Weekend Should Pay Huge Dividends

With 17 prospects expected to visit Clemson this weekend for official visits, the Clemson coaching staff is positioning itself to sign a Top 15 recruiting class next month. Read on for a complete breakdown of what to expect this weekend in this massive weekend preview.

However, that doesn't necessarily mean there will be a rash of new verbal commitments Sunday afternoon.

Keep in mind of the 17 players expected to arrive on campus within the next 24 hours, nine are already committed to Clemson.

P Dawson Zimmerman, S Carlton Lewis, CB Xavier Brewer, DE Jarrett Crittenton, OL Matt Sanders, LS Matt Skinner, OL Dalton Freeman and LB Jonathan Willard, who are all expected to be on campus this weekend, have all been committed to Clemson for various amounts of time and each appears to be firm with their commitment.

Of the nine players arriving on campus this weekend who are uncommitted, many are expected to wait until closer to National Signing Day to announce a decision.

In fact, the highest rated prospect on campus this weekend, five-star running Jamie Harper, who currently is ranked as the No. 5 running back in the country according to Scout.com, has maintained for months he won't be making a decision until signing day on Feb. 6.

"I'm going to wait," he said in a recent interview with CUTigers.com. "I want to wait to take all of my visits and make an announcement at my school on signing day. I'm looking forward to getting up to Clemson this weekend but I won't be making a decision until later on."

Harper, like many of the prospects on campus this weekend, is set to visit at least one more school before making a decision.

Of the nine uncommitted players visiting Clemson this weekend, all nine, including Harper, OL R.J. Mattes, LB Jerrell Harris, DT Antoine McClain, OL Kenneth Page, DT Jeremy Lewis, S Jaron Brown Daniel Andrews and OT Ben Jones are all scheduled to make official visits later this month.

R.J. Mattes is one of the highest rated prospects on campus this weekend for an official visit.
In Harper's case, he will visit the Florida Gators Jan. 18 and Miami on Jan. 26.

The Tigers remain in good shape with Harper, and will likely strengthen their lead after his visit this weekend, but the two weeks after that will be drama-filled as the five-star back visits two in-state schools who'd also like to make him a featured back in their respective offenses.

After Harper, Clemson appears to be in great shape to sign at least one prospect between a pair of four-star offensive linemen in Mattes and Page.

Mattes will take one more official visit, to South Carolina, next weekend but Clemson remains in good shape here thanks in large part to the efforts of recruiting coordinator Billy Napier.

Kenneth Page is down to Clemson, Tennessee, Notre Dame and North Carolina with his final visit going to the Tar Heels Jan 18.

Both Mattes and Page have maintained they are looking to make their final decisions no sooner than the week after their final official visit, which again will be the weekend of Jan. 18.

The Tigers appear to be in great shape with Jamie Harper's teammate- safety Daniel Andrews. If you are looking for a verbal commitment this weekend- don't be surprised if it ends up being Andrews. Clemson was the first school to offer Andrews and he's also interested in playing at the same school as Harper.

Finally, Clemson is also in good shape with Cheraw wide receiver Jaron Brown. Brown, who could play as a wide out or safety at the next level will visit South Carolina and Michigan before announcing a decision closer to signing day. While far from over, the Tigers have held the slight lead for Brown's services for the past four weeks.

Jaron Brown will visit two other schools after Clemson before announcing his decision.
The other four prospects expected in town: four-star LB Jerrell Harris, four-star OT Antoine McClain, three-star DT Jeremy Lewis and three-star OT Ben Jones, the Tigers have their work cut out for them.

Harris and McClain will be difficult to get out of Alabama, although CUTigers.com has maintained if Harris were to leave the state, Clemson would likely be the destination. Meanwhile Lewis remains a soft verbal commitment to Miami, with an official visit to the Hurricanes looming next weekend and Jones is still planning trips to Miami, LSU and Tennessee.

Of course, the beauty of recruiting is that anything can change at any time.

While most of the uncommitted prospects have maintained they will not commit this weekend, the positive feelings that can be created in just a 48 hour period can change quickly change the perspective of an 18-year old high school student looking to make a name for himself at the college level.

Outside of "hanging out" with their player host Friday and Saturday night, all 18 official visitors will get a tour of the athletic and academic support facilities this weekend, including the WestZone and Vickery Hall.

The prospects will also be on hand for the football team's award banquet Saturday night and meet with Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden in an exit interview Sunday morning.

And don't be surprised if there are a few new wrinkles thrown in by the coaching staff along the way as well.

So regardless of who decides to commit or who waits, be patient. These kids have a very important decision to make and when the staff has positioned itself to sign some of the top players in the country, this is how it works.

For the past three seasons the Tigers have been in the mix for some of the top prospects in the nation and this year will be no different with the exception the number of top-flight players still looking Clemson's direction appears to be larger than ever.

EDITOR'S NOTE: CUTigers.com has now confirmed Jeremy Lewis has pushed his visit to Clemson back to Jan. 18.

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