****Who’s Left on the Big Board for 2018
4-Star DB Olaijah Griffin
As the 2017 season has come to an end, the eyes of the college football world have turned to the remainder of the 2018 recruiting classes and the Tigers are no exception, as they still have their eyes on several remaining prospects that are uncommitted at this time.
Players the Tigers are still after include the likes of Justyn Ross, the 5-star all-world wide receiver out of Phoenix City, Alabama, and 5-star eefensive back Patrick Surtain down in the Sunshine State. There’s also the big 4-star offensive lineman out of Tampa, Richard Gouriage, to name just a few of the Tigers’ remaining targets.
Ross is down to Clemson, Auburn and Alabama, with both in-state schools applying a lot of local pressure on the 5-star wide out. Clemson has quietly been the leader for Ross for a long time, but the Tigers have a couple things working against them. First, and most obviously, is his proximity to the in-state schools and their local influence. Second, Ross has yet to take his official visits to either of the in-state schools and already used his Clemson OV back in November for The Citadel game.
Ross has been to Clemson on more than a few occasions, and his mother fell in love with the campus and the school on her trip with Justyn, but word out of Alabama is that Justyn’s grandmother, who raised him during his mother’s military deployment, is in favor of Ross staying in state—specifically in Tuscaloosa.
5-Star WR Justyn Ross during Clemson visit
Clemson has losses at the wide out position and specifically in the position Ross plays—the 9-man spot—as Deon Cain has announced his plans to move on from Clemson to the NFL. But Alabama has also opened its prime receiver spot as well, with Calvin Ridley also announcing he will enter the NFL Draft. If you asked this analyst, it’s Clemson over Alabama—but only slightly—with Auburn on the outside looking in at present. Clemson and Coach Jeff Scott have had Ross in their sights the entire season, and this one will go down to National Signing Day with a lot of drama sure to arise in the interim.
A few new 2018 offers were recently dispensed to a few targets that have blown up on recruiting radars over the past fall and winter of the 2017 high school season. And of course, there are the players that have come available due to de-commitment or indecision. Clemson is pouring through info and intel, working to investigate who is left out there worthy of those few spots the Tigers have left in this 2018 class.
4-Star safety Leon O’Neal, Jr. is contemplating a Clemson visit later this month
Clemson has reached out to more than a few of these types of recruits, such as Leon O'Neal out of Texas, a safety prospect who was once committed to Texas A&M and has since opened up the door, hinting at a Clemson official visit this month. Texas A&M has regained momentum with O'Neal since the hire of Jimbo Fisher and bringing over Defensive Coordinator Mark Elko from Notre Dame. O' Neal has stood pat on the potential Clemson visit, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Stay tuned on this one!
January 3, 2018
Another potential defensive back that could visit from way out west is 4-star Californian and former UCLA commit Oliajah Griffin. He is an Under Armour All-American who has interest in Clemson, Tennessee and USC, to name a few. He has also expressed interest in a potential Clemson official in the next couple of weeks.
Auburn commit Matthew Hill has Clemson slated to visit officially in the next 2 weeks
Another regional prospect to keep an eye on is Matthew Hill, an Auburn safety commit out of the Peach State. He has kept Clemson close to him even though he remains committed to Auburn, and the fact he did not sign with the SEC Tigers in December says a lot. Hill just finished his official to Auburn this past weekend, so he could firm up while there and shut down his recruitment.
However, if he instead confirms a Clemson official visit following this trip to Auburn, then all bets are off for the Auburn commitment. If he leaves Auburn all shored up and firm, turning down the chance for a Clemson official visit, then it's in the tea leaves that Hill will end up on the Plains. So we’ll wait for news out of Auburn on Hill's decision. Safety is the position for which Clemson has the Peach State 4-star ear marked, but the Tigers from the SEC have let Hill know he can play both ways in their scheme. The Clemson staff thinks he's a sure-fire NFL safety one day if properly developed.
