CLEMSON -- Bringing in nearly 100 of his top recruits for the Florida State game might have been considered a gamble by some, but Clemson recruiting coordinator David Blackwell showed he knew what he was doing after Clemson blew out the Seminoles 26-10.
There are close to 30 division 1-A prospects in South Carolina this year and Clemson’s coaching staff is pushing hard to grab their share with the 20 or so scholarships that will be available on signing day.
The list of prospects that visited Death Valley for Clemson’s big win included many of Clemson’s offers in state as well as three official visitors.
At least two of the state’s top linemen were caught up in the win as they talked about their visit to Clemson after they returned home. Clemson didn’t do anything to hurt its chances with either Greenville’s Cory Lambert or Orangeburg’s Brandon Middleton.
“Well, I loved every second of it,” said Middleton. “I went to the Georgia game and I didn’t get the full effect of the crowd at that game. Last night I got the full effect.”
Burton Burns is recruiting Middleton, who is now calling Clemson his favorite. He is also being recruited by South Carolina, Tennessee and East Carolina. Former Clemson coach Rick Stockstill is recruiting Middleton for East Carolina. For at least a day, though, Clemson was all Middleton was thinking about.
“I couldn’t talk to my cousin next to me because it was so loud.”
Lambert is a target for many schools, but it would appear Clemson also gained an advantage after he visited Death Valley.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I was glad to be there. After the game I went into the lockerroom. That was awesome. Will Henry (who also went to Greenville High) introduced me to the other people on the offensive line. I was excited to meet them.”
Lambert hasn’t committed to the Tigers yet, but he says he’s leaning “80 percent” toward the Tigers over USC. Those two schools appear to be the only ones he is seriously considering.
Lambert said he noticed many of the prospects getting into the game.
“They were into it,” he said. “Some were going nuts.”
Blackwell and offensive line coach Ron West are scheduled to visit Lambert’s playoff game in Greenville Friday night.
Until then, you can bet that Blackwell will be capitalizing on Clemson’s win by reminding all of the prospects about the great time many enjoyed Saturday night.