Here we are at the end of May, and the coaches are now starting to return back to their offices inside the West End Zone of Death Valley as they go over the trips and evaluations they made over the last month on the road at high schools all over the country. The staff was able to cover a huge swath of the nation and dropped offers in South Carolina, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and Florida to name just a few of the places the staff was able to visit and make player evaluations. Now the staff will sit with each other and discuss these offers and players that are on the bubble, reassessing the recruiting board at each position group and sorting the pecking order.
Also, the staff will spend some time getting players to confirm for the Dabo Swinney camp series coming up in June. We can tell you that a number of Clemson commits are expected to make appearances, and several prospects are also going to be making multi-day stays. One of those will be Clemson WR prospect Tee Higgins out of Tennessee. Higgins recently released a top 10, and of course the Tigers and in-state Volunteers are the perceived co-leaders here, with the Tigers having a slight edge. Keep your eyes peeled, as we have heard of more than a few high-profile recruits setting up trips to visit campus in mid-June for this camp series.
****EPT Camp: In-State Players Excel in Recent Camp/Combine
Coach Ramon Robinson, of EPT football training academy, held his 2nd annual EPT Combine at Newberry College last week. Several players stood out and none more so than Byrnes 2018 WR prospect Demarcus Gregory, who claimed WR MVP honors. You may recall that we brought Gregory to your attention with our Friday Night Lights piece back in September, before any of the other Clemson sites had him on their radars (as we have with several other local prospects).
The wide receiver position group at the camp was loaded and included #1 overall state of South Carolina high school recruit OrTre Smith (Wando HS) also showing off his ball skills and abilities. In the quarterback group, Wren High School senior Jay Urich really showed why some are calling him the most underrated QB in the nation. He has a cannon of an arm, but great mechanics and precise accuracy are Jay’s forte', and he has really started to pick up steam with the offers pouring in.
A laundry list of FBS prospects like Stephon Wynn, Zacch Pickens, Davondre "Tank" Robinson were only a few of the 2017,2018 and 2019 prospects represented at Coach Robinson's event, in addition to the aforementioned Gregory and Smith.
Many a player saw his star rise in this setting, so stay tuned as the Palmetto State is starting to really crank up with a much more talented 2017 class than was originally thought to exist. And now the 2018 and 2019 classes are shaping up to be special with prospects like Wynn Jr., Robinson and in-state DE stars Xavier Thomas and Zacch Pickens, who could challenge for 5-star status in the 2019 class if he continues the progression he is currently on. So stay tuned, as we continue to cover these EPT alums and keep our Radar Screen ready as Palmetto prospects are popping up all over!
****Tigers Offer Big-Time Midwest 2018 OT
The Clemson staff ventured to Ohio and extended an offer to Jack Carman out of Fairfield High School. This represents yet another OL offer in the midwest from the Tigers, and the state of Ohio is suddenly becoming a target state for the Clemson staff when it comes to 2018 offensive linemen. The Tigers' current 2017 class already holds one of the top offensive linemen in Ohio in Matt Bockhorst, and the staff is really showing more than just a fleeting interest with the Buckeye State. Clemson's Orange Bowl victory over Urban Meyer and Ohio State the season before they won a national title likely has helped the Tigers make in-roads with the recruits there.
****Rare 2019 Offer to South Florida DE
Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables ventured down to South Florida, familiar recruiting ground for the Tigers' top defensive coach and ace recruiter. While in the area, a stop was made to visit a budding star: 2019 DE Mikel Anthony Jones out of Hialeah, FL.
The visit proved to be fruitful for the big-time freshman, as an offer to join the Tigers' 2019 class was extended before Clemson's defensive mastermind exited the South Florida campus. The offer came as a welcomed surprise, and Jones now has Clemson as his leader among a who’s-who of schools currently recruiting the South Florida star.
CUTigers was able to get in touch with Jones and get his thoughts on the Clemson offer. Click the link to see that story!
****2017 DB Offer in North Carolina
The Tigers are still looking to fill a couple DB spots in this 2017 class--one at corner and one at safety--and they reached into Tennessee to extend an offer to 3-star safety Gentry Bonds out of Murpheesboro.
Bonds is an intriguing prospect with the size the Tigers staff prizes at the position. Currently, Bonds has offers from in-state Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisville, Kentucky, and now you can add the Tigers of Clemson to that list. Stay tuned here to CUTigers and the Recruiting Radar as we continue to track Bonds and his recruitment in the coming months!
****This Week's Tweets