Entering the heart of December, the Tigers find themselves in a very unique position.
For starters, the Clemson coaching staff has secured 20 verbal commitments for the 2005 recruiting class. Those 20 commitments will fill many needs next year, but nowhere is that evident more than at wide receiver, where as many as three or four true freshmen could see playing time next year.
The most recent additions of Tallahassee native T.J. Williams and Alabama native Terrell Smith, have once again solidified assistant coach Dabo Swinney as one of the top up and coming recruiters in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But that's all in the past. The question on everyone's mind at this point in the recruiting process is which prospects will the Tigers target with their remaining four to five slots?
Here's what we know at CUTigers.com:
* The Clemson coaching staff is now looking at a situation where it can be very selective with who they recruit. Specifically, in the state of South Carolina, the main recruiting list is down to four key prospects: RB Travil Jamison, RB Mike Davis, CB Jamie Robinson, and DE Hivera Green. In addition, CUTigers.com learned Sunday that Lakewood ATH J.C. Neal is another player the staff would likely take a commitment from, should the situation present itself.
* The absolute latest information on Mike Davis is leading us to believe that both Alabama and Auburn are making a serious push for his services. From what we were told late Saturday afternoon, Davis feels comfortable with both offenses and with both coaching staffs. Clemson remains still squarely in the mix however, as does South Carolina. An interesting note we picked up recently indicates that the recent hire of Steve Spurrier at South Carolina will have little effect on his recruitment. Mike Davis was posed the question about Spurrier coming to Columbia, and he responded, "Who is Steve Spurrier?"
* Ultimately, we think Travil Jamison inks with Clemson and will be a sign and place prospect. Clemson recruiting coordinator David Blackwell has done an outstanding job here, and Jamison likes the fact that he will be familar with the Tigers' offense.
* Green will likely go out of state, but he continues to be a priority of the coaching staff and should visit the Tigers officially. Watch out for Virginia Tech.
* Jamie Robinson is a top corner prospect that has always listed Florida State and Clemson near the top. Clemson should receive an official visit, as will FSU.
* With just a few more slots left in this class, the bulk of the concern between now and signing day should be in keeping everybody committed that has already pulled the trigger in Clemson's favor. The one player to keep an eye on continues to be Rendrick Taylor, who will likely go through with official visits to South Carolina and Florida State.
* Several Clemson coaches will be making the rounds early next week, including stops at Hargrave Academy on Monday and Fork Union on Tuesday. There are several players at both schools that should receive the bulk of the attention during those stops. CUTigers.com will release more information on those players, as those visits are completed.
* One target that was identified several weeks ago was wide receiver Derrick McPhearson of Fork Union. McPhearson, a four-star prospect and one of the top receivers in the country a year ago, is definitely "wide open." From what we understand, he is holding out hope for an offer from Miami.
* The Clemson staff will also stop by the North/South All-Star game in Myrtle Beach, SC on Wednesday to check out some of the top prospects there.
* As it stands now, one glaring need in the 2005 class is at linebacker. Florida natives Gino Hayes and Avery Vogt, and several others are still on the board. CUTigers.com reported some very positive returns based off of Coach Swinney's visit with Hayes last week, and we will continue to track what goes on with his situation. Swinney is expected to visit Hayes again later this week.
* Clemson will also continue to recruit Kentucky native James McKinney, who is in Tiger Town this weekend for his official visit. McKinney sits with Hivera Greene as two of the top remaining targets left on the defensive line.
* CUTigers.com will also track the visits of Elsmore Gabriel, and Jacquez McKissic. All three were also expected to be in Clemson this weekend. So stay tuned!
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