Dexter Lawrence with Clemson Assistant Durell Barry
When you look back at last Saturday's Division Title-clinching win against the Seminoles from Florida State, you have to think about the huge contingent of prospects from all over the region that took in the #1 ranked Tigers' victory and what they were thinking as they were leaving Saturday and Sunday. We took the time to reach out to a number of the over 75 visitors in attendance.
I was able to get some feedback from the official visitors from Saturday (2016 DT Dexter Lawrence and 2016 OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr.), as both had family with them on campus for the weekend and enjoyed a couple days in Clemson, receiving the orange carpet treatment from the staff and administration. I saw both Clemson University president Jim Clements and Athletic Director Dan Radakovich stop on the sidelines and spend time with these two and others Clemson commits and prospects in attendance.
Clemson AD Dan Radakovich and Clemson Commit Xavier Kelly
Intel we have gathered from sources close to the Lawrence camp is that his visit could not have gone any better! He was impressed by the atmosphere and everything else Clemson had to offer, so his mother was very happy leaving Clemson. The 2016 5-star and arguably the #1 defensive tackle available this recruiting season is still contemplating a trip to Florida (his childhood favorite) from what we are hearing, but we don’t see Florida or any school outside the Carolinas having an influence here. It's well known that Dexter wants to be close to home, thus keeping the local Wolfpack and Tigers at the top of his pecking order. Clemson has more to offer in regards of program and development, as the Tigers can point to the NFL and the number of Clemson defensive linemen presently on rosters.
Now onto Tremayne Anchrum, the big OL from McEachern HS in Atlanta. I happened to catch his game on ESPN on Friday night and man this guys is a road grader and loves to finish his blocks! We have intel that Anchrum is close to rendering a decision as to his school of choice, and it looks like a Clemson/Nebraska final two from what we have gathered, with the Tigers trending right now. Don’t be surprised to see an announcement here in the next few days.
I also got some insight on LB Rahshaun Smith’s trip. The Tigers lost his commitment earlier this season and it;s one of the hardest things to do in the recruiting game, to get a de-commit to re-commit. However, Smith and--most importantly--his mother are enamored with Clemson and this weekend’s game. His visit did just what the Tigers needed it to do: push the Tigers back to the forefront of his recruitment. Moreover, his trip was an unofficial visit, which sets up well for his official to Clemson in December. The Tigers have the advantage of getting the last official from Smith. and Clemson has positioned itself well to reclaim Smith on the commitment list in December. It also helps that he rode to the game and back with fellow Tampa area native and Clemson commit, WR Tavares Chase.
Clemson continues to make huge headway in the state of Florida. On Saturday, over a dozen of the Sunshine State’s best prospects showed up to take in the Tigers and Seminoles. Trajan Bandy, JJ Robison, AJ Davis, Rahshaun Smith, TJ Chase, Tyreke Johnson, Jordan Anthony, Zach Carter and Jonathan McCollister all showed up in Clemson on Saturday.
As for the more local prospects, Clemson solidified its position with OL John Simpson and made huge strides with the likes of 2017 WR OrTre Smith and 2018 DE Xavier Thomas as well as such prospects as 2018 DT Josh Belk and 2018 ATH Dakereon Joyner.
Gamecock commits in Clemson:
Three South Carolina commits took in the Tigers' game. Two of them are “in play” for the Tigers and the 2016 class. P.J. Blue, a LB out of Alabama, and J.J. Givens, a DB out of Virginia, both have expressed interest in the Tigers since the turmoil began in Columbia. Keep your eye on Blue, as things seem to be trending Orange in the present time for him. Givens is one of a few DB’s still being courted by the Tigers. Also on hand was South Carolina WR Commit Bryan Edwards. He's a prospect that the Tigers are not recruiting and will remain a South Carolina commit in my opinion.
Also of note is a trio of prospects we have reported on regularly here on CUTigers this season, TL Hanna’s 2018 DE Stephon Wynn Jr (legacy) and 2019 DE Zacch Pickens (received FSU offer on Saturday) are already on the Tigers' radar. Also, you can now add 2018 OL Kavesz Sherard to that list now, as the Tigers are now recruiting the upstate lineman as well. He has received interest from Auburn, Georgia and Penn State. All three of these recruits will debut in the high 3 to 4-star range in my opinion, with Pickens possibly seeing elite 5-star status by his senior campaign. Keep an eye out for this trio of young guns!
