2016 is now in the books, and the Tigers addressed all of their needs, including the last-minute attrition at defensive back, as the Tigers lost 5 players to graduation and the NFL. So the needs that arose after the National Championship game had to be addressed in this class even with the 11th hour right on top of the staff. Evaluations had to be made and offers dished out to those who were left out there, and the Tigers were still able to grab a top-5 CB and 2 big-time safeties in the process.
As we turn our eyes to the 2017 class, the Tigers are already off to a fast and furious start with 3 offensive linemen, 2 quarterbacks and a safety in the fold. Keep your eyes on the Radar Screen, and we will keep you updated on the latest news, info and intel coming out of Tiger Town and the recruiting world.
****Tigers Pick up BIG Commits on the Offensive Line
The Tigers held their annual Junior Days last weekend, which coincides with the last official visits prior to National Signing Day. As has been standard operating procedure on Junior Days in the past, the Tigers received commitments from a couple of the visiting juniors. This time, not one but two very big offensive line prospects committed to the staff. Ohio mauler Matt Bockhorst was the first. We have had him as a Clemson projection since speaking to him earlier in the month, and he had this to say to us following his commitment:
"I'm just so excited to be a part of the family. Yesterday it wasn't just me making a committment to Clemson. Clemson made a committment to me, and that is what's special about their program. You see all too often in recruiting these days how guys want to commit but then take all of their official visits, or flip committments like its a quarter. And the flip side of that, you see different programs pull a kid's scholarship just weeks before Signing Day. But at Clemson, you are as good as your word. My committment means I am playing football for Clemson. I'm not shopping around to see what else is out there. That is why I am COMMITTED. And Clemson is going to stay committed to me. They aren't going to pull my scholarship or try to find someone better than me at my position because that is not how they do things. When you commit to Clemson you are truly a part of the family.”
Later on in the weekend, after he had returned home and had a chance to speak with his parents, the Tigers got a commitment from another big-time mauler--this time out of Florida--when Blake Vinson decided to accept the opportunity to join "The Union” as a member of “Beard Gang.” .
2017 commitments keep rolling in. This week will be no different!
****LeAnthony Williams will announce later in the week, and we have had him pegged as a Clemson projection for going on three weeks. That projection still holds, as we expect the 4-star from Roswell to pick the Tigers later on this week.
****Amari Rodgers has decided to announce on Valentine’s Day Sunday, and we also continue to project Rodgers as an addition to the WRU fraternity at Clemson.
****DBU? Take a look at the possible DB haul for 2017:
If you take a look at the recent Junior Days visit list, one thing stands out on the defensive side of the ball: the Tigers are putting their targets on only the best DB’s you can find on the 2017 offer boards across the nation. No less than six uncommitted 4-star and 5-star and one committed 5-star were in attendance, and 4 of those already have the Tigers listed as their perceived favorites.
Coach Brent Venables and DB Coach Mike Reed have upped the DB expectations in the past 4 years. From players like Alexander, showing up ready-made and honing their skills, to the projects like 5th-year senior Cordrea Tankersly, showing off what kind of development was available to get him from a mid-3-star recruit with no real position to a lock-down corner with first-round potential in 2017.
We had a chance to speak with 4-star ATH/DB and Archer HS stand-out Jamyest Williams, and here is what he had to say to CUTigers:
"It's already a great fit for me. All the coaches express how they want me to join the family. It's just a matter of me choosing to go to Clemson or not, and I would say at this point they have a great shot. With Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, USC, Notre Dame and Stanford right behind. It's gonna be a hard decision down the stretch the last 12 months of my recruiting, so I'm gonna take my time to find the right fit."
Keep your eyes on the following prospects to pull the trigger for the Tigers at some point in the next year. Again, we already project LeAnthony Williams to the Tigers in the very near future.
In a new feature to the Radar, we will spotlight one player a week on the Tigers' 2017 Recruiting Board.
***2017 Spotlight Player of the week!
Justin Foster 2017 LB
Justin Foster, the #1 Player over in NC and the Shelby product, has a sister enrolled at Clemson, and the Tigers have been there from the outset. Coach Venables and Coach Dan Brooks have done some serious work here. Foster has been to Clemson numerous times, including camp and games over the past 2 seasons. Expect to see him back in Tiger Town again for the annual Orange and White Game. We have seen Justin in Clemson at games, and his familiarity with the campus and staff and the relative short drive for family are putting the Tigers in great shape, but keep an eye out for UNC and UGA here. And South Carolina will make a try to get in as well with the new staff firmly in place now. Keep your eyes on this 2017 LB!
****Intel on the Gary situation--what we knew and found out afterward:
If NSD had been on Monday, Tuesday or even Tuesday night, Gary was confirmed to be a Clemson Tiger through our source and those as close to the big man as you can get. His family was in complete confidence that he would pick the Tigers, as they all agreed the visit to Clemson was a grand slam. His mom and uncle were all but certain Rashan would pick the Tigers. What transpired in the young man’s head over night and the next morning on the way to ESPN studios, only he knows. And when you get down to it, you have to respect this young man's decision, as it was his to make.
His mother was very prominent In his recruitment, and I am sure she had the utmost influence here, but all returns we had pointed to Gary picking the Tigers. This includes one source so close to the situation that he/she could have texted verbatim every word spoken on the Clemson visit. We think that the fact that they flipped yet another Paramus teammate and Gary’s best friend in late December played heavy on the #1 overall recruit's decision, and it was one that the family was not happy about, as they saw this as “bait” to try and influence Gary even more. It may have not made mom happy but it gave the Wolverines yet another feather in their cap.
Now that it's over, we can now place this one in the rear view mirror and use the process and experience as a reference for future recruiting spectacles to come. I can assure you the Tigers will be in play for more and more of these type of kids going forward, as this Clemson brand has gotten that big.
That concludes this week's Radar. Until next Monday, be sure to keep an eye on the Radar Screen forum for updates and breaking commitments!