CLEMSON, SC -- Another recruiting year has come and gone. Clemson’s second year recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill seems to have found what he was looking for.
"We are excited about our class,” said Stockstill. “It’s a small number because we didn’t have that many seniors this year. We think we filled our needs. We don’t think this class has to take a back seat to anybody."
Keith Kelly hurt his thigh a little bit earlier this season, so he didn’t play
but probably half the year. But he ended up with probably 1500 to 1600
yards. He is a guy that brings great speed. He’s a powerful running
back. He’s a big guy probably six foot and 205 pounds. He runs with
strength and with power. He has got some speed that will help us get
outside on the edges. He’s a little bit like Raymond Priester in the sense
that he is strong and he can hammer inside, but he is also different in that
when he gets outside he has the ability to take it all the way with his
speed. He is a track guy. We are very excited about him.
Terrence Huey is the other running back. He is different than Keith. He’s
smaller. He gives us kind of the scat back type guy that can catch the ball
out of the back field. He runs and changes direction very well. So we are happy
with our running back position.
Derrick Hamilton here in state was a kid that not a lot of people knew about
him early in the recruiting process. He returned 16 kicks for touchdowns this
year. Eight of them were called back for penalties. He’s a phenomenal
athlete. He’s a 6-4 guy who is probably 200 pounds that can run. He’s got
really good hands. He’s just a guy who can bring a lot of excitement to our
offense and I really appreciate him and what he stands for. He committed to
us early and stuck by that commitment. He did not take any visits. We are
excited about Derrick. I think he will be a really good player for us. He’s got
a chance to help us this year.
Ronnie Thomas, out of Florida, is an inside type receiver. He catches the
ball really well. He’s got some good "make- you- miss" ability and was Willie
Simmon’s teammate in high school.
Todd McClinton is a big guy that can run and catch. He played tailback and
tight end. He brings a lot of athletic ability to the table. Todd is a guy
who, you can flex him out as a slot receiver. He can also be a tight end. He’s just
a phenomenal athlete for
We recruited Brian Carr first of all as a quarterback. We told him we would
give him a shot at quarterback. If things did not work out there we might
look at him as a safety position guy. He is a good athlete that can run. We
will give him a shot at quarterback and see how it unfolds. But he is a good
athlete that can play some other positions.
Derrick Brantley - Anytime you bring in a guy who y who can go through spring practice, it not only gives him an advantage, but it gives us
an advantage as far as evaluating him and seeing what he can do. Derrick is a junior college guy and we really liked him out of high school. We are glad to have him back in our program. We got three
years with him. Derrick is a good player and the rest is up to him, on how
hard he works and competes. But we are expecting big things out of Derrick.
Donnell Washington will give us some big strength and size inside. He is out
of Battery Creek High School. He’s a good pass rusher. He’s a guy who we think
in time will develop into a top notch player.
JR Grant is more of an edge player and defensive end type guy. We think he can
put on 20 to 25 pounds and be really a big force off the edge. We think both
Donnell and JR will help us this year and hopefully see good things from them
in the future.
Brandon Jamison is a typical Clemson linebacker in the fact that he can run.
He’s got great speed and great change of direction. He’s also got good size to
him. There is nothing in my opinion that will keep Brandon from being a great
linebacker here at Clemson and continuing on the tradition of linebackers at
Ryan Hemby is from here instate at Orangeburg-Wilkinson. He’s your true
cover guy. He’s a guy who is strictly a corner. He’s a guy who had great
coaching in high school from Tommy Brown. His brother was a defensive back in
college, so he has been well coached in the defensive back skills. He will
come in here and not miss a beat. I think he’s a guy that can
come in here and compete early.
Ronnie Delusme is a lot different that Ryan (Hemby), where Ronnie is a bigger guy who
can also be a safety if we need help there. Ronnie is a guy, who the instate schools in Florida recruited.
We are excited about Aaron Hunt. He’s a guy that we evaluated for a long time and we think he’s a good kicker. When he gets here we will find out, but we think he is a good, solid kicker.
Rounding out the class is Cedric Johnson, an offensive lineman from
Thomasville,Georgia. At 6-3, 315 lbs., he is an excellent athlete with good quickness.
Going Head to Head against Florida State:
My personal opinion is that since I have been at Clemson, we have always gone
head to head with Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Auburn and all the major
powers in the South. We have always done that. We have won some of those
battles and we have lost some of them. Our expectations at Clemson are that
we want to be able to compete for the National Championship. If you are going
to do that then you have to recruit the same type of player that Florida
State, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and everybody else recruits. When you get
in those type of battles, you are going to win some of them
and you are going to lose some of them. It just all depends where the kid is
from, what he is thinking, or what he is looking for. I’m proud of our effort
this year. I thought we evaluated the right kids. I thought we got in the
fight with the right kids. We won some of the battles and we lost some. Just
for me personally I am disappointed because I was in a couple of those
late battles and we didn’t close the deals. We didn’t get it done. I’m
disappointed in myself but not with Clemson.
If you look back to how excited the Clemson people were about Keith Kelly,
Ryan Hemby, Derrick Hamilton, and Ronnie Thomas, all these guys committed to
us in December and we were very excited about those kids then. It’s only
natural, and I do it as a coach, when someone commits, you put him there, and
then you go attack the next guy. You kind of forget about those guys. Those
are special people who we would loved to have them in December and we would
love to have them now. Clemson does not have to take a back seat to anybody.
This recruiting class is very good. The numbers are not high because we didn’t
have very many seniors. But I am extremely proud of these kids. They stuck to
it. There’s not one kid that committed to us in December, that visited
Targets for 2001
We will have 19 seniors graduating on scholarship. So that gives you 19 offers there, and the 2 that we are under this year. So right now we are looking at
20, 21 or 22 member class for next year. We will lose four wide receivers, so
definitely wide receivers will be a big priority for us next year. We've got
to sign a quarterback and another tailback. Offensive lineman
will be a key because we lose John McDermott and Theo Mougros, so we will need
a couple of people there. We lose 3 people up front on the defensive side. We
lose a couple of people in the secondary. We need to fulfill the needs where
we graduate people, and then just fill in where we might have missed on people