2010 Tiger Targets: OT

Arguably the thinnest position on the entire team, offensive tackle is a huge priority for Clemson on the 2010 recruiting trail.

Having secured one commitment from camp standout Reid Webster, CUTigers.com takes a look at who is left on the recruiting board at tackle in another edition of Tiger Targets:


Nashville native James Stone is the No. 10 ranked offensive tackle prospect in the country according to Scout.com.
OT James Stone

THE LOW DOWN: This talented lineman has the skills to be a three year starter at the next level and, with proper development, ultimately could play in the league on Sundays. At 6'5" and a near 300 pounds, he has great size and a frame that could allow him to play tackle effectively at the next level. He does need some work with foot quickness and has struggled some against speed rushers around the end. Because of this, he could end up playing guard at the next level, but may ultimately be too talented not to be utilized at a tackle position. He does show decent mobility and once he locks on to a defender, gets great push. While Stone still needs some technical polishing, he has great upside and is already a powerful blocker that could play for virtually any school in the nation.

THE CONTENDERS: As with most talented instate prospects, the Volunteers sit at the top of the list. A frequent visitor to UT's campus, Stone was one of the linemen that shown brightly and walked away with a share of the MVP on the offensive side of the ball. While he seems a heavy lean to play in Neyland stadium in the coming years, the talented trenchman will have opportunities elsewhere. The Tigers have used Dan Brooks and his connections to the Volunteer state to work Stone, but are still on the outside looking in for the SEC lean. A visit is a must to even enter the race for his services. Vanderbilt has done extremely well with recruiting early on and could be a factor as the hometown team. LSU is also firmly in the mix and is likely running a very close second to the Vols. A host of other SEC schools including Georgia and Bama are also interested. The crystal ball says Kiffin's antics are enough to keep Stone home and the Vols add to what is shaping up to be a solid class.


Roswell, Ga. native David Yankee comes in as the No. 44 offensive tackle prospect in the nation according to Scout.com.
OT David Yankey

THE LOW DOWN: This Georgia lineman has seen his stock rise as much as anyone's in the southeast during the spring and summer evaluation periods. A prospect that is just starting to fill out his frame, David did not possess a college blocker's body even just a year ago. Now, standing at an impressive 6'5" 280, Yankey has attracted the attention of a host of college programs. He has very quick feet and great mobility allowing him to take on edge rushers, matching speed for speed to keep them at bay. David also plays with good flexibility and bend and should be very coachable at the next level with regard to pad level. He is fairly impressive in his pass blocking technique, but needs work in the running game. In addition, he still needs a lot of work in the strength department, but this should improve as he fills his growing body out. Perhaps his greatest asset, Yankey possesses great intelligence and should excel at picking up complicated blocking schemes.

THE CONTENDERS: Many prospects state that they are looking for a good academic school, but Yankey means it. David has the ability to succeed at the most elite of universities academically, and will look to balance his prospective schools' football prowess along with academic repute. South Carolina was the first to step out and offer and Yankey has responded in kind with numerous visits and has consistently listed them in his top schools. In addition, the North Carolina schools of UNC, Duke, and Wake Forest have also received serious interest. Georgia and Florida from the SEC also are strong early with the Peach State native, but only Georgia has made a lasting impression. Though he has yet to visit out west, Stanford stands out as well and could end up being a serious player. The Tigers extended an offer in May, but will need to secure a thorough visit to enter the race. With Vickery Hall and an outstanding academic support record, Clemson could become a factor. The crystal ball says Yankey is serious about his schooling and ends up at either Duke or Stanford.


Max Garcia, Scout.com's No. 48 offensive tackle, was a standout performer at one of Clemosn's individual camps in June.
OT Max Garcia

THE LOW DOWN: Garcia is yet another talented Georgia lineman that has burst onto the scene this spring. After an impressive performance at Clemson's camp where he was arguably the top lineman present, the Tigers made him a priority. Garcia has exceptional mobility and excels in a zone blocking scheme, both at making his primary blocks as well as getting to the second level and taking on backers. A well-rounded blocker, Garcia doesn't excel at either run or pass blocking, but does both proficiently. Max has good upside, not the highest, but does have plenty of room to improve. In addition, Garcia's floor is quite high which makes him a desirable commodity. In the world of recruiting, offensive linemen are some of the hardest players to project, and a prospect that has decent upside, but appears to be fairly unlikely to be a bust is often more sought after than those with huge upsides, but healthy bust potential. Max possesses both a decent upside in combination with low bust potential, making him quite coveted indeed.

