5 Difference Makers

If the Clemson coaching staff is going to sign a top 20 class next month, a good way to do it would be to sign these five difference makers, all of whom are are currently uncommitted.

#1. QB Tajh Boyd (6-1/210)

THE SCOOP: Boyd is expected to be on campus at Clemson this weekend, starting Saturday for his final official visit of the recruiting process. As things stand now he'll either sign with the Tigers, Ohio State or Oregon. Early playing time is his No. 1 consideration. The Clemson coaching staff has ground to make up here entering the Boyd sweepstakes late in the game, but a big weekend could make a significant difference.

HOW HE FITS IN AT CLEMSON: If the Clemson coaching staff can land Boyd, he would have the opportunity to compete with Kyle Parker and Willy Korn for playing time as a true freshman later this fall. How much he plays depends on two key factors- 1. How quickly he picks up the playbook and 2. How quickly he recovers from surgery on a torn ACL. He's expecting to have surgery within the next three weeks after suffering a tear during his senior season.


#2. WR Kendall Kelly (6-3/220)

THE SCOOP: Kelly is set for an official visit in Tigertown on Jan. 16 and would be a big pickup at a position of need for the 2009 recruiting class. While his senior year didn't live to expectations and he's likely to fall in Scout.com's wide receiver rankings, he'd still be a great pickup at a position of need. Alabama and LSU are also in line to receive officials with the Crimson Tide perhaps being the biggest obstacle.

HOW HE FITS IN AT CLEMSON: From a physical perspective, Kelly looks like he could play at the college level right now but he has to be more fundamentally sound in his route running. With Tyler Grisham and Aaron Kelly both leaving Clemson this year, the opportunity for early playing time could be there.


#3. OL JerQuari Schofield (6-6/298)

THE SCOOP: Don't worry, he won't be a two-star prospect for too much longer after his performance during the week leading up to the Shrine Bowl. Likely bound for high three-star, low four-star status, Schofield would be a huge pickup this late in the recruiting process. While he's currently committed to Tennessee, he's visiting Clemson this weekend, officially.

HOW HE FITS IN AT CLEMSON: At over 6-feet-6 inches tall and weighing close to 300 pounds, Schofield has the kind of size Clemson's offensive line needs. However, with all of the young talent ahead of him on the depth chart, including Chris Hairston, Antoine McClain and Landon Walker, he would likely be looking at a redshirt season as a freshman.

#4. TE Terrell Mitchell (6-5/210)

THE SCOOP: Mitchell is Scout.com's No. 21 tight end and caught 26 passes for over 500 yards and nine touchdowns during his senior year. Clemson, West Virginia and Georgia are his current top schools. The Tigers get an official visit this weekend with Georgia receiving a visit the following weekend. The Bulldogs have yet to offer.

HOW HE FITS IN AT CLEMSON: The Tigers use a lot of tight ends and even though the offense is in a state of flux going into next season with a new coordinator, chances are the tight end will be incorporated into how Clemson moves the ball. With Michael Palmer, Durrell Barry and Dwayne Allen ahead of him on the depth chart, he'd likely be looking at a redshirt year.


#5. OG Quinton Washington (6-4/322)

THE SCOOP: Washington is planning to be at Clemson this weekend for his official visit but some serious ground will need to be made up by the staff to land his verbal commitment. South Carolina and Tennessee are the main competitors here with the Gamecocks holding the edge as things stand today for Scout.com's No. 18 offensive guard prospect. He will visit all three of his favorites, plus Miami on Jan. 30 before announcing his decision.

HOW HE FITS IN AT CLEMSON: With virtually the entire offensive line returning next season minus Bobby Hutchinson, Washington would have the chance to redshirt, work on his upper body strength and prepare for a four-year career on the field.


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