Recruiting by position: defense

With camp just around the corner in August, CUTigers takes an early look ahead to how things breakdown at each defensive position with evaluations of who's going, who's staying and who else could be heading to Clemson.

The potential departures address who's graduating and who could be leaving early for the NFL. The early departures are simply possibilities, not projections. Commits and remaining targets for the class of 2011 are also listed with quick hits at each position.

Clemson remains the favorite for Manning defensive tackle Phillip Dukes. (
Defensive Tackle
Potential Departures: Jarvis Jenkins, Miguel Chavis, Brandon Thompson
Commitments: Grady Jarrett, Jerome Maybank, Deshawn Williams
Targets: Devonte Brown, Phillip Dukes, Gabe Wright

Quick Hit: The dismissal of Jamie Cumbie already leaves one more space open in 2010, although it would have been his final season at Clemson, anyway. Jenkins and Chavis are both gone with Thompson as a potential early entry candidate. With three commitments already on the docket for 2011, the Tigers' staff is hoping for at least one more. Dukes and Brown, each, are much more likely to sign than Wright at this point.

Jeoffrey Pagan remains high on Clemson's 2011 wish list. (
Defensive End
Potential Departures: Da'Quan Bowers
Commitments: Joe Gore
Targets: Jadeveon Clowney, Aaron Lynch, Jeoffrey Pagan, Stephon Tuitt

Quick Hit: Bowers, who's projected by some as a potential first-round draft pick, still has another year of eligibility after 2011. It's up to the future pro and how soon he wants to get to the NFL. Though defensive end isn't a big need, numbers-wise, there are several highly-touted prospects that Clemson is considering. Clowney (likely South Carolina bound) and Pagan (currently committed to Florida) are the top names in consideration on the board.

Steward currently as the Tigers No. 1 on his list after visiting for camp last month. (
Potential Departures: Scotty Cooper
Commitments: None
Targets: Stephone Anthony, Cedrick Cooper, Travis Hughes, A.J. Johnson, Tremayne McNair, Tony Steward, Lateek Townsend

Quick Hit: Mostly a reserve during his career, Cooper is likely the only departure from the line backing corps. However, the position has been identified as one of need. With no commitments on for 2011, the Tigers are likely to take a prospect that can play in the middle and 1-2 to play on the outside. The good news is Clemson is in solid shape with both Steward and Townsend. The bad news is both players appear content to postpone their decisions until closer to signing day, which means there's plenty of work to be done.


Marcus, ranked as the No. 50 safety in the country, visited Clemson recently with several of his teammates. (
Potential Departures: Marcus Gilchrist, DeAndre McDaniel, Rashard Hall, Byron Maxwell
Commits: Robert Smith
Targets: Cortez Davis, Alex Dixon, Kadetrix Marcus, Demetrious Nicholson, Geraldo Orta

Quick Hit: Three of the projected 2010 starters are gone after the season. McDaniel and Gilchrist are expected to be drafted in the 2011 NFL Draft with Maxwell's NFL career is on the bubble heading into his senior season. Hall, who teamed up with McDaniel to form one of the nation's most formidable safety duos in 2009, will be draft-eligible. Smith accepted his offer earlier this year. At one time, Davis and Orta were committed, but each has backed out. After a full class of defensive backs in 2010, the 2011 campaign doesn't have as high of a demand. Top Stories