Twitter blew up On Saturday and Sunday with reactions to the game:
On Saturday, the largest contingent of high school prospects ever to converge on Death Valley to view a game showed up strong and left very impressed. Below are some of the reactions recruits had to the big Clemson win over Florida State.
2019 DE Zacch Pickens discusses the game and his recent FSU offer:
"Clemson is a great college but while I got this offer, I need to get better and better each day so I can keep my offer and show colleges what this freshman can do.”
2016 OL Cade Stewart
"It was a great game and it was a great atmosphere. Knowing they were #1 made it even better!”
2017 OL Eric Douglas
"I thought the game was intense and the game was awesome. The coaches were great!”
2016 WR Diondre Overton
"The game was amazing! I had a great time there with the coaches and some of the recruits. The Hill was a great experience, and it was very exciting. “
2016 LB Tre Lamar (commit)
"The game was hype and the atmosphere was crazy! The team played well and the offense had a great game.”
2017 WR OrTre Smith
Discusses being on The Hill with other recruits at beginning of game:
“Great win for the Tigers! The comradery amongst the team is unbelievable. I like how they keep one another upbeat no matter what's happening during the game."
“My experience on The Hill gave me goosebumps! I was really surprised, but it was a really cool experience.”
2017 S/LB Baylon Spector (commit)
"I had a great time. It's always a blast when I come up there. Didn't really get to talk to coach V, but said hey to Coach Swinney. Just excited to be a Tiger right now! “
2018 DE Stephon Wynn Jr
"I thought that Clemson showed great poise and heart when they were down by ten early in the game. They didn't panic they went out and played Clemson football. The atmosphere was electrified and amazing even while Clemson was down. Clemson proved why they're the best team in country.”
2017 LB Chandler Wooten
"As far as the FSU game goes, I think it was a well-faught game , but that's what great teams do. They find a way to win . Death Valley is the best atmosphere in the nation.”
2016 OL Sean Pollard (commit)
"Clemson went out and did their thing. Had no doubt that Clemson was going to come out on top.”
2018 WR Demarcus Gregory
Also discusses an upcoming visit he is taking:
"Clemson is a really good team, and I like how Coach Swinney pushes his players to be the best on and off the field. It was a very interesting game to watch. I'm also planning on taking a visit to Tennessee in a couple of weeks.”
Images of the recruits at the game on Saturday:
2017 RB A.J. Davis Lakeland, FL (Lakeland HS)
2016 WR Diondre Overton Greensboro, NC (Page HS)
2018 WR Demarcus Gregory Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)
2017 DB Stuart Head Woodstock, GA (Etowah HS)
2018 LB Dax Hollifield Shelby, NC (Shelby HS)
2019 DE Zacch Pickens Anderson,SC (TL Hanna HS)
2018 OL Kavesz Sherard Anderson, SC (TL Hanna HS)
2018 DT Josh Belk Richburg, SC (Lewisville HS)
2018 DE Xavier Thomas Florence, SC (Wilson HS)
2016 DE Commit Xavier Kelly Wichita, KS
2017 WR OrTre Smith Mount Pleasant, SC (Wando HS)
2018 DE Stephon Wynn Jr Anderson, SC (TL Hanna HS)
2016 OL John Simpson North Charleston, SC ( Ft Dorchester HS)
2016 LB Commit Tre Lamar Roswell, GA
2017 DE Zachary Carter Tampa, FL (Hillsborough HS)
2017 LB Jordan Anthony Bradenton, FL (IMG Academy)
2017 DB Trajan Bandy Miami, FL (Columbus HS)
2017 OL Eric Douglas Charlotte,NC ( Mallard Creek HS)
2017 Safety/LB Commit Baylon Spector Calhoun, GA
2017 QB Chase Brice Boganville, GA (Grayson HS)
2017 ATH "Tank" Davondre Robinson Rock Hill, SC (South Pointe HS)
2017 DB Jamyest Williams Atlanta, GA (Archer HS)
2017 OT Trey Smith Jackson, TN (Univ School of Jackson)
2017 WR (UT COMMIT) Tee Higgins Oak Ridge, TN (Oak Ridge HS)
2016 OL Tremayne Anchrum Jr. Atlanta, GA (McEachern HS)
2016 TE J.C. Chalk (commit) Argyle, TX
2016 OL Cade Stewart Central, SC (DW Daniel HS)
2018 ATH Dakereon Joyner N.Charleston, SC ( Ft Dorchester HS)