If you leave the Clemson campus and head south down Highway 76, about 12 miles and 15 minutes later you run right into Anderson, SC. Inside of I-85, in the “Electric City” of Anderson, you will find T.L. Hanna High School. It's a school many of you may remember from the movie Radio. T.L. Hanna has always been a feeder school for local and regional NCAA football programs. Look no further than the current Clemson roster, and you'll find former Hanna linebacker Ben Boulware. Even NFL star and Clemson great Martavis Bryant is a former Yellow Jacket. These aren't the only Hanna alums that have run down The Hill for the Tigers over the years. If you have kept up with Clemson recruiting over the years, you cannot forget the story of Jake Nicolopulos and the heart-wrenching steps he has had to endure on his journey off the field. If his story isn't familiar, you can read about it HERE.
This year, Hanna is again loaded with talent. The 2016 version of the Yellow Jackets features a pair of 2018 and also a pair of 2019 prospects that are hitting radar screens all over the southeast and nationally.
Recently, college coaching staffs have been making the trip into Anderson County regularly. And the Power Five names are a who’s-who of college football. The Tigers of Clemson were not the only ones to traverse the hallways of TL Hanna, as FSU, Penn State, UNC, South Carolina, Tennessee, UGA, Michigan State and a host of others have been there laying out offers to the talented Hanna players.
In particular, the trio of 2018 DE Stephon Wynn, Jr., 2018 OT Kavesz Sherard and 2019 DE Zacch Pickens have all been in the sights of recruiters throughout the spring. Wynn has exploded with a host of offers from schools like Penn State, Michigan State, Florida, South Carolina, UNC and one he really coveted: his father’s alma mater, Clemson.
Pickens finished as a Freshmen All-American in 2015 and has the upside to be the TOP player in the state of South Carolina in 2019. In this analyst's opinion, he's a player that could challenge for the vaunted five-star rating by the time he reaches his senior season and his full potential.
The other player to watch out for is 2019 QB Alex Meredith. He is yet to receive an offer, but the interest is very high for the local gunslinger. He's the brother of former T.L. Hanna star TE and Tennessee Volunteer Justin Meredith, who is now enrolled at Clemson.
And we have to mention 2017 RB Davijuan Dean, who is piling up offers as well from the likes of Furman, Troy, App State and many others. The Jackets' hard-running back is really picking up some steam of his own on the recruiting trail.
In particular, Pickens and Wynn have really blown up with the recruiting staffs and coordinators of the region. But keep your eyes on Kavesz Sherard, a player who has only played his first season ever at OT and showed the athleticism, upside and mean streak that offensive line coaches look for.
And Meredith is a player that had a break-out season in 2015--especially rare for a freshman at the QB position. He opened eyes all over the region and is starting to really pick up serious interest.
Stay tuned, as CUTigers will be following this talented roster of players and their recruitment moving forward here in 2016 and into the fall!
Hit this Slate Adobe link for a Look at all the T.L. Hanna football players being recruited:
T.L. Hanna High School
2600 HWY 81 North
TL Hanna Coaching Staff:
Bruce Ollis - Head Football Coach
David Powell - Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line
Kevin Burnette - Varsity Offensive Coordinator-QB's
Brandon Gentry - Varsity Defensive Coordinator-Secondary
Jimmy Buttrey - Varsity Linebackers
Sheldon Evans - Varsity Outside Linebackers
Cam Ford - Varsity Wide Receivers
Drew Goin - Varsity Offensive Line
Darrien Harrison - Running Backs
Jeff Jordan - Varsity Defensive Ends
Ryan Roberts - Varsity Defensive Line
Daniel Rochester - Director of Strength & Conditioning
We caught up with the aforementioned foursome from Hanna, and here is what they had to say.
CUTigers: Alex, describe your recent trip to Clemson.
AM: The trip to Clemson was great. I enjoyed seeing the awesome facilities and meeting some great coaches.
CUTigers: What Coaches did you speak to on campus?
AM: I spoke with Coach Streeter and Coach Venables.
CUTigers: What other schools are currently showing interest?
AM: Right now the only other school that is showing interest other than Clemson is South Carolina.
CUTigers: What was your favorite part of the visit and are you planning on attending one of the summer camp sessions in June?
AM: My favorite thing about the Clemson visit was trying on the uniforms and running down The Hill with the music playing! Yes, my plans are to go to the one day camp in the summer.
CUTigers: What is your reaction to the Clemson offer given to you on your Junior Day visit earlier this month? Where are you off to next on the recruiting trail?
SW: "I was very excited to receive an offer from my favorite school growing up as a kid. And I plan to visit South Carolina on the 19th."
CUTigers: What Did Coach Venables have to say and did you get a chance to talk with Coach Swinney during the visit?
SW: "I didn't have time with Coach Swinney, but Coach V was telling me that I will always have a home at Clemson and how they were excited to be offering me."
CUTigers: Anything about Clemson and the visit you would like to expound on?
SW: "Clemson is a great school, and I love the things they are doing with their program with all the new facilities.”
CUTigers: Zacch, can you describe the vibe and feel you got at Clemson while on your recent visit there? What impressed you most?
ZP: "That they are really on top of the school work, and they want you to graduate. Then after practice, they don't talk about football, they ask about school. What impressed me the most was the people that played with Clemson that are in the NFL now.”
Pickens (6) and Wynn (80) disrupting the backfield.
Meredith (1) running the zone-read with Sherard (77) providing the room.
CUTigers: How was your recent trip to Clemson? What did you see and discover?
KS: "It was a fun visit that really gave me more insight on Clemson's program."
CUTigers: What coaches are you talking to at Clemson and what are they telling you?
KS: "I spoke with Coach Venables and he said he wants to see me again during summer camp."
CUTigers: What was the best part of the trip?
KS: "The best part for me was speaking with the players and getting their thoughts on daily life at Clemson."
CUTigers: What visits do you have coming up and who is your latest offer?
KS: "I have a visit Saturday to UNC Saturday and I have also received my latest offer from them as well.
Pics of the Hanna group on their recent trip to Tiger Town.