Early Commitments Big For Tigers
Last summer, it was in-state recruits Rendrick Taylor and Barry Humphries that got things going for the 2005 recruiting class. This summer Jamie Cumbie and Byron Maxwell have put the Tigers in good shape early to land another top 25 class. Both players were very high on Clemson's board, as we had Cumbie as the #3 overall prospect on the board and Maxwell #4.
Cumbie mentioned in his interview following his commitment that Coach Bowden told him this would open the door for more players who were close to committing. One week later Byron Maxwell made his commitment to Clemson after favoring the Tigers for quite some time.
Both players were highly thought of on the national scene. Cumbie will be one of the top five defensive ends in the country this year, and Maxwell, pre-injury, had the chance to do the same. Last summer, we felt Maxwell was the best player that Clemson had in camp.
These two commitments a big for a number of reasons. First, look at Cumbie. He had offers from several big programs including Southern Cal. Defensive end is an area of priority in this class and he was the number one target at defensive end (Ricky Sapp is clearly being recruited to play the bandit position). In the end, Clemson was able to hold off Charlie Weis and Notre Dame. Weis, who holds three Super Bowl rings, really impressed Cumbie, but actually spoke very highly of Clemson when informed of Cumbie's decision.
Maxwell was huge because he is one of the top five prospects in South Carolina, and he is the number one defensive back in South Carolina this year. With Maxwell's commitment, it is unclear if the Tigers will offer any of the remaining defensive backs in-state. Currently, they are in good position with better prospects out of state, such as Crezdon Butler, DeAndre McDaniel, Asher Allen, and Reshad Jones. It also means that Clemson is still doing a very good job in the state of South Carolina.
Maxwell also addresses a major area of emphasis for the 2006 recruiting class. Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning would like to oversign at defensive back this year if he can get the go ahead.
When Maxwell made his decision, it was between Clemson and Georgia. Georgia is off to a great start with 10 verbal commitments already, including South Carolina's Ronnie Tyler. Anytime Clemson wins a battle over Georgia it is good news. In recent years to be honest, it just has not happen that often.
The class of 2006 could not have started off better. The staff has done a solid job early, as there has been many more recruits that have gone on and off the record with Clemson as their leader. It is only June, but things are shaping up very nicely for the class of 2006.