What We are Hearing...Recruiting Style!

We break down the top players on the board on offense for the Clemson Tigers in the 2004 class. Some of these names you may have heard before, but others you have not. We've got all the recruiting scoop you can handle in this extensive report!

Wide Receivers
Expected Number to Sign: 3
A lot was made of Andre Young's big performance this weekend at the North-South All-Star game held in Myrtle Beach, but it appears as though the North Augusta native still must work his way up the board to earn a scholarship from Clemson.

As of Monday morning, Mike McIntosh remains the top target for the Tigers at wide receiver in the 2004 class. From our latest information gathered late Sunday evening, McIntosh is looking at Clemson and Florida the hardest.

Also in the mix at wide receiver is Boiling Springs' Brooks Foster and Georgia native Aaron Kelly.

Foster is viewed as an "athlete" right now in the eyes of many coaches. In other words, he's a guy that probably is no where close to reaching his full potential. With the proper development however, he could turn into a real player at the collegiate level.

Incidentally, he's also been told by the Clemson coaches that he could indeed play for Oliver Purnell on the basketball team, as long as he plays football full time from August through January.

The latest we have learned on Tremel Kline and Phillip Morris all seem to point to difficulties qualifying. Morris, who has been a strong Clemson lean all along, will likely be a sign and place.

The biggest concern for the Clemson coaches heading into next season will be to have the receivers in place to step in for Airese Currie and Derrick Hamilton when they graduate the following year.

In other words, they want the playmakers, the guys that can take it to the house at any time, from any place on the field during a game. LaDontae Harris is one of those playmakers, now they need one more and Florida native Mike McIntosh headlines the wishlist. By the way, did you know that LaDontae (nicknamed Dontae) is also a star basketball player?

Some parting shots for next season: look for Kelvin Grant to move into the role vacated by Kevin Youngblood and look for a strong push to be made for Chansi Stuckey to make a full time move to wide receiver.

From what we've been told, Stuckey's potential position switch rests with solely with him, but we already know of several coaches are suggesting that it could indeed happen.

Offensive Line
Expected Number to Sign: 5
We told you two weeks ago that Bobby Hutchinson would need one more point on the ACT in order to qualify. Well, we learned late last week that with Hutchinson's current score and GPA, he would be able get into Clemson based on a new sliding scale just instituted this year.

Hutchinson was supposed to take the ACT again this past weekend in Tallahassee, but he ended up not being able to complete the trip to the testing center. Hutchinson is now scheduled to take the test again in February.

The Tigers will likely sign 5 offensive linemen in the 2004 class, and a strong possibility exists that they could oversign at the position should one or two prospects emerge late in the game. James Thompson is one name that comes to mind that would force an oversign, and of course, there are others.

Also, CUTigers.com was told early last week that defensive coordinator John Lovett was in at the Hargrave Military Academy combine to scout several players, one possibly in the trenches.

Cory Lambert is the #1 player on the board here, and it looks like the Greenville star will indeed commit to Clemson in the very near future. With Lambert, Tony Willis, Taylor Tremel, and Bobby Hutchinson, the Tigers appear to be locked and loaded headed down the stretch on the offensive line.

By the way, there is growing concern that the Tigers will be forced to turn away some outstanding talent on the offensive line and at wide receiver this year.

Expected Number to Sign: 2
Tribble Reese is now the unquestioned leader on the board for the 2004 recruiting class at Clemson. Reese visited Clemson unofficially two weekends ago and has set an official visit to Tiger Town for January 9th.

While the staff has wanted to sign a dual threat quarterback all along to go along with Cullen Harper, Reese fits the bill close enough from the mobility standpoint.

He has been described almost "exactly like Charlie Whitehurst." A strong arm with the ability to move around and escape the pocket when necessary. The staff has thought of Reese as their top target all along, but it only became known this weekend when the Alabama gun slinger visited N.C. State.

Speaking of N.C. State, after feeling somewhat comfortable with an early lead for Reese, the N.C. State visit reportedly has some folks close to the Clemson program, extremely nervous. "It's going to be a dogfight," CUTigers.com was told Sunday evening.

Tommy Bowden will visit Reese later this week, as will Dabo Swinney.

Clemson was the first school to offer Reese, and that has given them the clear cut advantage, but LSU, Ole Miss, and even Notre Dame are now entering the picture.

As it stands now, Reese is the top quarterback on the board, ahead of John Parker Wilson, William Richardson, and Micah Brown.

By the way, two factors working in Clemson's favor for Tribble Reese:

1) His parents were not with him during this weekend's visit to Raleigh. 2) Clemson is much closer to his home in Alabama than N.C. State.

These are two very important factors that could weigh in significantly with Reese before it's all said and done.

Also, there was a rumor floating around last week that there was some aprehension with the Clemson coaches about bringing in Cullen Harper with a collarbone injury that basically kept him on the sidelines all season this year.

Don't believe it.

Harper is set to come to Clemson and the Clemson coaches are just as happy as ever to welcome him on campus. In fact, it's going to be one helluva battle watching Harper and potentially Tribble Reese face off in the coming years.

Parting shot for the future: Don't necessarily count on C.J. Gaddis staying at quarterback forever. While he has looked good during fall practice on the scout team, there is always the chance that he could move into the secondary later in his career. Again, that would be a decision that Gaddis would likely have to make but some close to the program feel that he could be an outstanding cornerback!

Running Back
Expected Number to Sign 1 or 2
Some names you have to remember going forward on the recruiting scene at running back: Andre Copeland and George Timmons. CUTigers.com has learned that outside of Albert Ashcraft, Timmons is the top guy on the Tigers' board at running back.

We received some concern last week when it was thought that Copeland was of the 5-foot-6 variety, but Copeland himself told us that he's closer to 5-8, and CUTigers.com confirmed that this weekend. He's a stocky runner with a muscular build that has really caught the eyes of the Clemson coaching staff. He will ultimately decide between Clemson and Syracuse.

And finally Timmons, who has been largely under the radar until this point, has the Tigers 3rd or 4th on his list, but he may be the biggest "playmaker" of anybody on the board. Of course, we will have an extensive update on Timmons later this week! He's a 6-foot-2, 4.4 burner that has the playmaking ability coaches long for.

Ashcraft has always been looking Clemson's way, and even with the late surge by Tennessee, it looks like Clemson will get the call here as a result of the fine recruiting efforts of Coach O'Cain.

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