Recruiting Drama Revisted

CUTigers.com looks back on the some of the pleasant and not so pleasant surprises of the last four years when it comes to recruiting.

2004
PROSPECT: WR Mike McIntosh ()
WHAT HAPPENED: McIntosh, who had been committed to Clemson since early January after favoring the Tigers throughout the recruiting process, spent significant time with Florida head coach Ron Zook watching the Super Bowl the weekend before signing day. A story came out in a Gainesville newspaper the morning of signing day indicating McIntosh may have a change of heart with his Clemson commitment. Indeed he did, as he signed with Zook at the Gators later in the day. He never lived up to expectations at Florida, in part due to injuries and eventually transferred to Georgia Southern. He caught 14 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns last season for the Eagles and will be a senior in 2008.

2005
PROSPECT: LB Antonio Clay ()
WHAT HAPPENED: Clay, who verbally committed to Oklahoma in early January, ended up signing with the Tigers on National Signing Day ... barely. Clay committed to the Tigers behind the scenes weeks before but did not want to go public with the news. On signing day, he was set to sign with Clemson during a televised press conference in his hometown of Jeffersonville but held off on putting pen to paper on two occasions. Eventually he signed with Clemson and has gone on to have a productive career despite tragedy off the field, including finishing third on the team in tackles in 2006. Credit Clemson assistant coach Ron West for his efforts here.

2006
PROSPECT: RB C.J. Spiller ()
WHAT HAPPENED: Once thought to be a long shot at best, it became clear as signing day approached that C.J. Spiller was given serious thoughts to choosing Clemson over his childhood favorites of Florida and Florida State. Still, he had to get up in front of a packed house in Lake Butler, Fla. and announce he was leaving the Sunshine state to go to Clemson ... and that's exactly what he did. Credit Clemson assistant Dabo Swinney for his efforts in landing Spiller.

2007
PROSPECT: WR Markish Jones ()
WHAT HAPPENED: In one of the strangest signing day dramas ever, Broome wide receier Markish Jones stunned Clemson fans by switching over to Florida State on National Signing Day after having been committed to Clemson for months. Only problem was he signed two National Letters of Intent ... one to Clemson and one to Florida State. As it turns out, family pressure led him to change his mind after he originally signed with Clemson. 10 days later the National Letter of Intent services in Birmingham, Ala. ruled that because Jones first signed with Clemson, that NLI was binding, and not to the one to Florida State. Unfortunately Jones did not qualify and will likely never play a down of football at Clemson.

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