Signing Day Surprise?

Whether it was Dabo Swinney or Tommy Bowden, Clemson head coaches have reeled in some quality talent on signing day.

LB Antonio Clay - 2005
Way back in 2005, Clay was rated by Scout.com as the No. 24 linebacker prospect in the country. Clay, who had originally committed to Oklahoma, became the fifth four-star prospect to join the Tigers' class that year.

During his junior season, Clay totaled 43 tackles and two tackles for loss. As a sophomore, he had 95 tackles, including 9.5 tackles for loss. He started 11 of the 13 games. When he was a freshman, Clay ranked 14th on the team in tackles [27], had two tackles for loss and a sack.

Out of Twiggs County High School in Jeffersonville, Ga., Clay also had offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Notre Dame and Ohio State.



RB C.J. Spiller - 2006
A year after Clay's switch from Oklahoma, Clemson went down to Union County High School in Lake Butler, Fla. to reel in Spiller, a five-star running back. Scout.com ranked him as the No. 4 running back in the country.

Spiller, a Heisman hopeful during his senior season at Clemson, rushed for 3,480 yards and 32 touchdowns during his college career. He also caught 120 passes for 1,362 yards and 11 scores. In the return game, Spiller had 2,574 yards and eight touchdowns.

The ACC Offensive Player of the Year during his senior season, Spiller was a unanimous first-team All-American as a kick returner. He left Clemson with 31 different career records.

Spiller, who went on to be a first-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills, picked Clemson over Florida, Florida State, Miami and Southern California.



TE Dwayne Allen - 2008
The Sanford High School [Fayetteville, N.C.] tight end was the No. 8 player at his position in the nation. Allen wasn't the only four-star to pick Clemson on that signing day. Antoine McClain and Jamie Harper also inked with the Tigers on that day.

In his first two seasons, Allen had 43 catches for 481 yards and four touchdowns. As a redshirt junior, he caught 50 passes for 598 yards and eight touchdowns.

Allen was named a first-team All-American and receive the Mackey Award, which is given to the best tight end in college football. He will test the NFL Draft waters later this spring.

When he selected Clemson, Allen also had offers from Florida State, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia Tech.



LB Tony Steward - 2011
Steward, the first-time Clemson signee to announce his intentions to sign with Clemson on ESPN last February, was ranked the No. 3 middle linebacker in the country last year. Scout.com listed him as a four-star prospect.

Before tearing his ACL Steward played 36 snaps in five games last season. He had five tackles and one pass breakup from the weak-side linebacker spot.

The Pedro Menendez High School [Saint Augustine, Fla.] product picked Clemson over Florida State, Alabama, Florida and UCLA.



LB Stephone Anthony - 2011
Anthony was the second of two big-time linebackers to make his decision to sign with Clemson known on national TV last February. Scout.com listed him as a five-star and as the No. 2 outside linebacker in the nation.

At middle linebacker as a freshman, Anthony started in three of the 13 games he played. He recorded 29 tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks in 292 snaps.

Anthony signed with Clemson over offers from Florida, Virginia Tech and North Carolina.


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