Star-studded weekend: Recruits to see Death Valley at night


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Xavier McKinney is one of the top 2017 targets who will watch the game
Xavier McKinney is one of the top 2017 targets who will watch the game

CLEMSON – Death Valley under the lights is a special place, and several of Clemson’s top recruiting targets will be on hand to experience it for themselves Saturday night.

Clemson and Louisville square off in a battle of top five unbeaten teams at 8:22 p.m. Saturday night, and the Clemson coaching staff will play host to a bevy of committed recruits and top targets during the day. The staff will hold tours of the new football operations center (still under construction but expected to be completed in late January) while hosting the recruits and their families in the recruiting center in the WestZone.

Head coach Dabo Swinney told the media following Wednesday’s practice that night games in Memorial Stadium help in recruiting and that the late kickoff will be a chance for the coaches to show off Death Valley at night.

“From our standpoint, that is an awesome benefit to us when you do have a night game. It's hard when you do have an early game for those guys to get here,” Swinney said. “They have a game on Friday night, and you know how hard it is getting into Clemson on a nooner. A night game is great because it gives those guys a little more time to get here, the traffic is good because everybody is usually already here and tailgating. That is a huge benefit for us from a recruiting standpoint, and you get to see Death Valley at its best. You get to see the pageantry of Clemson, and it gives us more time to show them the new facility, and we can spend more time in meetings. That is definitely a benefit.”

The highest-profile recruits who will make the trip are 5-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence out of Cartersville (GA), 5-star defensive lineman Xavier Thomas out of Florence (SC), Laurinburg (NC) Scotland County 5-star running back Zamir White and 4-star defensive back Xavier McKinney out of Roswell (GA).

Lawrence has trimmed his list to two schools – Clemson and Georgia – and it will be interesting to see if Saturday’s visit can cause movement in his top two.

2017 Commits

5-star WR Tee Higgins
5-star QB Hunter Johnson
5-star CB AJ Terrell
4-star WR Amari Rodgers
4-star QB Chase Brice
4-star CB LeAnthony Williams Jr.
4-star OL Matt Bockhorst
4-star DE/LB Logan Rudolph
3-star OLB Baylon Spector

2017 targets

4-star DB Xavier McKinney

2018 targets

5-star QB Trevor Lawrence
4-star DE KJ Henry
5-star DE Xavier Thomas
4-star OT James Ohonba
4-star DT Josh Belk
4-star DL Stephon Wynn Jr.
4-star OT Nana Aseidu
4-star WR Demarcus Gregory
3-star LB Jake Venables

2019 targets

LB Owen Pappoe
RB Devyn Ford
CB Tyus Fields

2018 Basketball targets

5-star F Zion Williamson
4-star F Trey Jemison
4-star G Devon Dotson
3-star G Rasir Bolton
3-star PG Sharone Wright, Jr.
4-star A.J. Oliver (Clemson commit)
4-star PF Josiah James
G Hunter Tyson
G Trey Wertz



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