Looking ahead to 2015: DT

Now that Signing Day has come and gone, the Clemson staff can focus a majority of its efforts on the recruiting trail on the 2015 class.

With six commitments already on the board -- not counting the Davis twins, who signed earlier this month -- they're already off to a good start.

Four-star safety Van Smith got the ball rolling before the Georgia game. Later on in the season, three-star offensive tackle Noah Green and three-star wide receiver Shadell Bell followed with their commitments. In December, three-star outside linebacker Tanner Muse pledged.

February proved to be a fruitful month, too. Two days before Signing Day, three-star quarterback Tucker Israel committed. On Signing Day, five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt pulled the trigger.


The position wasn't a point emphasis for Clemson in the 2014 signing haul. That's why Jabril Robinson was the only addition to the fold. But there will be a number of departures after this season.

Josh Watson, DeShawn Williams and Grady Jarrett are seniors. Roderick Byers and D.J. Reader are set to be juniors. Carlos Watkins will be a redshirt sophomore after he was forced to the sidelines. Same goes for Kevin Dodd, who was given a redshirt in 2013. Also a redshirt last season, Scott Pagano will be available for his first work on the field.

Here are some names to keep an eye on over the next several months.

Albert Huggins, Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School - Orangeburg, S.C.
In our previous Looking ahead to 2015: DT feature, we wrote that Huggins has done a good job of keeping his cards close to his chest when he came to keeping his favorites a secret. Though that still appears to be the case, some have suggested that Clemson could be the team to beat for the four-star. Clemson was the only school to have him in for a visit in the fall. UNC is the most recent school to have him in for a visit -- Huggins visited Chapel Hill earlier this year.

Sterling Johnson, Cleveland High School - Clayton, N.C.
One of the most recent defensive tackle prospects to pick an offer from Clemson, Johnson has been a hot commodity on the recruiting trail since the calendar turned to 2014. He visited Tigertown for this month's Elite Junior Day. In addition to the Clemson offer, Florida, FSU, N.C. State, Ohio State, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia Tech are options now, too. The four-star announced earlier this week that he'll make his decision at the Army All-American game in January.

Tim Settle, Stonewall Jackson High School - Manassas, Va.
Rated by Scout.com as a five-star, he's ranked the No. 3 ranked defensive tackle in the country. Like Johnson, Settle was also on the Clemson campus for Junior Day. After the trip, Settle told CUTigers that he's open to all suitors, and there are plenty of them. The heavy hitters from the ACC, SEC, Big 10 and Big 12 are all after him.

Darvin Taylor II, Thomas Dale High School - Chester, Va.
A four-star, Taylor is the No. 16 defensive tackle in 2015. He recently told Scout.com Regional Recruiting Analyst Michael Clark that plans on hitting the road hard this spring. Clemson, N.C. State, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Virginia Tech were listed as potential destinations.

Trenton Thompson, Westover High school - Albany, Ga.
The nation's No. 1 defensive tackle was scheduled to visit Clemson earlier this month for the Junior Day, but that didn't happen when his ride to Tigertown fell through. Georgia remains the team to beat, but the other suitors include Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee and Florida State.

Shy Tuttle, North Davidson High School - Lexington, N.C.
There was a time when Tuttle listed a top three that included Clemson, Alabama and UNC, but he's since backed off that stance. N.C. State and Georgia each had him on campus earlier this year for their respective Junior Days.

CUTigers.com Top Stories