The 2000 & 2001 Recruiting Classes

In this second of a three part series, we analyze each of Tommy Bowden's recruiting classes at Clemson University. Which class ranks the highest? Which class contains the most role players? The answers just might surprise you!

2000- Bowden's First "Full" Class
Tommy Bowden's first full class was small in numbers, but that only tells part of the story. 50% of this class never made a marginal impact at Clemson University.

In this day and age of scholarship limitations, it is hard to believe that the Clemson football team survived this without suffering any future losing seasons. The only reason it was not a death blow to the program was because this class was so small (14) and the number of players that never made an impact at Clemson ended up being only 7.

If this class would have been 25 athletes and 50% of them would not have made an impact at Clemson, the coaching staff would have dug a hole that undoubtedly would have had negative ripple effects down the line.

In addition, much of the inconsistency of the 2001 and 2002 seasons can be traced back to this class.

Bowden was forced to play a good deal of young people from the 2001 class those years because of the lack of quality players in the 2000 class.

Saving this class from being a complete disappointment were the signings of several superstars. Derrick Hamilton, Aaron Hunt, and Donnell Washington all would play critical roles at Clemson during their careers. Ironically, this class produced 2 players that would eventually leave Clemson after their junior seasons (Hamilton and Washington).

This class also featured several players that are no longer with the team, including Ryan Hemby (disciplined- transfered to S.C. State), Terrance Huey (health issues- now a team manager), Jamison (academics- played one year), Thomas (reserve WR that also transfered), and Carr and Delusme, who finished out their careers mainly as special team players.

2001- Bowden's Class Signed After the 9 Win Season
Most pundits recognized this class as Bowden's best at Clemson as it would rank in just about every major service's Top 10 for that year. This class also produced some of the most dramatic signings in Clemson history with Roscoe Crosby leading the way.

To date, however, this class is still has a lot to prove to garner the worth of a Top 10 ranking.

29% of this class can be categorized as an impact player at Clemson. Included in the mix are several key players in 2004.

Airese Currie will return as the best Clemson receiver on the roster. Charlie Whitehurst will return as the #1 quarterback in the ACC. Leroy Hill will return as one of the top linebackers in the ACC. And Clemson's secondary, maybe the team strength in 2004, will be made up of 3 solid players from this class (Tye Hill, Travis Pugh, and Jamaal Fudge).

This class also still has room for improvement.

Several role players from this class could possibly move up to impact players over the course of the next year. Charles Bennett, Curtis Baham, and David Dunham could all see significant playing time in 2004 and thus elevate the percentage of impact players from this class.

It will take one more year before we can fully analyze this class compared to 1999 and 2000. However, I still think it will be tough for this class to earn a greater percentage of impact players than the 1999 season.

Let's not fool ourselves.

Some of the talent signed from the 2001 class makes up some of the best players that have played at Clemson since the 1980's. In addition, the overall quality of the players from the 2001 class is a big step above that of the 1999 class.

But in reality, the 2001 class had a bunch of major misses that taint the overall perception of the class. Few players have been bigger disappointments in the eyes of Clemson fans than Tymere Zimmerman and Roscoe Crosby.

Rhymer's Ratings Of 1999, 2000, and 2001

Year Impact Players Role Players Non-Impact Players
1999 58% 21% 21%
2000 43% 7% 50%
2001 37% 27% 34%

Tomorrow, we take a look at the 2002 and 2003 recruiting classes at Clemson.

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