This week's Radar goes over the recent events locally and regionally, as high school football in the region is in full effect and Friday Night Lights are drawing huge crowds. Everyone is happy football is back!
We took the trip to two separate games in two states this weekend. On Friday we were at local high school D.W. Daniel to attend the Lions' game against cross-county rival Easley Green Wave.
****FNL: D.W. Daniel vs. Easley
CENTRAL, SC - We took the ride down Highway 123 to take in the game between upstate rivals D.W. Daniel High School (Central) and Easley at Singleton Field in Central, SC. Hot and humid conditions and a real big local crowd on both sides set up the evening for some real good football from these two Pickens County 4-A rivals.
Clemson has interest in a few players on the DWD side. Coaches' sons Jake Venables, Ben Batson and Will Swinney are all being recruited by the Tigers (Swinney will walk on). All three are regular starters for the Lions and had a major impact in this game.
Easley rolled out a new QB for 2016 in 6'5 Weston Black. From the outset, he impressed with a cool demeanor and game management, showing off a big arm with skills that would transfer well on the next level. Some of our footage and pics from the game are below, and you can see more by going to the Recruiting Radar Screen HERE! Daniel was down 21-10 at half and managed to come back and win this one 29-28 in a thriller.
Easley QB Weston Black had an impressive performance and is a player we have added to our Radar.
****Grayson vs IMG
CUTigers took the trip down I-85 South to Metro Atlanta to take in the highly anticipated high school football content between Grayson (Loganville, GA) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL). These are two of the premier high school football teams--not just in the region but in the nation for 2016. Both teams entered the game entrenched in the top-5 national rankings with Grayson at #2 and IMG right behind them at #4.
Both schools' rosters are loaded with FBS talent and big-time prospects with offers from all over the nation. Players like Clemson QB commit Chase Brice and LB commit Mike Jones Jr. along with prospects S DeAngelo Gibbs, CB Jamyest Williams (SCAR commit), DE Joshua Kaindoh (Maryland commit), LB Owen Pappoe, WR Brian Hightower and K Cooper Graham (2017 Clemson prospect) were just a few of the laundry list of 4-star and 5-star talent in this game.
2018 Clemson LB Commit Mike Jones, Jr.
ESPN was there to broadcast the game nationally, and so was an overflow crowd that started to arrive hours before kickoff. Despite the atmosphere, IMG came into Grayson and stymied the home team with a 26-7 win. Stay tuned to CUTigers.com later this week, as we release more and more footage from this game, including player interviews and much more!
Some of the players on the field from both schools :
Clemson true freshmen TJ Chase (WR) and IMG alum Shaq Smith (LB) take in the IMG at Grayson game.
Here are a couple highlights from the game and some atmosphere stuff as well to set the scene. It was a loud and rowdy crowd with a great atmosphere for this much-anticipated match up.
****Chase Brice Talks Tigers
We caught up with 4-star 2017 Clemson QB commit Chase Brice after the disappointing 26-7 loss to IMG academy in Metro Atlanta on Saturday night. Chase had a good game, but the IMG defense had a better one, as they shut down the WR’s at the line of scrimmage for most of the game. Brice did hook up with new South Carolina commit Jamyest Williams for a 56-yard TD pass to put the Rams up 7-0, but that would be Grayson's only score of the night.
Chase went up against an IMG defense that is comprised of nothing but high 4-and-5-stars all over it. The DE’s and LB’s at IMG are as impressive-looking as most college football teams. IMG looked the part of an all-star squad on this night and played like it too.
Listen to Chase below, as he talks Clemson and the game, along with other players he is talking to and recruiting to jump on board the 2017 Clemson commitment class with him.
****2019 Peach State QB Trips to Clemson
2019 Roswell QB prospect Jalyn Williams just recently took the trip up north on I-85 and into South Carolina to visit Clemson last week. We had the chance to speak to Jalyn, a prospect with tons of upside as he is just a freshman and looking to up his game and skill set as he gets more time under center at high-profile Roswell High School in the Metro Atlanta area.
Roswell is a place very familiar to the Tigers with current frosh linebacker Tre Lamar already on campus and 2017 Clemson commit LeAnthony Williams still on the Roswell roster along side Jalyn. Below is our interview with the young quarterback.
CUTigers: Tell us about your Clemson visit this weekend, and was this your first visit there?
JW: "My visit was wonderful. I saw a beautiful campus. Yes, it was my first visit as a recruit."
CUTigers: Clemson has one of your teammates already committed to this 2017 class and another Roswell alumnus on the roster in Tre Lamar. Is there a Roswell pipeline to Clemson forming? What its it about Clemson that intrigues you and other Roswell players?
JW: "Tre Lamar is my man. He taught me a lot his last year as a Hornet. On my parents' side (smiling), it's only 2 hours from home. Second, it has a family atmosphere like Roswell. Everyone was very helpful and nice. I liked the offense they ran when I watched practice. I found out we use some plays. I recognized the formation."
CUTigers: What other schools are you hearing from so far in your recruitment at present?
JW: "Old Dominion showed interest. I was able to throw for Coach Whitcomb there. That was a good time also."
CUTigers: Do you have a favorite school or an offer you are looking to get in the near future?
JW: "Right now Clemson is #1. But I know it's early and have more schools to look at. In the future I would love to start with Clemson because I'm really falling for them, with more players from Roswell attending, it would make going there easier. It really doesn't matter who offers. I'll take all comers."
CUTigers: What are your personal and team goals for 2016 and moving forward in your high school career?
JW: "My goal this year is leadership! Run my team like a well-oiled machine. And to get my grades on point with no hiccups."
****Mckinney sets January 1 Announce Date
Clemson defensive back target and high-priority prospect Xavier McKinney has set a commitment date for January 1st of 2017. At present, it's Clemson, Auburn and Alabama in contention, and just this past week Ohio State jumped in with an offer, which could see the Roswell star setting up a visit with the Buckeyes. Clemson leads substantially for the 4-star Peach State blue chipper at this time.
McKinney has an offer list that includes Clemson, Alabama, FSU, UGA, GT, Auburn, Notre Dame, Tennessee and almost every other ACC and SEC school you can name. It's going to be a long season for Xavier as the suitors will continue to reach out and gauge his interest in their particular school.
You can expect Xavier to make a few trips to Clemson this season and will surely be in Tiger Town in the near future to take in a game. Also, remember that teammate LeAnthony Williams is pushing hard for McKinney to join him for four more years in Clemson. With things still to play out over the season and up to his New Year's Day commitment, stay tuned here at CUTigers and the Radar Screen forum for all the latest news on Xavier and his recruitment!
****This Week’s Tweets