
1 QB C.J. Gaddis 6-1, 197 Raeford, NC
2 K Jad Dean 5-11, 190 Greenwood, SC
3 OL Clint LaTray 6-3, 265 Allen, TX
4 OL Marion Dukes 6-4, 290 Pickens, SC