5-Star 2018 Clemson QB Commit Trevor Lawrence with former Clemson DE and Atlanta Falcons Pro-Bowler Vic Beasley
Freaky Friday is not just a movie… it’s also a term I reserve for recruiting days usually in the middle of the fall. But it fits the bill for this week’s Radar report. This past Friday, the Clemson staff was host to not one but TWO of the top-10 overall prospects in the 2018 Scout 300. Clemson QB commit and #1 overall player in the nation Trevor Lawrence showed up unannounced and played host to fellow 5-star Peach State prospect OT Max Wray, who was accompanied by his brother, 2020 OT Jake Wray.
Max, who just recently de-committed from UGA, made Clemson his first stop and had Lawrence on hand with him and his family for the Orange Carpet treatment. Wray is a very highly rated 4-star (some folks say teetering on 5-star status) and is a big loss for the in-state Bulldogs.
It looks like UGA took on one too many other offensive linemen in this class than the Wray family was made aware of prior to Max's commitment way back in 2016. So that dynamic has now moved the ball in the court of the Defending National Champs. And with the #1 overall player, the bell cow of a super select class, leading the way in showing the family and brothers Wray around the facilities and practice fields of Clemson, bodes well for the Tigers. Wray left Clemson to take in Alabama and has set up visits to Ohio State and others, but this one has serious legs so stay tuned!
Wray Brothers with Clemson QB Commit Trevor Lawrence and Dabo Swinney in Clemson Last Friday
The other huge surprise on Freaky Friday was the attendance of 5-star 2018 prospect Jamaree Salyer, another Peach State OL product from the metro Atlanta Area and Pace Academy.
The big-time OL is at the very top of the Tigers' OL wish list for the 2018 class and his presence on the same day as Lawrence, also unannounced, has stirred the UGA staff and a lot of the analysts in this business as to the Clemson approach--following up Junior Day with huge follow-up visits within a week. We spoke to Salyer and will add his comments and more on the visit in this Radar.
So dig in and enjoy! And as always, stay tuned to CUTigers.com and the Recruiting Radar for your Clemson recruiting news and intel!
****5-Star OL Jamaree Salyer Talks Clemson Visit
Clemson received a huge, and I mean HUGE, surprise visit from Peach State OL Jamaree Salyer on Friday. Add to that the presence of #1 overall 2018 recruit and Clemson commit Trevor Lawrence, and you have 20% of Scout's top-10 overall prospects on the same campus together--both unannounced!
Salyer, who the Tigers have been courting since 2015, has not been on campus since the first Junior Day back in late January. Jamaree, who is without argument the #1 OL target on the Clemson big board for 2018, has let it be known he plans to announce after his senior season on the gridiron of Metro Atlanta for his Pace Academy football team. Salyer took the time to share some comments with us on his visit:
CU: What did the staff have to say on your recent visit to Clemson on Friday?
JS: "The coaches were telling me how they think I would be a perfect fit for the school and that the people make Clemson."
CU: What was different about this visit compared to others you have made to Clemson recently?
JS: "I got a chance to see spring practice and how they work."
CU: When do you plan on being back on campus again?
JS: "I plan on being back for the spring game."
Stay tuned here, as we follow this big man all the way to the end. It has always been UGA and Clemson battle for the OL stud, and as of this posting, I think the Tigers are slightly ahead of the in-state Bulldogs. But as we know, that can change with a trip to Athens in a hurry. So stay tuned!
****Fast Rising NC WR Talks Clemson Visit
2019 WR Nolan Groulx, who is cut in the mold of Hunter Renfrow, was also in Clemson over the weekend and shared this thoughts about the visit with us. Here is what he had to say:
CU: Tell us about the Clemson visit and your thoughts on what you saw from facilities to the campus and practice?
NG: "Getting the invite to go to their Junior Day was a privilege--especially from the National Champs. The facilities were obviously new and amazing with lots of things to do for the players. I liked the family atmosphere a lot that the coaches and players talked about. Also, I was able to create a good relationship with Coach Scott and Coach Pearman. I also really liked the way Clemson ran their practices. Very organized."
CU: What coaches do you speak to most when visiting Clemson?
NG: "I'm talking most to Coach Scott, the WR Coach, and Coach Pearman, the guy for my area. I have a good relationship with them and hope to keep it going.”
CU: "And what are you hearing from them?
NG: "The coaches want me up to camp to see how I move before they offer.”
CU: What intrigues you most about Clemson and what got them on your personal radar?
NG: "Personally I liked the family style relationships coach dabo Swinney talked about."
CU: When do you plan on returning to campus?
NG: "I plan on returning to campus for the Clemson spring game.”
CU: If you could say you modeled your game after any college or NFL player, who do you play like or influences your game?
