Mid-term recruiting report card

CUTigers hands out position-by-position grades of the commitments thus far in Clemson's 2011 recruiting class.

It was a successful summer for the Clemson coaching staff, which picked up commitments from several big-time targets, including a pair of five star prospects.

The staff also filled several needs in the summer by picking up the first linebacker, another offensive tackle, more defensive linemen and a center.

Here are the grades from CUTigers heading into final six months of the 2011 recruiting term:

Quarterback B

Tony McNeal
Tony McNeal - Chester

It's a solid B to the in-state quarterback who's had a fantastic summer, including an undefeated run at the Gridiron Kings 7on7 in July. Rated with three stars by Scout.com, McNeal is still recovering from a torn ACL, which he suffered midway through his junior season. With a solid senior year, McNeal should be able to increase his No. 42 position ranking.

Mike Bellamy
Running Back A+
Mike Bellamy - Punta Gorda, Fla.
Marlin Lane - Daytona Beach, Fla.

There's little doubt that Clemson's running back class will be considered one of the best in the nation, if not then best—just as long as it stays together. After all, two of the nation's 10 best running backs occupy spots in the Tigers' 2011 class. Bellamy, a five-star, will continue to see a heavy push from Florida. Lane, a four-star, solidified his spot among the 2011 elite before his knee injury last season. Time sure does fly. It's been more than a year since he committed.

Charone Peake
Wide Receiver A-
Charone Peake - Roebuck
Adam Humphries - Roebuck

The commitment from Peake was welcomed with open arms by the Clemson staff. He was the second five-star to drop in June and brought a little bit of closure to the efforts for 2011. Many thought the offer to his high school teammate, Humphries, was to help sweeten the pot for Peake. As it just so turns out, Humphries is a pretty good player, too. A solid showing at the Dabo Swinney Football Camp had him drawing comparisons to former Tiger receiver Tyler Grisham.

Eric MacLain
Tight End B+
Eric MacLain - Fayetteville, N.C.

A former Tennessee commit, MacLain's decision to come on board with the Clemson class helped to solidify one of the biggest needs. MacLain has the frame to carry the weight and the feet to play offensive tackle. That's why he's listed as an offensive tackle by Scout.com. He has the ball skills to play tight end. And that's where he's going to play at Clemson.

Isaiah Battle
Offensive Line B+
Shaq Anthony - Piedmont
Isaiah Battle - Dyke, Va.
Ryan Norton - Mauldin

The Tigers won two important recruiting battles to pick up numbers along the offensive line. Anthony, an offensive tackle, picked Clemson over South Carolina and Georgia. Norton, a center, picked Clemson over South Carolina and Georgia Tech. The other offensive tackle, Battle, is a relative unknown on the recruiting scene. He may have the highest upside of any commitment in the class.

Jerome Maybank
Defensive Line B
Joe Gore - Lake Waccamaw, N.C.
Grady Jarrett - Conyers, Ga.
Jerome Maybank - Pawley's Island
Deshawn Williams - Central

There's strength in numbers for the defensive line commitments. All four are rated with three stars. Williams was the first member to join the 2011 class. Gore, the only end, could actually end up on the offensive line at tackle, but he'll start on defensive side of the ball. Same goes for Maybank, who could play tackle on defense or guard on offense. Like Gore, he would prefer to play defense. Jarrett was a solid pickup after a strong showing at camp in June.

Colton Walls
Linebacker D+
Colton Walls - Charlotte, N.C.

Simply put, there's still plenty of work left to do at linebacker. Like Humphries, Walls' offer and verbal commitment came as a bit of a surprise. Walls is the son of former NFL tight end Wesley, who spent several seasons with the Carolina Panthers, but will switch to the defensive side of the ball at Clemson.

Cortez Davis
Secondary B
Cortez Davis - Daytona Beach, Fla.
Robert Smith - Dorchester

Davis committed to Clemson last fall, de-committed and is now committed, once again. Like Smith, who's also listed as a safety, Davis is rated with three stars by Scout.com. Smith is a high school quarterback who's kind of without a position for the next level, though he'll likely end up at safety or corner. Davis is nearly 6-foot-3, which is huge by the standards of a cornerback.

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