Official visit weekend preview

CLEMSON - Round two of Clemson's official visitors is up this weekend. CUTigers.com has an extensive preview on who's coming and what to expect in this report.

Georgia commitment Dexter Morant and uncommitted prospect Ethan Farmer are confirmed guests for this weekend. So are Clemson current commitmentss Vic Beasley, Sam Cooper, Joe Craig, Ricky Chaney, Martavis Bryant and David Beasley are also planning to take their official visits.

Farmer spoke to CUTigers last week about his thoughts heading into the weekend in Clemson. Originally, his official trip was scheduled for the weekend of the Coastal Carolina game, but something came up at home in Tabor City, N.C., preventing him from taking the trip.

Though he's down to three schools: North Carolina, Clemson and N.C. State; Farmer could place in a prep school next fall. He's scheduled to take the SAT on Jan. 23.

"I just went to see where I would be the next four to five years. Next is (what position) I'm going to get to play and if I'm going to get (early) playing time and good experience. Third, if they have what I want to major in," he said.

Farmer heads to North Carolina the weekend after he's taking the SAT.

It's 50/50 whether Farmer is being recruited as an athlete to play either defensive end or tight end. Four 2010 defensive linemen have already committed. Josh Watson, a four-star tackle out of Hargrave Military Academy, has already enrolled for the spring semester. He'll be joined later this year by two-star tackle Tra Thomas, who committed to Brooks before an afternoon practice session at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

Tavaris Barnes (three-star) became the second defensive end commit to this year's class, joining four-star Corey Crawford. Morant is a potential defensive end addition. After his official visit to Clemson, he'll head down to Athens for his last official visit of the recruiting process.

He hasn't taken visits to any schools other than Georgia since he committed over the summer, but has since began looking Clemson's way since the defensive coordinator position was vacated by Jon Fabris--his recruiter.


Manning DE Dexter Morant is currently committed to Georgia but is receiving a late push by the Clemson coaching staff, led by defensive ends coach Chris Rumph. (Chad Simmons)
"Coach Rumph has done a good job of giving Dexter his space, and honoring his commitment to Georgia," said Morant's high school coach Robbie Briggs. "If Jon Fabris and Willie Martinez were still at Georgia, I don't think he's taking his visit right now."

Farmer is also considered a tight end prospect, potentially adding his name alongside Vic Beasley and Sam Cooper, a three-star and two-star, respectively.

Farmer remains open minded about which position he plays.

"It's just where they want to put me at," he said.

Jay Rome and Austin Seferian-Jenkins have already been offered spots in the 2011 class. Scout.com rates both with four-stars and both will eventually rank among the top-five tight ends for their class.

Michael Palmer and Durrell Barry have graduated, leaving Dwayne Allen and Chad Diehl as the top two returning tight ends. Allen looks to be a mainstay at tight end over the next few seasons and CUTigers believes Rome will end up in the orange and purple. Since there's at least one tight end ready to sign in February, depth next season be an issue.

Up to four defensive tackles on Tigers' current roster will depart after the 2010 season. Farmer could be an early solution for depth at tight end, but projects as defensive tackle in the long term. Again, pending his decision.

COMMITMENTS ON HAND THIS WEEKEND
Upon Vic Beasley's commitment in August, he expressed his preference to play offense over defense, but has since said he wouldn't mind playing defense. His father played football at Auburn, and even though there's been pressure to visit the Tigers from the Plains, he's got no plans to do that at the present time.

Coupled with his high upside and lack of depth at tight end, he should see early playing time.


Vic Beasley committed to Clemosn last August and has remained firm to the Tigers since that time. (Staff Report)
Sam Cooper will be joining Beasley at tight end, though he comes in with less fanfare. Keep in mind the last 6-foot-4.5, 220-something pound two-star tight end to sign with Clemson caught a school-record 41 passes this past season. The lack of returning depth at the position could also force Cooper into playing early.

WR Joe Craig is a slight, but speedy wide receiver, who was banged up with a couple injuries this past season. He would have liked to be in town for last weekend's round of official visits, but he had an SAT workshop.

"I'm trying to see him and chill with some of the players, get used to them," he said. "I might as well go down there and make a bond with some of the players, so I won't feel left out next year when I go."

Craig will take the SAT next weekend. Since he could put on some more size, a redshirt appears likely if he's on campus this fall.

OLB Ricky Chaney is a work in progress, who will end up at outside linebacker or safety. He's a couple of years away from seeing significant playing time.

WR Martavis Bryant has previously indicated to CUTigers that he should be academically qualified and ready to go by the fall. He could have an immediate impact from day one with Clemson's questions at wide receiver.

He's comparable to former Tiger receiver Aaron Kelly. Both are threats in the vertical passing game and have the skill sets to be a possession receiver in the short and intermediate passing game. Instead of attending last weekend for his official visit, Bryant was playing the US Army All-American Bowl.

OG David Beasley was originally scheduled to be in town last weekend, but backed out at the last minute. He's been getting a late push from Georgia, but remains firm to Clemson.

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