2010 Tiger Targets: OG, C

The emergence of several young interior linemen on the Tiger front has allowed Clemson to carry a relatively small recruiting board at Offensive guard and center.

The Tigers do need to take at least one prospect here, with the possibility of a second. In this next installment of the ongoing series, Tiger Targets, CUTigers.com takes a look at who sits at the forefront of Clemson's recruiting efforts:

Chester's Kalon Davis is ranked as the No. 26 offensive guard prospect in the country according to Scout.com.
OG Kalon Davis

THE LOW DOWN: Was there any doubt that this list was going to start here? The top priority among interior linemen this year resides in this mammoth offensive guard. Davis is a player of immense size that is freakishly athletic considering his enormous proportions. Standing at an earth-shaking 6'5" 340 lbs., Kalon has all the nimbleness of a man half of his weight; he also plays midfielder for his high school soccer team. An offensive lineman playing soccer at all is impressive, but a giant playing midfield is unheard of. Needless to say, he possesses very quick feet and plays with a good mean streak. He excels in his run blocking and performed surprisingly well in pass protection during the one on one drills in camp. He does need some overall work with technique, especially with regard to knee bend and pad level. In addition, he will need a solid redshirt year to reshape his body, most notably replacing some "baby fat" with muscle in the upper body. With Davis' upside, frame, and agility, it is no wonder that some consider him the best lineman in the state.

THE CONTENDERS: This race boils down to two teams: Clemson and 'Bama. Initially, Kalon was infatuated with the Tide and their physical line play and seemed that an offer would result in a commitment. However, after numerous trips to Clemson and being slow played by a Bama team that has reeled in three offensive line commitments including two guards, the balance of power has shifted. Clemson has solidified itself as the firm leader for Kalon and a commitment could be coming as soon as his scheduled middle of the month visit to Tiger Town. At this point, with 'Bama having neglected to offer after an impressive camp performance, even a Tide tender at this point could prove to be too little too late. On the periphery are Wake Forest and LSU, but are so far out of the race that they hardly merit mentioning. The crystal ball says that Kalon pulls the trigger before the season starts and the staff gets their top player along the interior line.

Eric Mack is currently ranked as the No. 5 offensive guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com. The Calhoun County star is also expected to be in Clemson for an unofficial visit Tuesday.
OG Eric Mack

THE LOW DOWN: Perhaps more highly touted than Kalon Davis, Eric Mack is one of the better offensive line prospects in the southeast and has the offer sheet to prove it. Mack has good size for an interior trenchman, but has an even better frame to complement. Long arms and powerful legs make Mack a sought after prospect. Eric plays with good strength and bullies around smaller linemen with ease, often completing the play with a pancake. His run blocking skills are far ahead of his pass protection at this point, but that is to be expected of most interior high school blockers. Mack does need a lot of work with regard to technique, but is more than capable of making up for these deficiencies with some good coaching. The biggest concern for him right now is many see him as merely overpowering or "leaning" on defenders, utilizing sheer size and brute strength rather than footwork or technique. It will take him a while to unlearn those habits and teach him a more fundamentally sound approach, but his talent and ultimate upside cannot be denied.

THE CONTENDERS: Mack has been an SEC lean for much of the process and remains that way. Auburn and South Carolina reside at the top. Mack is intrigued with Auburn's running game tradition and attitude of pounding the ball and likes the direction that the offense is taking. In addition, the Tigers did a great job of showing him attention aplenty by anointing him one of their top line prospects. Instate program South Carolina may have the inside track as the staff, namely new OL Coach, Wolford, has established a great relationship with him. The fact that former teammate and incoming freshman Alshoun Jeffery is set to play with the Gamecocks as is current commit Brandon Golson only helps their chances. However, don't count the Tigers out yet. He has made numerous visits to Death Valley and is developing a good rapport with the Tiger staff. Clemson has also taken measures to work around a dynamic that was hindering their previous efforts. As Mack is currently on a NSD decision course, Clemson has plenty of time to work him. The crystal ball says that after watching South Carolina's line struggle again this year, Mack decides to cast his lot with the Tigers…just not the right one and ends up playing in Auburn.

David Beasley (Columbus, Ga.) is currently ranked as the No. 28 offensive guard prospect in the nation by Scout.com.
OG David Beasley

THE LOW DOWN: Looking for a big tough lineman? Look no further than the Peach State. Every year Georgia seems to turn out a myriad of Division I caliber blockers that can't all end up Dawgs. This leaves some easy pickings of quality players for nearby schools like Clemson. David is terrific in the run game where he plays with equal measures of quickness and strength allowing him to be a terror at the point of attack as well as at the second level. Playing for powerhouse Carver allowed him to fully display his abilities as he racked up a state of Georgia tops in pancakes at 90 last year. As devastating as Beasley is in the run game, he does leave a lot to be desired in the passing game. He often stands straight up, becomes stiff legged, and establishes a poor base. He will likely need some substantial coaching in general technique in order to be effective at the next level, but has the capability with his nasty demeanor to be a multiple year starter at the guard position.

THE CONTENDERS: Clemson has only recently entered the fray for this mauler with a newly tendered offer. However, the offer has quickly captured the prospect's attention as the Tigers now reside firmly in his top three. Accompanying the Orange and Purple at the top are Louisville and Southern Miss. Louisville has recruited the lineman for a while now and has formed a good relationship with the prospect, especially where TE Coach, Jay Johnson, is concerned. Southern Miss has been the top dog for Beasley for nearly the entire spring and summer. David is particularly drawn to the Golden Eagles coaching staff as well as the fact that it is primarily a small college town. Clemson will need to act fast to impress Beasley as he make a decision sooner rather than later. With a visit tentatively scheduled for later this month, the Tigers will have their chance to impress the young man. The crystal ball says too little too late and the long established lead of Southern Miss withstands the Tigers late push.

OG R.J. Canty

THE LOW DOWN: The teammate of Kalon Davis came to Clemson's camp with the aspirations of learning some techniques for his upcoming season, but left firmly on the Tiger's recruiting board. Canty is an undersized prospect that plays with tremendous desire. A hard working player, R.J. proved to be one of the more coachable players in the camp, soaking up instruction in drills like a sponge. His aptitude for learning immediately grabbed the staff's attention and merited closer observation. As noted, his size is a bit of a concern as he sports a smaller frame at only 6'1" and 260 lbs. with not much room to add bulk. Though the center position often utilizes a smaller player, this is pushing the edge of feasibility, especially against larger, physical defensive tackles. RJ does play with good functional strength and has decent weight room numbers which may aid in wrestling against larger players. While Canty has the opportunity to become an excellent technician, his ceiling for improvement is not as high as other prospects due to simple talent limitations.

THE CONTENDERS: East Carolina is his lone Division 1 offer at this point and is thus his clear favorite. He has developed a good relationship with head coach Skip Holtz and would fit in well with his style of player. Skip has crafted a team that plays on grit and determination as much as talent and has proven their mettle against some of the best in the nation. Canty's game is right in keeping with this same fire. Georgia Tech could become a huge factor with RJ should they choose to offer. The smaller, more agile Canty would excel in Paul Johnson's run heavy offense that requires him to establish a blocking angle quicker than the defensive linemen can react. Clemson will carry RJ on the recruiting board throughout the year and may ultimately pull the trigger on an offer. If that happens, the Tigers should be the team to beat. The crystal ball says that offers will dictate where Canty goes: no further offers – ECU, GT offers – GT, Clemson offers – Clemson; the only kink comes if both the Yellow Jackets and Tigers move in.

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