Letters to the Publisher

Today, we introduce a new column on CUTigers.com. "Letters to the Publisher" will be a weekly periodical devoted to the general questions received in the last week at our web site. This week, the focus is on coaching changes, recruiting, and which prospects we can expect to wear orange next season.

Do we have a chance with Demetris Summers?
CUTigers: Yes, Clemson has a chance, and perhaps it's a much better chance than most people are willing to admit. He's set with an official visit to Tiger Town this weekend and Brad Scott has been close to his situation from the very beginning. There are conflicting reports here, which is normal for this time of year, but Summers is giving Clemson a chance.

What's the story on Noah Whiteside?
CUTigers: The story is he's torn right now, and he wants to wait a few days to let everything calm down before announcing his decision. This is probably a good thing if you are a Clemson fan, because after a trip to South Carolina, he's still giving the Tigers a chance. He's still considering all of his options, and he's still willing to listen to the Clemson coaches. The longer this one draws out, the better it could be for the Tigers.

Is a good thing that Clemson is spreading out their recruiting all over the country?
CUTigers: Certainly. Why wouldn't it be? Coach Lovett has contacts throughout New Jersey and we've already seen that pay off with a commitment from RB Brandon Nolen. Coach Burns has also always done well in Louisiana, and he was able to get Nick Watkins. Right now, it appears to be as important as ever to be able to diversify your recruiting efforts, especially next season, when it appears as though the 2004 class in South Carolina may be a little lean.

Syvelle Newton- Clemson or SC?
CUTigers: South Carolina all the way. He gave Clemson a shot, but it seems like he's been a hard Gamecock lean for some time now. There are no conflicting reports with Newton- it looks like he'll be wearing Garnet and Black.

Can Clemson have a top 20 recruiting class this year?
CUTigers: Absolutely, but they'll need to sign Eric Young and a couple of other big guns to be able to do it. Adding a Noah Whiteside, Maurice Nelson, and a couple of others wouldn't hurt either. This class will fill a lot of needs, regardless of whether or not it climbs into the top 20 or top 15, and that's the most important thing. The offensive linemen that will be brought in this year will have the opportunity to be one of the best ever to come to Clemson. Tommy Bowden and Rick Stockstill have addressed that need and then some.

Why is taking so long to announce the hiring of David Blackwell?
CUTigers: By all accounts, the last thing that was pending was a complete background check. A statement was released last week by the university indicating that an announcement would be on the way in the next 24 hours or so, but that has obviously yet to occur.

I've already signed up for the CUTigers The Magazine, will I receive the recruiting yearbook?
CUTigers: Yes, the recruiting yearbook is part of your subscription. For those of you yet to sign up, you can do so right here.

Can we really get David Overmyer?
CUTigers: You bet, but we'll have to beat out Poppa Bowden to do it. Overmyer enjoyed his trip to Columbia this past weekend, but it looks like this will likely come down to another father vs. son battle. He'll know something after his visit to Tallahassee this weekend.

Will Brian Staley start next season?
CUTigers: It's hard to determine which players can come and make a difference right away, but if you had to pick one right now- he'd be it. You are talking about a kid that returned 6 picks back in one year for a touchdown. That tells you two things: 1) He's a playmaker, and 2) He's a ball hawk. Those are two traits that you like to see in a cover corner, and then there's his speed, which is sub 4.4. Having a player like Staley along side Justin Miller gives you a lot of options in the secondary next season. He'll crack the two-deep and most likely claim a starting spot very early.

Will Curtis Rice get an offer from Clemson?
CUTigers: Simply put, it all depends on what happens with David Hines and Marcus Howard. Rice is vastly underrated, and he'll be a difference maker for some school. The Union coaching staff is extremely high on him, he'll land somewhere, but it may not be in Clemson.

Will Mario Henderson come to Clemson, and will he qualify?
CUTigers: Yes, Mario Henderson will come to Clemson, Brad Scott has done a phenomenal job here. If he doesn't qualify, Clemson will place him and we'll see him in Tiger Town in a couple of years on the offensive line. We saw him in person at Littlejohn Saturday afternoon and the kid is absolutely enormous!

Do you think that C.J. Gaddis will remain at quarterback at Clemson?
CUTigers: Yes, Coach O'Cain is high on him as a quarterback. His numbers during his senior season weren't eye-popping but he has the extra gear that you'd like to see in a quarterback in this offense and the talent level surrounding him at Hoke County wasn't exactly what you would call "top-notch."

What happens if both Kinlaw and Billie commit to Clemson now that Brandon Nolen will be coming?
CUTigers: Well, that means that there would be 3 verbal commitments at running back when a log jam already exists with Duane Coleman, Yusef Kelly, Tye Hill, Kyle Browning, Chad Jasmin, and Reggie Merriweather. It would be safe to assume that someone out of that group would make a position switch. Tye Hill would be one name that comes to mind; Billie has been rumored to be a potential safety prospect, and Nolen has the speed to play in the secondary as well.

You can send your questions for next week's Letters to the Publisher to rphilpo@cutigers.com.

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