THE CONTENDERS: Vanderbilt has been extremely strong with Garcia, having led for nearly the entire process thus far. Offensive line guru Robbie Caldwell, widely regarded as one of the finest OL coaches in the nation, has made a great impression with Max. Clemson offered Max and attracted enough attention to get him on campus for Swinney's camp. Since that time, the Tigers have rocketed up Garcia's list from not even on the radar, to a strong number two nipping at the Commodores' heels. A return visit is in the works, but may be some ways off. With Benedict off the board, Garcia is the top priority for Clemson at OT and the staff has made that point abundantly clear. With a bit more time to work and an official visit, Clemson has a great chance to overtake Vandy and vault into the lead. Maryland is working hard to position themselves for Garcia's services, but remains a distant third. The crystal ball says Clemson manages to wrestle Max away from Vanderbilt and walks away with its top priority along the OL.


Three-star tackle Dan Koenig is expected to be in Clemson later this month for an unofficial visit.
OT Dan Koenig

THE LOW DOWN: A player with great bloodlines having two older brothers playing at the Division 1 level, Dan is still developing as a football player. Already standing at an imposing 6'6", Koenig is still growing and could end up pushing 6'7" before reaching his destination of choice next summer. Because he is still filling out his impressive frame, Dan has a lot of work ahead of him in the weight room, but has the chance to be an extremely physically impressive player. Koenig has great athletic ability and moves well on the field. He also takes his blocking seriously and plays with a heavy dose of a mean streak, attempting to punish those who would get in his way. Dan does need some work on the finer aspects of the game and will need a good deal of technical polishing. With a redshirt year for strength gains and some strides in blocking technique, he has all conference potential and should make an excellent college tackle.

THE CONTENDERS: Having two older brothers play for Oklahoma State, the Cowboys have to be consider a firm favorite. Dan attended their spring game and has consistently listed the Pokes in the top 3-4 when asked. Hometown powerhouse Miami also has to be considered a big threat for his services. The Canes have recently intensified their efforts for Dan and it has the big man thinking. Rumors recently swirled that Koenig had pulled the trigger on a surprise commitment to Tennessee, and while the Vols are firmly in the mix, these turned out to be errant reports. Clemson offered the prospect only recently and is trying to push itself into the mix hoping it isn't too little too late. Koenig has plans in place to visit the Tigers at some point during this month. The possibility of Dan ending up in Orange and Purple will largely hang on how successful this visit ends up. The crystal ball says that blood is thicker than water and the Cow Pokes get a top notch road grader for their high powered offensive attack.

OT Michael Watnee

THE LOW DOWN: A big time sleeper, Watnee is so far below the radar, that he doesn't yet possess a profile from Scout.com. However, Michael introduced himself in impressive fashion at Clemson's Swinney camp. The unheralded prospect has played football for only a single year so far in his young career, and that on the defensive side of the ball. However, Clemson's staff took one look at the 6'8" 320 pound monster and decided to work him out at offensive tackle. Watnee is extremely raw, but is very athletic and has excellent upside. Michael flashed glimpses of the player he could become at the next level with quick feet, long arms, good functional strength, and above average agility. While likely a bit of a project that will require two years before being college ready, Watnee has all the physical tools to be a very good player at the college level.

THE CONTENDERS: A virtual unknown, Watnee does not yet hold an offer. His performance at Dabo's camp almost changed that as he was right on the fence of walking away with a tender. Clemson is still very closely evaluating and he may end up with an offer when it is all said and done. Duke is also evaluating closely and may look to pull the trigger with an offer. As the Blue Devils need to be a bit more creative with their recruiting strategies to lure prospects, Duke could extend a full offer sooner than other schools. The other instate North Carolina schools could be threats down the road, especially NC State. The crystal ball says Clemson expands its OT board and jumps on Watnee, who reciprocates with a commitment.

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