Clemson garners commits from SC Prep Finest

Clemson has addressed their needs this off season with a half dozen of SC Prep players who hope to make Death Valley home for the next 4 years.

Each and every year the question around Prep circles in South Carolina is who won the in state recruiting battle. While I am not a huge fan of recruiting and enjoy the actual game over the recruiting game, it is obvious that games are won and lost on National Signing Day.


If you had asked a Clemson fan what there top priorities were going into 2003 after a lackluster 2002 campaign then special teams, offensive linemen and depth in the secondary were where the Tigers were going to target.


Despite not yet landing one of the Big 6 recruits in the state this season, Clemson has done remarkably well in landing a half dozen on the Top 25 players in the state and who will help the team in areas where they needed to address during the off season.


By far the top recruit and crown jewel in the class is Maurice Nelson from Crestwood High School. Maurice has been constantly listed in the SC Pigskin Prep Top 25 for the past season and is among the Top Ten players in the state. Nelson is a great player who has learned a great deal playing under Coach Crolley and the Knights staff. Crestwood had a good season but were perhaps hoping for a little better but ran into a Rebel Buzz saw in the playoffs.


Maurice finished with over 250 career tackles and 10 interceptions. He is an impressive physical player who also won the 2002 State Strength Competition in the 205 lb class last season. A remarkable nose for the game, Maurice could find early playing time for the Tigers in 2003.


A second key prospect for the Tigers is Kicker Jad Dean from Greenwood. It is very rare that you watch the warm ups prior to a game just to see a kicker but Dean put on a show for the crowd prior to the Dorman – Greenwood game this season. Every kickoff was through the end zone and one extra point attempt was last seen sailing through the end zone, beyond the fence, and deep into the trees behind the field house. A leg for a cannon and a love for the game should make Clemson fans more confident about their kicking game in 2003.


A versatile player in Tremaine Billie has now committed to the Tigers after initially considering the Gamecocks and giving them a verbal. Billie is one of those athletes that could play any position and play it well. He was a star at the prep level that projects as a defensive back at the next level.


Sergio Gilliam, the Greer all region player has also decided to attend Clemson. Gilliam was a two way standout for the Yellow Jackets. Sergio found the end zone 10 times this season and was one of the fastest and most dangerous return men in the upstate.


Clemson also solidified their line play with an offensive and defensive lineman from the palmetto state. Marion Dukes after a lack luster junior year came on strong his senior year and played well for the Pickens Blue Flames. He was a mainstay on the line that gave Pickens a Region championship and allowed them to advance deep in the Class 3A playoffs.


Anthony McDaniel played defensive line for the Keenan Raiders this season and will improve greatly under the Clemson coaching staff. The upside for Anthony is his huge frame, great family support and positive outlook and attitude. He must overcome playing against inferior high school competition and playing for a program that has failed to produce anything in the past decade.


Despite missing out on many of the big names in the state such as Marcus Howard, Terrell Allen, Rodney Kinlaw and Noah Whiteside, the Tigers should be very happy with their home grown talent and should expect big things from their commits in the near future.

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