Sometimes, four-star linebackers and highly recruited three-star defensive backs don't always pan out, particularly with programs that are recruiting at the level Clemson has reached since Dabo Swinney took over on a full-time basis in December of 2008.
Since Swinney's first full season in 2009, Clemson signing classes have ranked in the top 25 ['10 - 23], ['11-14] and ['12 - 17].
The 2012 Clemson roster featured players from those three classes, plus the 2008 and 09 hauls.
Forty-two of the 85 scholarship players on last season's roster inked with the Tigers in the 2011 and 12. Included among those 42 were Cortez Davis and Lateek Townsend.
Davis, the No. 51 safety in the class of 2011, was widely considered a solid edition to the class. A three-star prospect, he committed to Clemson, de-committed, committed to Florida State, de-committed from the Seminoles then recommitted to Clemson before signing with the Tigers.
On Wednesday, news broke of Davis' plans to leave Clemson.
He recorded 11 tackles in 106 snaps as a redshirt freshman cornerback. Had it not been for the late season injuries to Bashaud Breeland and Darius Robinson, Davis wouldn't have seen nearly as much playing time. Before the Virginia Tech game, when the two starters were injured, Davis had played only 15 snaps.
Snaps for Townsend were far less frequent. A four-star, also signed in the 2011 class, Townsend was ranked by Scout.com as the No. 11 outside linebacker.
Following a four-game suspension to start the 2011 season, Townsend appeared in the following 10, mostly as a special teams' contributor where he was in on 16 tackles. On defense, he played just three snaps.
Townsend had trouble cracking the lineup in 2012. In his 28 snaps, he had four tackles.
The news of his transfer hit the Internet on Thursday, making it the third transfer from Clemson this offseason.
Don't be surprised if others join Davis, Townsend and Morgan Roberts before the start of next season.
In this day and age when early playing time is ultra-important to most high school prospects, patience can run thin, and rightfully so. Sometimes, playing time can be easier to find elsewhere.
The writing on the wall
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