NG: "I would say I like to model my game after Julian Edelman because of how hard he works and how tough he is."
****As I'm writing this, Nolan texted me to tell me that he received an offer from South Carolina. So stay tuned, as we track this talented WR from Providence Day High School to see if he camps at Clemson later this spring and receives that coveted offer from the Tigers.
****KJ Comes to Town
K.J. Henry, a player in the 2018 class that is overlooked more so than any prospect I have covered in quite some time, just made a mid-week stop in to visit the Clemson staff with his mom and dad in tow, and he could be the #1 Overall player in NC for the 2018 class. He is an uber-athletic and lean defensive end from the Tar Heel State with a who’s-who list of offers, and some services consider this pass rushing specialist a 5-star prospect. And here at Scout, we have him under serious consideration for that lofty status.
Overlooked, in my opinion, because of all the “hoopla” and weekly reports on the other DE Clemson covets, Xavier Thomas. But if you line them up next to each other, and I have seen both play in person, it's Henry who comes off like the truer defensive end. If I had to compare him with a current or past Tiger, it would be Clelin Ferrell, with that sort of athleticism and speed off the edge.
Henry, who has stayed busy officiating youth basketball and playing on his high school team all winter, is not as recruiting-savvy as Thomas and keeps more to himself. His father, who is on the University of Charlotte’s staff as an assistant, is also involved here in Henry’s recruitment. And mama for sure has her say in where KJ plays at the next level, so we think he does not stray too far from home.
Clemson has positioned itself in the thick of things, as they were the first to offer the NC star during a camp stay back in 2015, and the Tigers have stayed in constant contact, even through the coaching change that recently occurred with Marion Hobby moving on to the NFL to be replaced by Coach Todd Bates.
This mid-week visit outside of the highly regarded and well-attended Junior Day shows you the mutual interest between the recruit and school, laying out the mid-week Orange Carpet exclusively for Henry and his family. Stay tuned here, as this one will go a ways, but as of today, Clemson leads for the big-time DE with Alabama, UGA and UNC all trying to ascend to the spot occupied by the Tigers.
****4-Star Peach State DT Makes Return Trip to Clemson
This is big news, as big-time DT Darnell Jefferies is really blowing up and is slated to be back in Tiger Town on Wednesday 3/15 with his parents. Stay tuned, as we spoke with Darnell, and he’s going to recap his Clemson visit on his way home tomorrow, and we will report what he has to say right here on CUTigers.com!
****2018 Safety Prospect Names Dandy Dozen
The staff received a visit a couple weeks back from 2018 safety Isheem Young out of the Philly area, and Clemson made quite the impression on the much sought-after DB. So much so that the Tigers have been named in his top 12 or “dandy dozen” of the 28 plus offers he has accumulated over the past year. With offers from all over the Power Five that includes Alabama, FSU, UGA, LSU, Michigan, Ohio St, Penn State, Michigan State and Tennessee, to name a few, along with the National Champs.
Clemson is real tight on the available scholarships for the 2018 class, and especially in the DB position group. It's going to be interesting how long he can hold the Tigers in the rare air of his top group, as it’s well known there is barely any room on this commit list to wait it out. The staff has offers out to a select few, and all realize there is only the one DB spot on the Tigers' big board to take.
****Prospects Checking in with Charlotte Skills Camp
Look out, Queen City of Charlotte, as the Carolina X-posure Skills camp is back in town with a talent-rich roster of participants expect to attend and compete. A local roster of NC and SC talent will be trained in their off-season and outside of their respective high school programs by this all-star staff of mentors and talent development specialists.
If you have a player you know of or think needs to be recruited or noticed or seen, it's this type of camp I always refer parents and coaches to when they ask me what they have got to do get their son/player exposure. Here you go folks--get noticed! Coach Jibrell Fewell brings in a stellar supporting cast to coach all these position groups, and he excels in getting the most out of even the most polished athletes.
If you look at the small segment of the attendees I have provided below, you will notice a lot of Clemson interest there. It shows you the quality of players that seek out Fewell and his Queen City staff for help in their development for the next level.
Listed Below are some of the players expected to attend and compete, including several Clemson targets. One of my personal favorite “hidden gems” in this entire 2018 class is Jireh Wilson.
****Denotes Clemson has shown interest
****Derion Kendrick (CLEMSON COMMIT)
Steven Gilmore Jr
Elijah Rodgers (Maybe)
****Darius Rush (SCAR commit)
****Dennis Smith (Maybe)
****Clemson Recruiting Wrap-Up Dinner
Last month, the Tigers celebrated National Signing Day with a class of 14 players and here we can share with you the official video released with the entire event, including highlights for all of you to enjoy. CUTigers.com has been a sponsor of this event each of the last two years, a testament to our Publisher, Trevor Groves, and his commitment to this process. Hope you enjoy!