Countdown to Signing Day: What's on deck for the Tigers?
|Monday, December 16, 2019, 1:58 PM- -|
The weekend was interesting and full of drama, so what will National Signing Day hold? A lot less drama is the likely scenario.
Clemson offered 5-star linebacker Trenton Simpson of Charlotte (NC) Mallard Creek during the Tigers’ bowl practice on Saturday and Simpson accepted the offer on the spot. Simpson’s commitment gives the Clemson coaches a full complement of linebackers for the 2020 recruiting cycle. The question I keep getting is – what does this mean for Justin Flowe and what happened there?
Clemson has long been considered a front-runner for Flowe, and one of the assistant coaches at Upland has said that Flowe still holds the Tigers in high regard. The unfortunate part of that is that Clemson is all filled up at linebacker. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables visited Flowe in California on Tuesday, and the fact that Venables left without a commitment from one of the nation’s top linebackers moved the coaching staff in another direction.
Oregon has been pushing, and we’ve heard that Southern Cal has made a late push now that the coaches there know that head coach Clay Helton is staying. There are distance and family factors at play, and Clemson could certainly have waited and perhaps missed out on another linebacker.
Simpson de-committed from Auburn in October and many thought he was headed to North Carolina, but it was obvious from the outset that Simpson wanted to be at Clemson. I spoke with him in November and he told me then that he wanted to wait to see what Clemson would do. Once Clemson decided to move, then Simpson decided to move.
If you read our interview with Simpson, you realize he fits into the profile of the kind of young man the Clemson coaches want. His coaches rave about his work ethic and attitude, and anyone that knows him says you’ll never meet a better kid.
So what happens on Wednesday, the early National Signing Day?
Clemson hosted 4-star defensive back Malcolm Greene out of Highland Springs (VA) this past weekend. The LSU commit and his family hosted Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney last week after the coaching staff reached out to confirm there was another defensive back spot available.
I spoke with Greene in the spring and he wanted to commit to Clemson at the spring game but the Tigers were full at that spot. Since then – through expected attrition – another spot has opened on the board and I fully expect Greene to flip to Clemson.
He will announce on Wednesday, and as of publication, there isn’t a time set.
That leads us to another big visitor from this past weekend – 4-star wide receiver Xzavier Henderson out of Miami (FL) Columbus. After this weekend, it looks like the Tigers are the leaders but Henderson won’t announce until Jan. 4 at the All-American Bowl on NBC at 1 p.m. ET and he will sign on Feb. 5 (National Signing Day). To reiterate – Clemson looks to be in great shape here.
Henderson was able to spend time with new wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham this past weekend, as well as several other recruits and future teammates.
And finally, 5-star defensive lineman Jordan Burch out of Columbia (SC) Hammond. Burch visited Georgia this past weekend – catching everybody off guard – and projections immediately began to pop up saying Burch will become a Bulldog.
What’s going to happen? They don’t know. I am not sure he knows, I don’t know, and the Clemson coaches seem to not know, either. This has been, thanks to his mother calling the shots, the quietest and strangest 5-star recruitment I’ve ever seen.
Clemson would appear to be a longshot at this point, but who would be surprised if he picks Clemson? Or South Carolina? Or Georgia? Or LSU? He is set to announce Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU.