In recent years, Clemson has missed on landing some top prospects in North Carolina. Two years ago, it was Dannell Ellerbe and Jamar Bryant, and there was a wealth of talent last season that barely gave the Tigers a look. Clemson signed one player from North Carolina last season, Antwon Murchison.
The last couple of years the Tigers have been able to make up for losses in North Carolina by doing well in new territories such as Alabama. This year the talent in South Carolina is very thin, which means recruiting efforts in North Carolina are very important. First year coach Marion Hobby will be called upon to aid the Tigers efforts in the Tar Heel state.
Upon his hiring, Hobby was labeled the best recruiter of the new hires. His territory does largely consist of areas in North Carolina. This season there is no shortage of players for him to pick from.
At running back, Hobby's two top targets will be Lamarcus Bond and Josh Adams. Both are drawing offers from several schools and could prove to be big battles to keep away from the in-state schools. Adams holds several big time offers including Ohio State, Tennessee, and Georgia. Everyone minus FSU, Miami, and Boston College from the ACC has offered Bond. The Tigers would like to land another big time running back in this class to follow up on signing James Davis in '05.
Hobby has the task of recruiting one of the most sought after offensive lineman in the country, Carl Johnson. Johnson is believed to be one of the nation's top OL prospects. Johnson's father had a short stint at Clemson in his playing days, which will help. Johnson has attended Clemson's camp the last three years and expects to return this summer.
Clemson had begun showing interest in wide receiver Owen Spencer, but he recently received an offer from NC State and now appears to be a lock for the Wolfpack.
The Tigers have targeted two prospects in the secondary, Crezdon Butler and Raeshon McNeil. Butler had been waiting on an offer from Clemson, which he received two weeks ago, is considered a strong Clemson lean. McNeil holds offers from the in-state schools as well as Virginia and Notre Dame. Both players run sub 4.5 forties and with Clemson making big efforts in the secondary with this class expect Hobby to really go hard after both of these prospects.
There is a couple of defensive line prospects they are beginning to eye. Defensive end Tavares Brown is starting to catch the eyes of several schools. Brown was third with amongst offensive lineman and defensive lineman at the North Carolina Shrine Bowl combine with 25 reps on the bench press. Along with his strength, Brown 6-4 250 lbs and runs a 4.78 forty. Greg Elleby was starting to receive interest from Clemson, but he recently committed to North Carolina.
It is safe to say that Head Coach Tommy Bowden would ecstatic if Hobby is able to sign three of these prospects out of the Tar Heel state. Clemson most likely will only sign 5-6 prospects out of South Carolina this year, so out of state efforts are extremely important for the 2006 class. Georgia and Florida are extremely talented once again, but Hobby could really help make this a strong class by landing a couple of the top prospects in North Carolina.