****All In Cookout Leftovers
Coach Dabo Swinney held his annual All In Cookout this past weekend in Clemson and had a stellar list of high-target players on hand to take in the event. This event held each July brings in the top names in regional and national recruiting. Invitations are usually extended just for commits and the highest priority recruits on the board.
This year's event was on par with those of the past except for the commitment that usually comes out of the cookout. This year there was no 4-star commitment to report like that of Tre Lamar last year. 4-star LB Drew Singleton had planned on attending the cookout but canceled at the last minute. Nevertheless, the Tigers will be neck-and-neck with Michigan for his services until the very end. Jamyest Williams left the cookout early, and at present we believe he has been out-recruited, with the Clemson staff setting its sights on A.J. Terrell. There is a good chance Williams ends up a Gamecock as a result. But the Tigers made serious headway with all the other targets that did show up on Saturday.
We confirmed on Friday the final list of Xavier McKinney (the recent Alabama de-commit), A.J. Terrell, Justin Foster, Jordan Williams, OrTre Smith and Jamyest Williams. All those attended along with several commits, and we have the low down on all these prospects and where the Tigers stand after their trips to Pickens County over the weekend.
Add to that Sunday's surprise visitor Trevor Lawrence, and it's a weekend of Radar blips and good intel to share with you guys here on CUTigers. So let's dive into the All In Cookout leftovers and see what transpired over the weekend!
Wando High WR OrTre came into this visit with the Tigers making up a lot of ground on in-state rival South Carolina and pulling even with them at present in our opinion, making the case that OrTre is a priority recruit for the Tigers in this class per his last visit to Clemson a few weeks ago. Now back on campus again with his Mother in tow (Clemson volleyball star and alumnus), it's no secret that the Mt. Pleasant star has always had strong interest in the Tigers.
And it was the lull back in the early spring that South Carolina seized and got Smith on campus, selling him on their depth chart and early playing time in his freshmen year. Clemson, conversely, has a who’s-who already on the roster with a pair of 4-star WR's coming in Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers. By the way, Smith spent a lot of time with Higgins during his visit.
Smith is still planning to decide on his September 11th birthday, and right now it's still neck-and-neck between the Tigers and Gamecocks. Smith will be attending South Carolina's version of the cookout in their “Pool Party,” along with fellow All In Cookout guest Jameyest Williams--another big South Carolina target.
Keep an eye on this, as playing time is important to Smith. But he also covets the family atmosphere Clemson has cultivated, and that appeal along with his family ties to Clemson are very strong here.
Justin Foster out of Shelby, North Carloina, arguably the top player in the Tar Heel State for the 2017 recruiting cycle, is no stranger to the Clemson campus after more than two years of recruiting by Coach Dan Brooks and Brent Venables.
Longtime thought to be a Clemson lean coming into 2016, the Tennessee Volunteers were able to steer Justin north up to Knoxville on more than one occasion, muddying the waters here quite a bit with their efforts recruiting the big-time LB.
Justin was given the extra attention this weekend he was seeking to clarify a few things with regard to where the Tigers see him playing on the field. An OLB in high school, Foster has been discussed at defensive end as well due to his size and potential to grow on the next level.
Clemson is still in a dead heat here with UT, and this one will go all the way to January with Foster announcing at his All-Star Game appearance.
Williams was named to the Final Five Defensive Line at The Opening Finals a couple of weeks ago, and the big-time defensive end out of Virginia brought his parents with him for the trip south to Pickens County. He even extended his stay through Sunday to take in the entire campus and facilities as well as meet with the academic support staff.
The long weekend gave the DE all the time he needed to really take In the Clemson campus and let his mom and dad also see what he was able to experience on his previous trips to Tiger Town. We had the chance to speak to Jordan on Sunday after his visit to Tiger Town, and here is what he had to say.
CUTigers: Jordan, tell us all about your All In Cookout experience.
JW: “The cookout was an amazing experience, being able to spend time with all the commits and recruits and coaches and being able to eat and play all the games. It was all just great.”
CUTigers: What did your parents think of the trip to Clemson and the upstate of South Carolina?
JW: “My parents really enjoyed their time and just the family atmosphere that took place and with me being able to talk to academic people and the other people that I would be dealing with other than my coaches.”
CUTigers: Did you hang out with other recruits and current 2017 commits ?
JW: “Yeah, I hung out with all of the recruits and we were all just having basic conversations. They really want me to commit to Clemson and they were pushing that with my decision date coming up soon.”
CUTigers: Were you able to sit down and chat with Coach Venables and Hobby about your role at Clemson should you decide to play there?
JW: “Yes I did. We were able to talk about everything really and just be able to catch up. And that visit helped me a lot, being able to see academics and the things I wasn't able to see on my last visit.”
The top defensive back target on the Tigers' 2017 wish list had a really good visit to Clemson by all accounts. A childhood friend of current 4-star cornerback commit LeAnthony Williams, the West Lake star had no problem finding the Clemson campus this week with Williams leading the way.
Prior to this visit, Terrell made an earlier stop with his parents this summer. A.J. seems to feel right at home among the "Clemson Family,” as he was sighted hanging out with several of the Tigers' veterans on the defensive side of the ball.
With the prospect of playing with his childhood friend only a short two-hour drive from his Metro Atlanta home, A.J. has started to warm to Clemson, and the Tigers are positioning themselves to really make a move here. Coach Mike Reed has spent months keeping A.J. abreast of the Tigers' 2017 needs in the defensive backfield.
Things are starting to move quick here with Terrell and the Tigers, so stay tuned here to CUTigers.com and The Radar Screen for all the latest updates and intel on A.J.'s recruitment.
As we reported earlier in the week, 5-star QB Trevor Lawrence was on campus Sunday to visit the Tigers one last time before announcing his commitment via twitter at a later date. It's down to Clemson and UGA for the top player in the nation for 2018.
Tennessee, Florida and a host of others were trying to extend Trevor’s recruitment and position themselves for another visit, but Trevor decided to narrow it down to two schools last weekend and visited Clemson on Sunday after a stop in Athens on Saturday. After the short drive up I-85 from Athens, Lawrence received a full day of the Orange Carpet treatment, as Dabo Swinney and Coach Brandon Streeter had the luxury of the last at-bat, so to speak.
After the returns we got as Lawrence left campus Sunday evening, it's just too close to call which way Lawrence might be leaning. The Dawgs were long rumored to be the favorite, but after Trevor’s stop for the Dabo Swinney Camp in June, things changed a lot with regard to the big-time QB's recruitment. So much so that at the start of this weekend going into these visits, it was 50/50 Dawgs and Tigers, and we feel it may be 51-49 at this point either way. Lawrence is keeping it pretty close to the vest at this point, and he's currently not granting any interviews.
The word we've gathered is that Lawrence will announce maybe as soon as later on this week! So stay tuned right here for the latest news on Trevor and where he decides to call home for 4 years come February 2018.
****This Week’s Tweets