|Wednesday, March 29, 2017 9:15 AM- -|
Part of the reason Dabo Swinney and his staff have played in the national title game the past two seasons is the upgrade in talent they have acquired in recruiting. The staff has put together a couple of really talented teams which took another step through development.
However, the staff is riding momentum like the program has never seen and it should come as no surprise that the brand is more popular than ever. As well as they have recruited in the past, the future looks even brighter.
Consider this amazing statistic, rivals.com has rated 20 players currently as five-stars for the class of 2018, and in one calendar year, 11 of those 20 will have been on an unofficial visit to Clemson. The top five players in the class of 2018 have already been to Clemson or will be here in the next few weeks.
Here is a rundown of those five stars:
Trevor Lawrence is the nation's top-ranked player and the quarterback from Cartersville, GA committed to Clemson in the fall.
Patrick Surtain is ranked second in the class. The cornerback from Plantation, FL was at Clemson's elite junior day in January. LSU and FSU probably lead at this point.
Xavier Thomas is ranked third in the class. The defensive end from Bradenton, FL has South Carolina as his favorite with Clemson second.
Jackson Carman is the fourth ranked player. The Fairfield, OH offensive lineman lists Clemson as his favorite over Ohio State coming off of his unofficial visit earlier this week.
Micah Parsons is a defensive end from Harrisburg, PA. He is ranked fifth in this class and has been a Penn State commitment but is expected to decommit soon. Some consider him an Ohio State lean, but Parsons will make his first visit to Clemson next month.
The seventh-rated player in the class is running back Zamir White of Laurinburg, NC. White has been to Clemson, and the Tigers will be in his top five, but everyone is chasing Georgia at this time.
The ninth best prospect in the class is offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer from Atlanta. Georgia and Clemson are in the best shape with the nation's top ranked interior lineman.
Emory Jones is ranked 14th and camped at Clemson last year, but is committed to Ohio State.
K.J. Henry is ranked 15th. The Clemmons, NC defensive end has been to Clemson in recent weeks, and the Tigers are in the top group along with Georgia and Ohio State.
Taron Vincent is the nation's top defensive tackle. The Bradenton, FL product is ranked 18th in this class and has been to Clemson twice this spring. FSU, OSU, and Clemson are in his lead group.
Anthony Cook is the final five-star prospect and is ranked 20th in the class. The Houston, TX native is the nation's second-ranked corner. He was in Clemson a few weeks ago, and the Tigers are in his top five.
The class of 2018 will be another small class in term of numbers but at no time have I seen Clemson in the running for this many five-star prospects. This could be one of those classes to remember.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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