Staff Returns To The Road
On Monday January 2, 2006, the dead period will end and coaches will once again hit the road. Clemson’s staff has already hauled in 18 verbal commitments. Four of those verbal commitments (Chris Russell, Jeffrey Ogren, Kendrick Johnson, and Jacoby Ford) are slated to enroll in January. Now, Clemson has a narrowed focus heading into the final month of recruiting.
The number one priority in January is to hold onto the 18 verbal commitments. At this time, none of the 18 verbals are publicly wavering. The most pressing needs for the class of 2006 have already been addressed.
A strong secondary class was a must in 2006. The staff has put together what will be one of the top secondary classes in the country. The Tigers are looking to land one more top notch corner. Tallahassee native Marcus Udell remains on the board. Udell is considering Clemson and Florida, and both schools are even at the start of January. If Clemson adds Udell to Byron Maxwell, Crezdon Butler, Darius Gaither, and DeAndre McDaniel, the Tigers could very well have the nations top secondary class.
The second area of need was a dominant edge rusher. Clemson found one in-state with Ricky Sapp. Sapp will come in and play behind Gaines Adams at the bandit position. Clemson has also secured a verbal commitment from Jamie Cumbie. Cumbie could play offense or defense, but he will likely start out on defense. With Cumbie and Sapp, Clemson could easily call it a day, but the Tigers have their sights set on Deantwan Whitehead. Whitehead is the number one prospect remaining for the Tigers. Whitehead has an explosiveness off the edge that would make him an instant impact in college.
An area Clemson has not fully addressed yet is the offensive line. Clemson has a verbal commitment from Chris Hairston, and they would like to sign one more offensive tackle. The Tigers are continuing to recruit Jamal Medlin and Clifton Geathers. Medlin blew up at the Shrine Bowl as he dominated Richland Northeast defensive lineman Adam Patterson all week in practice. Geathers has the most upside of any player on Clemson’s board. He has obvious academic hurdles to overcome, but a school would be crazy to not sign and place with Geathers.
The staff has four to five spots remaining in this class. The staff will spend the first week in January finalizing official visits. Clemson does not have anyone scheduled for January 7th, but the Tigers have 25-30 players coming in on January 13th.