Letters to the Publisher

With all the madness of the last week, today we release another "Letters to the Publisher." Today, we focus on which prospects may be potential sleepers in the 2003 class, as well as which players that will have the best opportunity to avoid a redshirt next season.

What are our chances with David Overmyer?
CUTigers: I'd say they are still pretty good considering that he has favored Clemson at various points throughout the recruiting process and his teammate, Brandon Pilgrim has already verbally committed. He obviously is still making up his mind, but I'd be very surprised if he doesn't end up at Clemson.

Robert Reese- did the staff want him as a cornerback or a safety?
CUTigers: All indications are that Robert Reese is being recruited strictly as a cornerback. Yes, he has decent height at 6-0, but he's coming to Clemson as a corner right now. Reese is one of the faster players in Georgia with 10.8 speed in the 100 meters and a time he says is in the 4.3 range in the 40-yard dash.

Who has the best chance of avoiding a redshirt next season?
CUTigers: Brian Staley and Woodly Telfort are two early names to keep an eye on. Jad Dean will also likely avoid a redshirt with a strong showing in August. The staff wants him to handle kickoffs early on and he should be ready to go to work once he arrives on campus. Maurice Nelson is another name to keep an eye on. Nelson will come to Clemson with the benefit of having several years in an outstanding strength and conditioning program at Crestwood- he could crack the two deep at rover.

What's your take on Eric Young?
CUTigers: My take is that Eric Young still hasn't decided where he'll go to school next year. Big E is an impressionable young man and having all of these coaches promise him the world at their respective institutions must be an incredible burden to handle. Does Clemson still have a good chance at landing him? Yes, but so do South Carolina and Tennessee.

Do you think the 2003 recruiting class will end up in the top 20?
CUTigers: If the Tigers were to sign David Overmyer and Eric Young- yes. If not, they'll probably be right on the edge. While rankings are always nice to hang your hat on, the important thing is that Tommy Bowden addressed his needs on the offensive line and then some.

Can you tell me anything more about Chris Jefferson?
CUTigers: Jefferson is a great kid to talk to, very outgoing and very energetic. He knows that by coming to Clemson, he'll have the chance to really showcase his talents and prove that he can take his game to the next level. That being said, he also knows that he'll be redshirting his first year learning from one of the most talented units in the nation.

Do you see a "sleeper" in this class, and if so, who would it be?
CUTigers: I've heard some great things on Nick Watkins, even though I haven't seen him on film. Watkins comes from a school known for producing quality talent at linebacker, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him come and make some noise in the next few years. Another prospect I would watch is Tremaine Billie.

Do you have a gut feeling on Curtis Rice? Will we offer him?
CUTigers: Good question, and my answer to this changes almost on a daily basis. It will be interesting to see how Rice's visit to South Carolina went this past weekend, but based on the Tigers' current situation at linebacker with Marcus Howard going to Georgia and David Hines not coming to Clemson, you'd have to think that an offer might be in the works for Curtis Rice.

What about Larry Shyatt? Do you think he can keep his job another year?
CUTigers: That really depends on how the rest of this season plays out. If the Tigers are able to rebound and make the NIT, then I would say Larry Shyatt will be back at Clemson next season. If not, the administration just might be forced to look elsewhere. The Tigers are 2-32 on the road in ACC play during Larry Shyatt's career as head coach at Clemson University and have only made it to post season play once- his first year. If another year goes by without the Tigers reaching a postseason tournament- it could very well be the end of the Shyatt era at Clemson University.

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