Five-Star Week: High-profile recruits on campus all week as recruiting heats up
|Monday, April 1, 2019, 8:11 AM- -|
A big week of recruiting starts today for the Clemson football program.
Clemson’s annual spring game is this weekend and a bevy of big-time prospects will be on hand to take in the festivities. However, one of the biggest targets for the 2020 recruiting cycle is on campus today.
The 2020 Clemson football recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the best in school history.
The Tigers have already garnered commitments from nine 4-stars, including five offensive linemen and two defensive tackles.
Five-star defensive end Myles Murphy of Powder Springs (GA) Hillgrove visits today. Murphy is rated as the No. 11 overall prospect nationally by Rivals and is ranked as the No. 2 strong-side end and No. 19 overall class of 2020 prospect per 247Sports. He last visited Clemson for a junior day in late January.
TigerNet spent time with Murphy at last week’s Nike Opening Regional in Atlanta, and he told us that Clemson and Auburn stand as his top two schools. This visit, however, is all about academics.
“On my next visit, I'm just going there for academics,” Murphy told TigerNet. “I'm going to go to the engineering facilities to see what they have and what they can give me to compare them to other engineering facilities at other colleges to see which one will give me the best step forward in the real world.
“I just want to see the push that they give their students to be in the best position. Player tutoring. At Auburn, they have player tutoring every Wednesday and sometimes on the weekend students get together because they're studying the same thing, so they know what they need to learn and they know what they need to study so when it does come to test day or lab day, they know exactly what to do.”
Murphy said his last visit to Clemson’s campus made quite an impression.
“My last visit was a while ago. It was just a regular visit, and it was the same thing. I was just talking with the coaches,” Murphy said. “It was a junior day, and Coach Swinney put on a presentation about how Clemson is a family organization. All of the coaches had their families there, and there were some pets there also. It was almost like a recreational time with all of the coaches and the other recruits and some of the players who are already there.
It's notable that if you pay attention to the Rivals rankings, the Nos. 1, 6, 11, 16, 21 and 23 prospects are all on campus this week.
It starts with No. 1 – quarterback DJ Uiagalelei of Bellflower (CA) St. John Bosco. Uiagalelei is coming in on Wednesday for a five-day visit, and he’s bringing along his parents, his brother, his uncle, and a coach.
Uiagalelei says it’s important for his mother to see everything Clemson has to offer.
“She just wants to see the campus and the football stadium. She was to meet all of the coaches,” he said. “She wants to do all of the stuff besides football - check out the dorms, the town, where’s the nearest Walmart, where am I going to go to church. And, she wants to eat fried green tomatoes, that’s what she really wants to do. She’s looking forward to that.”
He said he’s looking forward to seeing the other top prospects.
“Definitely. I’ll be glad to see them because I haven’t seen them yet. I’ve been talking to Bryan (Bresee) and I know he’s going to be there,” he said. “I think there’s going to be a couple of other guys who will be there. I know E.J. Williams, the receiver from Alabama is going to be there.
No. 6 is defensive end Bryan Bresee, who visited Clemson in late January.
“It was awesome. It was a really good experience,” Bresee told TigerNet. “It was much more exclusive because there were only 25 or 30 recruits and maybe just 10-15 defensive recruits. I got to spend a lot of time with Coach (Todd) Bates and Coach (Brent) Venables, and I got to spend some time with Coach (Dabo) Swinney. It was really just a good experience.”
The coaching staff brought out the National Championship trophy – Clemson’s second in three years – but Bresee said his excitement level centers on the caliber of recruits the Tigers are landing.
“There is a lot of excitement around there. They are also getting a bunch of recruits that I am becoming pretty close with,” he said. “That is another thing that is pretty exciting about it. I've known Tre Williams for a while. He committed while I was down there. I met him a couple of years ago at The Opening and some regional things, so we've become pretty close. He goes to St. John's in DC, which is 45 minutes from me. That is one. And I am in a little group with all of the other commits now, like Sergio (Allen), and Walker (Parks) and Kevin Swint and all those guys.”
No. 16 is running back Demarkcus Bowman of Lakeland (FL), who visited Clemson a few weeks ago and left with Clemson as his leader.
“Clemson stands at the top for me,” Bowman said. “They just do everything different up there. Everything is organized, and they do everything the right way. They are definitely my top school.”
No. 21 is 5-star linebacker Antoine Sampah, who was supposed to be on campus recently but a teammate fell sick and a stop in Clemson failed to materialize. As of right now, we’ve heard he still plans to attend.
No. 23 is cornerback Fred Davis. Davis is a 2020 5-star cornerback out of Jacksonville (FL) Trinity Christian Academy who boasts offers from all of the nation’s top programs, including Clemson, Alabama, Notre Dame, Georgia, Ohio St., Oklahoma, Penn St., and Texas.
What does Davis like about the Tigers?
"They are just like a family environment," Davis said of Clemson. "Two defensive backs left and possibly one is going to leave next year. Basically, I can fit in their scheme really well. Coach (Brent) Venables is great at what he does and I think he can help me. The scheme of the defense fits me. They run a really complete package."
Clemson offered Davis in January and he later visited for a closer look.
"Everything. A good family environment. I saw the players and coaches and everything was good," Davis said.
Davis said he's also visited Miami and he wants to see Auburn and Ohio State. But he's feeling a decision could be on the horizon.
"It may be soon, it may be soon," Davis said of a decision.