Well here we are! Football practice has started on Jervey Meadows, and the heat and humidity of August are here. It's the annual preamble to football season, and with that comes expedited recruiting efforts on behalf of schools trying to get that commit list filled and players trying to get spots they covet. In some cases, players are trying to get recruiting behind them so they can concentrate on their upcoming senior seasons.
In this week’s Radar we are going to cover a few of these prospects left on the 2017 board and also some of the best of 2018. As always, stay tuned here to CUTigers.com and specifically the Radar Screen forum for updates and intel here on several players we are currently tracking.
****Jordan Williams Commits to Clemson
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA - Clemson received its 12th commitment for the 2017 recruiting class in the form of 6’6, 270-pound superstar defensive end Jordan Williams from Frank Cox High School in Virginia Beach, VA.
The Tigers won out over the likes of Alabama, Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Ohio State, Florida, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, Oregon and almost every Power Five school in the nation. Clemson was able to hold off the late surge by Tennessee earlier in the summer as well as the in-state pressure from Virginia Tech. http://www.scout.com/college/clemson/story/1693315-paint-him-orange
The pendulum seemed to swing towards the Tigers in early June as The Opening Finbals alum was supposedly trying to offer his commitment around that time after a long phone call with recruiter of record Brent Venables.
But as a rule, whenever possible, Coach Dabo Swinney likes to discuss prior to and accept any commitment in person--a fact that Williams confirmed in his post commitment ceremony interview he did with us right after his announcement. Jordan also spoke of how he and other Clemson commits interacted in the week of The Opening Finals up in Oregon, as he hung out all week with now fellow Clemson commits Hunter Johnson, Amari Rodgers, Tee Higgins and Matt Bockhorst.
The link to our commitment story is above, and be sure to check out our exclusive nterview and also his head coach's words on what Williams can bring to Clemson!
Jordan Williams Announcement:
CUTigers exclusive Jordan Williams post-commitment interview:
Bill Stachelski, Head Coach of Frank W Cox Football in Virginia Beach, VA, talks about Jordan Williams commitment:
****Who’s Left on the Board as the Season Starts?
4-Star DB A.J. Terrell of Westlake HS (Atlanta,GA)
As the start of practice begins here in August, the recruiting trail is also starting to heat up as players are getting ready for high school seasons of their own.
As the Clemson staff looks up at their current remaining targets on the recruiting board, here are a few of the remaining targets that we believe the staff holds in high regard and looks to close out this 2017 class with.
Look for a few announcements to come out over the next couple months as more than one of these targets has set an announce date here in the next few weeks.
Currently, with the recent commitment of 4-star DE Jordan Williams, the Clemson Tigers are sitting at 12 commitments and looking to finish up with around 17-20 total signees for the class. Depending on the usual off-season attrition, as we expect a few transfers and an early graduation or two, that should open up an extra scholarship or two.
2017 players to keep your eyes on:
****Top-5 Clemson Targets for 2018
5-Star QB Trevor Lawrence with Clemson QB Coach Brandon Streeter at the Dabo Swinney Camp
With the start of the season fast approaching, the Clemson 2017 class is quickly taking form and filling up. The staff is increasingly looking toward the 2018 class and some of the overall top 10-20 players in the nation.
Clemson is right there on the short list for these players, and here is our take on how the Tigers stand currently with their top 2018 Targets.
It’s down to Clemson and Georgia for the top overall player in the Scout 300. Lawrence had originally planned a late July announcement after back-to-back visits to his leaders Clemson and UGA. Before his visits to each school, the plan was to announce a week or so later via Twitter, as he was to have a commitment in the bag at that point. Since then, however, Trevor has decided to back off and ride this recruitment out for another few weeks and into the season. We're hearing Trevor wants to take a couple of game day visits and see the progress at each school during the season. So Clemson fans now have one more reason to root against their border rivals down I-85. Stay tuned, as CUTigers will be all over the Trevor Lawrence watch!
RB Zamir White
The nation's arguably top running back is no stranger to Pickens County and the campus of Clemson University. Zamir White of Scotland County, NC has all the tools and is primed for a huge senior season. He has every Power Five offer you can imagine on the table. White has played his recruitment very close to the vest and does not like to talk too much about it. With all the in-state schools vying hard, you can toss in Alabama, Notre Dame and UGA along with Clemson as the main suitors in race for the Tar Heel State’s best player.
