Focus on the Secondary

With all the rumblings about the CU secondary over the course of this season, it only seems natural to look at the prospects that can come in help out immediately. You know the names...Brian Crum, Jeff Francouer, and Fred Bennett. Here is a nice breakdown comparing these three playmakers.

Its no mystery anymore. To compete against the big boys, you have to have a defense that can step up and take over a football game, period.

If the Tigers plan on dethrowning the Seminoles anytime in the near future, they'll have to sign the athletes in the secondary that can challenge the highest skilled players in the ACC.

Here is a quick breakdown of three guys that I believe can help Clemson return to the defensive glory years.

Brian Crum (6'3, 210, 4.45)
Favorites: Clemson, Georgia, Florida, Georgia Tech and Tennessee
Probability on signing with Clemson: (75%)

Has great strength, good speed and a great nose for the football. Crum plays wide receiver and free safety for Camden County (GA), but will probably be a safety at the next level. He will have no problems qualifing with a 3.6 GPA and a 1070 SAT.

Crum is a proven athlete with a world of potential, and just as important, he's listed the Tigers as one of his top 2 schools since the recruiting process began. Seeing action at the beginning of his college career will play a key factor in Crum's decision, "Early playing time is important but it really depends on the situation and the team I end up playing for. I'm looking closely at the graduation rate of the players, the conference I'll play in, and the coaches and the teammates. "

With his size and speed, he would be the ideal strong safety at Clemson. He reminds me of a faster, tougher version of Robert Carswell.

Jeff Francouer (6'4 ,205, 4.5)
Favorites: Clemson, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, North Carolina
Probability on signing with Clemson: (50%)

The bottomline on this kid is that he is a big time playmaker. His team has won an impressive 23 consecutive games, and Francouer is the main reason why. He routinely scores touchdowns in bunches a wide receiver, and teams are scared to death to even throw the football near him when he steps into the secondary.

Francouer attended the Florida State/Clemson game and reportedly loved the atmosphere and he will officially visit the Tigers on January 11th. On the season, Francouer has 5 INTs, returning 2 for touchdowns, and over 30 receptions for 600 yards. As a junior, he recorded an incredible 15 interceptions on defense and 14 touchdowns as a wide receiver and dominated whenever his team stepped.

Jeff wants to play football and baseball in college, so he is looking for a school that has the "total sports" package. My personal opinion is that this will become a battle between Georgia Tech and Clemson.

Fred Bennett (6'2, 180, 4.5)
Favorites: Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Maryland, North Carolina
Probability on signing with Clemson: (75%)

Fred Bennett is one of the most explosive players in the state of South Carolina. On defense, Bennett has 6 interceptions on the year, returning 2 for touchdowns. Offensively, he has 48 catches for over 1100 yards and incredible 22 touchdowns. Bennett attended the North Carolina-Clemson game, and even though the Tigers lost, he was still impressed with his visit.

Bennett has been a strong Clemson lean for a while now, and there is no reason to think that another school is going to tear him away. He is one of the key prospects in South Carolina, and it will be very important to sign him. Ultimately this boil down to a backyard brawl between South Carolina and Clemson.
Ideally, we are going to need to sign 2 out of the these 3 players to help address the needs of our defense. These guys are almost interchangeable, they all have speed, toughness, the ability to make big plays.

One thing that does impress me about these guys, is that they all seem to possess great football instincts. They have a nose for the football, and they use their knowledge of the game to work in their favor. That translates into nothing but positives once they step on the field.

Although none of these athletes are what you would consider true cover corners, they have all the speed you want as a free or strong safety, and all have the ability to come in and contribute immediately.

If one were to rank these three athletes, Francouer would be at the top of list, simply because he consistently makes big plays in big games time after time. He thrives in the spot light and he has the athletic ability and the mental toughness to produce under any situation. Put Fred Bennett and Brian Crum right behind Francouer in that order. You would hardly miss a beat in comparing these athletes with each other, but I'll always give the edge to the playmaker who knows how to rise to the occasion.

We will continue to keep you updated on all three of these fine student athletes as we receive more information. Top Stories