Recruiting News, Notes, & Quotes

Football season is almost here, and we've got a variety of news, notes, and quotes from several different athletes looking at Clemson. With 4 known verbal commiments in the bag, the Tigers now set their sites on some of the biggest names in the country.

Crestwood strong safety Maurice Nelson will be playing on both sides of the ball this year. Of course, he'll be lining up at strong safety for the Knights, but he'll also line up as the starting tailback as well due to his team being a little short on talent.

Nelson continues to be a strong Clemson lean, and his stock will likely only continue to go up his senior season. "I feel comfortable at Clemson. I like it there, they are my leader," Nelson said in a recent interview. "I like the coaching staff and Coach Stockstill."

Crestwood strength coach Brian Jackson has maintained all along that both Maurice Nelson and Demetrious Morant are the real deal. "With both of these kids winning state strength championships, their stock has gone up. Both were hampered by aggravating hamstring injuries, but still won," said Coach Jackson.

Nelson, along with in-state recruits Marcus Howard and Terrell Allen are still heavily favoring the Tigers entering the 2002 season. Incidentally, big fullback Demetrius Morant has yet to receive an offer from the Tigers.

It will be interesting to see how Terrell Allen performs as the featured wide receiver in the high flying Byrnes passing attack this season. After a scorching 40-time posted this past summer at a camp in Athens, Allen saw his stock exploded through the roof- now he must produce on the field.

The Tigers have the luxury of being extremely selective this season when it comes the recruitment of wide receivers; especially with the additions of Michael Collins and possibly JUCO transfer Derrick Higgins next season. Allen needs to prove that he's one of the top wide receivers in the southeast if he's going to make the grade.

The Tigers continue to look to improve their offensive line in 2003 with almost 40% of their recruiting already completed. With verbal commitments Jarrod Britt and Clint LaTray remaining firm with Clemson, the staff now has their eyes set on several other prospects, most notably Trevor Rees, out of Pearland, Texas, and Ty Hall, out of Anderson, Ohio.

Hall hasn't set up any official visits just yet, but he is planning on being in Clemson either for the Maryland game or against South Carolina. In a recent request for an interview, Hall elected to wait until the middle of September so that he could continue to maintain his focus on the upcoming season.

Rees, recruited primarily as a center, has been a favorite of the staff for quite some time. Pearland High School runs almost the exact same offense as the Tigers, and the staff there in Texas is connected to Tommy Bowden through his time at Tulane. Clemson, Kansas, Northwestern, and Pittsburgh remain as Rees' current scholarship offers, with several other schools in the Big XII moving in.

Clemson also sits very well with Derrick Morse, a bruising lineman out of Florida. He was rated as the #1 offensive lineman out of 340 participants at the Down and Dirty camp in Florida this summer. The Miami Hurricanes figure to be the biggest obstacle in his recruitment, but the defending national champions have yet to move in with an official offer.

One area for early concern for the 2003 class might be at running back, where the Tigers have not yet emerged as a clear leader for anyone. Rodney Kinlaw, a speedster out of the low country, has the Tigers in his top 3, but Penn State and Virginia Tech are moving in fast. Kinlaw is another back in the mold of Kyle Browning or Tye Hill.

Of course, Demetris Summers is everyone's stud at running back, but too many issues are surrounding his situation to expect to see him wearing orange- at least for now.

Skyler Thornton is a name you might want to remember. Thornton is a strong running back out of LaGrange, Georgia that has had Clemson in and out of this top 5 for quite some time. He's one of the top backs in the southeast that is seriously looking at the Tigers.

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