2006 Class: Top 5 Impact Players

CUTigers.com presents you with the top five players in the 2006 recruiting class who have the best chance to see the field this fall.

#1. S/LB Chris Russell
As a former player at Colorado, Russell has physical ability to contribute immediately in the defensive backfield as a safety. Described as a smaller version of Rendrick Taylor, this three-star prospect who is already enrolled at Clemson will make his impact felt on the two-deep depth chart as soon as spring practice starts. "Time will tell where we'll put him," said Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning. "We've got a few holes to fill. He's a guy that we could put anywhere."

#2. K Richard Jackson
Jackson is the top dual-threat (punter and kicker) specialist that has signed at Clemson since the days of Chris Gardocki. He connected on a state record 64-yard field goal during his senior year at Riverside High School, but he may actually turn out to be a better punter than placekicker in college. Given the Tigers' current special teams situation, Jackson should immediately challenge for the starting punter position as a true freshman.

#3. KR/WR Jacoby Ford
Ford may be the fastest player signed by any school in the country this year. He is projected to see immediate playing time as a kick returner, but could also work his way into the two-deep depth chart behind Chansi Stuckey at wide receiver. Like Russell, Ford is already enrolled at Clemson and will be available for spring practice. Don't forget, Ford won the Florida State High School champion in the 100 and 200 meter dashes as a senior at Cardinal Newman High School. He has "world class" speed. Said his recruiter, running backs coach Burton Burns, "We know he can return kickoffs and punts, but we think based on what he did last year at Fork Union that he could be a good receiver as well."

#4. DE/TE Jamie Cumbie
Physically speaking, Cumbie has the size to see the field early, if needed. A South Carolina native who recently moved to Illinois, Cumbie comes to Clemson as a tight end/defensive end, but he'll likely get his first look on the defensive side of the ball as a true freshman.

#5. DE Ricky Sapp
Sapp may be better served with a year in the weight room, but his natural ability and quickness make him a legitimate candidate for early playing time. Sapp is the No. 2 defensive end in the country according to Scout.com and one of the top rated prospects to EVER sign at Clemson. Projected as the "bandit" end behind Gaines Adams, Sapp has unlimited potential at the next level.

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