Re-visiting the 2008 recruiting class

With the start of the 2010 season almost a week away, CUTigers takes a look at Clemson's 2008 recruiting class, which Scout.com ranked 11th in the nation.

Clemson signed the maximum—25 players in the cycle. It was the fourth-straight year Tommy Bowden's staff signed a top-25 class. The 2008 class included a pair of five star prospects.

At least 10 members from that class will be starters in the Sept. 4 season opener against North Texas.

STILL AROUND
No. 1 DE - Da'Quan Bowers - Bamberg
There are some supporters of the Clemson football team that say Bowers has been a bust to this point. He played five fewer snaps as a sophomore because of a knee injury. Bowers improved his totals in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks in his sophomore season. Over his two year career, Bowers has 105 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, four sacks and 27 quarterback pressures. He's slated to be the starter again this season at defensive end. Earlier this summer Bowers was named to the Bronko Nagurski Watch List.

No. 5 RB - Jamie Harper - Jacksonville, Fla.
A co-winner of the offense's 12th Man Award in 2009, Harper improved in every category as a sophomore. He increased his rushing total from 133 to 418 yards, touchdowns from one to four touchdowns. Harper also caught 11 passes for 49 yards in 2009. He led the Tigers with 79 rushing yards in the Music City Bowl win last December. Harper is the co-starter at running back this season.

No. 6 DT - Brandon Thompson - Thomasville, Ga.
Listed as the co-starter at nose guard this fall, Thompson started 13 of the 14 games he played last season. As a sophomore, he had 50 tackles, two tackles for loss and nine quarterback pressures. Thompson has not registered a sack since the South Carolina State game during his freshman season.

No. 8 TE - Dwayne Allen - Fayetteville, N.C.
Allen set a freshman record for touchdown catches with three in 2009. He also had 10 receptions for 108 yards. Allen is expected to build on those numbers this fall with the graduation of Michael Palmer. Allen was recently named to the John Mackey Award Watch List.

No. 9 OT - Antoine McClain - Anniston, Ala.
The starter at right guard in all 14 games last season, McClain is slated as the starter this fall. He's played in all 27 games since his arrival to Clemson. McClain won the Strength Training Award for offensive linemen during spring practice.

No. 13 QB - Kyle Parker - Jacksonville, Fla.
The second-team Freshman All-American threw for 2,526 yards and 20 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. Parker also rushed for 135 yards and one touchdown in 2009. He set Clemson freshman records for touchdown passes, passing yards and completions (205). During fall camp, Parker said he was "99 percent" sure that this fall would be his last as Clemson's quarterback.

No. 13 OG - Dalton Freeman - Pelion
Freeman took over the starting center spot four games into his redshirt freshman season. He played 547 snaps in 13 games in 2009. Freeman will start at center again this fall.

No. 13 CB - Xavier Brewer - Jacksonville, Fla.
After redshirting as a freshman, Brewer played in all 14 games on special teams last season and 11 of the 14 as a cornerback. On 119 snaps, he had 15 tackles and three pass breakups. Brewer should see a considerable jump in playing time this fall as the back up to starting cornerback Marcus Gilchrist.

No. 18 S - Spencer Adams - Matthews, N.C.
One of the fastest players on the team, Adams redshirted during his freshman season because of a torn ACL. He played sparingly as a reserve safety in 2009 and was moved to cornerback during spring practice. Adams had a solid spring and is positioned into picking up more playing time this fall.

No. 24 RB - Andre Ellington - Moncks Corner
Ellington had a solid redshirt freshman season. He led all Clemson ball carriers with 7.2 yards per carry, the third-best in Clemson history for a minimum of 400 yards in a season. The co-winner of the 12th Man Award on offense with Harper, the duo will be listed as co-starters at running back this fall.

No. 3 P - Dawson Zimmerman - Snellville, Ga.
The first-team All-ACC Academic Team selection in 2009 has yet to show consistency on the field. Zimmerman has averaged less than 40 yards a punt in each of his first two seasons.

No. 16 OG - Matt Sanders - Crestview, Fla.
Tied for the strongest player on the team in terms of total weight lifted in all areas with 1,665 pounds. Sanders' 350-pound power clean push press is 350—50 more than anyone else on the team. He played in six of the 14 games during his redshirt freshman season, but did not see the field after the Virginia game.

No. 35 WLB - Jonathan Willard - Loris
In just 32 snaps during his redshirt freshman season, Willard picked up three tackles for loss. He's listed as the co-starter at the weak-side linebacker spot with Brandon Maye. "Tig" was named to Clemson's Academic Honor Roll last fall.

No. 44 S - Carlton Lewis - Saint Augustine, Fla.
The second-team free safety backs up his former high school teammate. Lewis played in eight of the last nine games of the 2009 season. In just 19 snaps last season, Lewis picked up six tackles.

No. 56 WR - Jaron Brown - Cheraw
In 11 games in 2009, Brown made three catches for 30 yards. With a high demand for playmakers to step up in the wide receiver core this fall, Brown is a prime candidate. His 18-yard touchdown catch against Coastal Carolina could be an indication of things to come from Brown this fall. He's listed as a co-starter with Terrance Ashe.

No. 60 S - Rashard Hall - Saint Augustine, Fla.
Hall finished second on the team with six interceptions in 2009 en-route to first-team Freshman All-American honors from Scout.com. He was also named defensive Co-Rookie of the Year by the Clemson coaching staff. Hall is the full-time starter at free safety this season.

No. 64 WR - Brandon Ford - Hanahan
Ford registered his first career catch against Coastal Carolina in 2009. The redshirt sophomore is behind Brown and Terrance Ashe on the depth chart.

No. 70 WR - Marquan Jones - Columbia
As a sophomore, Jones led Clemson with 19.6 yards per reception. In two years, he has 14 receptions for 213 yards and a touchdown. Jones is listed as the starter at one of the three wide receiver spots this fall.

K - Spencer Benton - Myrtle Beach
Benton served as the kickoff specialist in 2009 when he set a school record for tackles by a kicker (nine). He also handled all 87 kickoffs. As a place kicker, Benton hit a field goal from 28 yards and went 4-of-7 on extra-points.

No. 110 S - Daniel Andrews - Jacksonville, Fla.
The career reserve outside linebacker will backup Quandon Christian at the strong-side position this fall. Andrews has five tackles in 70 snaps over 19 games in his Clemson career.

OT - Matt Skinner - Jacksonville, Fla.
Skinner was the first long snapper to receive a scholarship out of high school. After redshirting his freshman year, Skinner handled 139 snaps in 2009.

NO LONGER ON THE TEAM
No. 19 OG - Kenneth Page - Columbia
Page appeared in just two games (five snaps) during his Clemson career before he was dismissed from the team in 2009.

No. 34 SLB - Tarik Rollins - Hollywood, Fla.
Rollins transferred after not two years, during which he didn't play a single snap.

No. 83 QB - Jon Richt - Athens, Ga.
Richt transferred after his redshirt freshman year.


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