What We are Hearing...

Some insider news and notes surrounding the football team and recruiting. Included are some updates on upstarts Roy Walker and Robert Reese, Maurice Nelson, Jad Dean, and some recruiting footnotes and surprises about the incoming class that you don't want to miss.

* CUTigers.com has been told that FS Roy Walker and CB Robert Reese are two players that you want to watch headed into spring ball.

Apparently, the coaching staff has been high on Walker since bringing him in late in the 2003 signing class last year after it was learned that he was a full qualifier. From what we've been told, Walker could very well jump Tavaghn Monts on the second team at free safety.

Meanwhile Robert Reese will be playing cornerback this year along side Sergio Gilliam on the second team. Reese, like Walker, has also drawn some early praise from the coaching staff and is expected to make an impact on the two-deep depth chart this season.

Incidentally, notice that both players are former high school quarterbacks. The Clemson coaching staff likes taking players that are used to having the ball in their hands, and certainly both Reese and Walker qualify in that department.

* Jad Dean, who had an outstanding year serving as the Tigers' kick-off specialist, will be making his way into the spot vacated by Aaron Hunt this spring.

Dean, who struggled his fall consistently kicking the football of off the ground, has found his groove here towards the end of January. Dean recently told CUTigers.com that he is finally starting to consistently kick off the ground with both accuracy and power.

"Its been great. I've really been kicking well since the end of the season," the Greenwood native said.

* A lot of eyebrows have been raised this recruiting season now that the Tigers have the verbal commitments of 3 tight ends in the 2004 class.

CUTigers.com has been told this a "new philosophy" of the staff under the direction of recruiting coordinator David Blackwell. The Tigers will continue to load up on some of these jumbo athletes as these sort of players have the flexibility to move to various positions once they arrive on campus.

Remember that guys like Todd McClinton and Eric Coleman were players that have been moved around from their original high school positions. Look for more of these types of moves in the future with some of the kids signed in the 2004 class.

* The same can be said of Greenville native Alex Pearson, who has been touted as a likely "gray-shirt" candidate this year.

While Pearson may not enroll until January of 2005, don't discount his value in the least bit. Sources say that Pearson could be utilized as a short yardage fullback, just like some of the great Tiger blockers of the past, like Chris Lancaster.

* CUTigers.com has also been told that Maurice Nelson will likely end up moving down from Rover at some point in the future. The timing of this move isn't set it stone, but the coaches feel like he may be better suited playing in a whip linebacker role.

* We've also been informed that things continue to look good for both Jacquez McKissic and Mo Reevey. McKissic, another defensive line prospect out of Alabama, should be announcing a verbal commitment to Clemson very soon. With 23 verbal commitments now in the bag, the Tigers could add as many as three or four more before signing day.

CUTigers.com Top Stories