The in-state sweepstakes are huge with Clemson and its recruiting, and where the Tigers stand in the eyes of local prospects located in the 864, 803 and 843 area codes.
With a loaded 2018 South Carolina class and with all the top prospects considering both the Tigers and Gamecocks for their upcoming collegiate careers, the rivalry week game that takes place on Saturday goes a long way in the halls of high schools all over the state for the next 365 days following this much-anticipated contest. It's the second-longest running head-to-head series in the nation, dating back to 1896 with the Tigers holding 67 wins, the Gamecocks with 42 wins and 4 ties along the way. With all the tradition, time and history tied to this game, if you are a lifetime resident of South Carolina, you have grown up in either Orange or Garnet. Click on the links below for a quick refresher on the history of the Palmetto State rivalry:
So in 2016, a lot of these current prospects grew up watching the Gamecocks in the midst of their most successful stint in the school’s history. And at the same time, they saw Clemson’s rise to National relevance and building on 6 straight 10-plus-win seasons and a team that has stayed inside the top 5 of the AP Poll for 21 straight weeks.
How much does all that history and recent success pay dividends to either Clemson or South Carolina? Only time will tell. As we all await the upcoming Palmetto Bowl, stay tuned right here to CUTigers.com and the Recruiting Radar Screen forum for up-to-the-minute updates on the visitor list for this year's rivalry game.
****In-State Recruits Attending Palmetto Bowl
So far, we can confirm the following in-state prospects will be in attendance for the upcoming Palmetto Bowl between the Tigers and the Gamecocks. The headliner right now is obviously 5-star DE Xavier Thomas, who is not only the #1 2018 prospect in the state but some say the nation. Stay tuned here to CUTigers.com, as we will publish a complete list later this week as we reach out and confirm more visitors both in and out of state.
****Recruits Make Palmetto Bowl Predictions:
We caught up with several commits and prospects to get their predictions for the big game. Here is what the 2017 and 2018 recruits had to say:
"I think the Tigers will come out with a W. The key to winning the game will be winning the turnover battle and winning up front. I think the score will be 42-14, Tigers on top."
"24-17 Clemson, but it could go either way. South Carolina is playing some good football here lately, and I could see them also having an opportunity to upset Clemson. The Tigers have been in some tight games week after week but manage to pull through and outlast their competition. I think they play down to the competition a lot, but when the lights are on they are on... But anything is possible in this in-state rivalry."
"A comfortable 42-13 win."
"I think it's going to be a hard-fought game down to the wire. I believe that South Carolina can pull out the upset, but Clemson is going to pull it out. 28-17 Clemson."
****Amari Rodgers Season Highlights
Amari Rodgers is one of the Tigers' headliners in the 2017 class and is without a doubt the ring-leader amongst the committed 2017 class with regard to reaching out and recruiting uncommitted players to join him on the Clemson commit list. Most notably, fellow Tennessee native Tee Higgins did join him on the Tigers' 2017 class back in July. Currently, the big-time play-maker is working on Tennessee lean and big-time offensive lineman Trey Smith. In the meantime, here is a mix of his season highlights. It's easy to see how much of a play-maker Amari is and that he will surely fit right into Clemson’s scheme.
Season hightlights from Clemson 4-star WR commit Amari Rodgers:
****Clemson 2018 Prospects at Wake Forest Game
The Tigers' win at Wake Forest had a couple recruiting angles, as the staff took note that 2018 targets K.J. Henry and Israel Mukuamu were both on hand to take in the Clemson win on a very cold and windy night in Winston Salem, NC. We got this photo of Berkley High’s Mukuamu as he arrived at the back entrance to BB&T Field:
****This Week’s Tweets