Without a doubt, Xavier Thomas will be the most sought after player in the state of South Carolina. In fact, some are saying he could be the #1 player in the nation next year. If that comes to pass, he would join Da'Quan Bowers and Jadaveon Clowney as Palmetto State defensive ends labeled the nation's top overall player. After a stellar combine camp season, the Florence native has positioned himself to be arguably the top defensive player in the nation, and he was one of just a few underclassmen to be invited to The Opening Finals last month.
A virtual who’s-who of schools have made their way to the lower part of SC to visit the top DE in the nation for 2018. Thomas has already been to the Dabo Swinney camp now two consecutive years, and he's made many a trip to see the Tigers play in Death Valley. His most recent visit to Death Valley, pictured above, was for the annual Orange and White Game. Thomas has also spent plenty of time in Columbia, and in-state rival South Carolina has also positioned itself to be a factor here to the very end. Last month, Thomas named a final four of Clemson, South Carolina, FSU and Ohio State, but Alabama, Auburn, UGA and the usual southeastern suspects are all in the hunt for the state’s top player.
The Pace Academy and Atlanta, GA native has made a big name for himself over the past 12 months and has a laundry list of offers from the top SEC, ACC and Power Five schools all over the country. Salyer, like Xavier Thomas, was one of the handful of underclassman honored with an invitation to The Opening Finals last month.
Clemson has positioned itself well with Salyer, and he has shown mutual interest in the staff and Clemson. The latest trip to Tiger Town came back in the spring when he came to see the Tigers practice and spent a lot of time with staff members showing him around all day.
In-state UGA, as always when it comes to a 5-star player in their state, is a huge player here. But Clemson has positioned itself well and sits in a great spot as things play out here for arguably the top OL in the Scout 300 for 2018.
The top LB prospect on the East Coast has just tripped to Clemson within the past week and was able to take time to see the campus. While there, he spoke with recruiter of record and Clemson’s Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables. CUTigers had the chance to speak with Mitchell following his visit to Tiger Town. In case you missed it, here is what he had to say:
CUTigers: Teradja, tell us how the visit to Clemson went on Friday.
TM: “It was fun, I loved everything about it. The vibe of the coaching staff was great. Best part was definitely talking to them.”
CUTigers: Did you get a chance to tour the facilities on campus?
TM: “Yes, I got to tour the new and upcoming facility that's still under construction. It's going to be awesome!”
CUTigers: Tell us your thoughts on Coach Brent Venables.
TM: “Very energetic. I love his passion for the game of football. That's something I value when I'm looking at a coach. Not to mention he's arguably the best defensive coordinator in the country. Great coach and great person to be around.”
CUTigers: Did you get a chance to sit down with Head Coach Dabo Swinney?
TM: “Unfortunately I was unable to speak to coach Swinney because he was out of town.”
CUTigers: Are you planning a return visit any time soon?
TM: “I definitely plan on visiting again most likely to come down for a game.”
CUTigers: What stands out about the Clemson defense?
TM: “Defensively, the stats they put up in the past 5 years are mind-blowing, and they also preach family and life after football, which plays a big part in making my decision.”
CUTigers: What player in college football or the NFL would you say you model your game on the field after?
TM: “I try to build my own brand but I get it a lot from other people around that I play like [former Notre Dame LB] Jaylon Smith.”
Mitchell has just started to get out and see schools on the East Coast, and he plans to take visits to see what is out there prior to naming a list of finalists. He holds offers from all over like Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, LSU, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech along with of course Clemson and many more.
****Weekend Surprise Visitors
Over the weekend, Clemson was privy to two surprise last-minute visitors. Big-time LB Drew Singleton showed up on campus as well as highly sought after DB A.J. Terrell. Both are top players in their respective position groups inside the Scout 300 for 2017.
Stay tuned here on the Radar Screen and CUTigers.com, as we continue to track these two blue-chippers as things wind down in the near future for both. At present, we have Clemson leading for each of these two prospects--with the Tigers trending big time for Terrell. You can say that for Singleton as well now that he has visited Clemson numerous times all the way from New Jersey.
****This Week’s Tweets