Things with the Clemson 2018 class are far from over. Adding the 15 signees back in December's early signing period did not finish this class—it just set the table for the desert! So stay tuned, as we continue to track and follow many of the remaining 2018 prospects still on the Tigers’ big board.
Recent developments in the recruitment of all-world basketball prospect Zion Williamson from Spartanburg have Clemson deeply embedded in the mix for the Palmetto State star who is coveted by every single big-time program in the nation. The likes of Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina and Kansas are all vying for the program-changer to sign with them, along with the in-state Gamecocks.
Zion has announced a commitment date of January 20th and, as of today, is trending heavily toward the Orange and White of the in-state Tigers. Blue bloods Kentucky, Duke and Kansas are also heavily in consideration, however. So stay tuned right here, as a commitment from Williamson would mark the highest rated one in program history should it all come to fruition. With less than a week left on the “Zion Watch,” we will be probing our sources and will update you again with the latest news as it comes out of the 5-star's recruitment.
We will be live on site covering the Zion’s announcement at his high school in Spartanburg on Saturday, so stay tuned as Brad Brownell looks to add to the momentum of his best season so far by landing the biggest recruit in Clemson program history!
****Big-Time OL Visits Clemson
Photo Courtesy Tampa Times
Clemson hosted one of the Sunshine State's top prospects, as Richard Gouriage out of Tampa, FL visited Clemson over the weekend. Gouriage is a very soft Florida commit, opening up his recruitment after the Florida staff changes that took place after the firing of Jim McIlwain.
Since then, Gouriage's recruiter of record and Offensive Line Coach at Florida also left Gainesville to join the staff at Missouri. Since all the upheaval with these changes, Gouriage started looking around to see if he has made the correct decision in picking the Gators.
Richard has held both the Tigers of Clemson and the SEC Tigers at Auburn highly in his thoughts and is in midst of two consecutive official visit weekends. This week, it's the Tigers from the ACC that get to lay out the Orange Carpet for the much-heralded mauler from Tampa. Then he's off to the Plains next weekend, with Auburn getting the last shot.
Gouriage is a right tackle prospect but has the size and frame to move out to left tackle, and with Clemson Offensive Line Coach Robbie Caldwell’s propensity for cross-training all OL players, you can expect to see Gouriage all over the line of scrimmage if he does indeed pick Clemson.
As of last week, Auburn is rumored to have pushed ahead of Clemson, but this past weekend and next will have a lot to do with how this all plays out. Auburn getting that last visit is something to think about. Remember Cade Mays and UGA. He left Clemson with the Tigers ahead, but that last visit is sometimes hard to overcome. Last impressions certainly influence a lot of people, let alone a high school kid being promised the world by grown men and big-time universities.
Recruiting is recruiting, and we feel this one will go down to the very end with Clemson and Head Coach Dabo Swinney saving his in-home visit for after Gouriage’s return from Auburn. Stay tuned right here, as we monitor this one all the way to the end!
****Clemson Offers California Wide Out
The Tigers reached into the far west coast and Central California to offer Folsom WR Joe Ngata, an impressive 6'4 baller with offers from USC, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon, Washington, Penn State, Cal and now the Tigers from the ACC. The staff is out on the road now that the NCAA dead period just ended, and the Tigers are dispensing offers to the far reaches of their recruiting footprint and beyond. So stay tuned here for all your recruiting info and intel from now up until National Signing Day in February!
January 12, 2018
****Clemson Offers 2019 Louisiana Linebacker
Dabo Swinney signed his first player from the state of Louisiana last year in Travis Etienne, and the Tigers have reached into Louisiana again to offer 2019 linebacker Donte Starks. The 6’1, 225-pounder already boasts offers from the likes of Auburn, LSU, Florida, Florida State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Louisville, Tennessee, Arkansas and several others. Now he can add the Defending ACC Champs to the mix.
????????. (@donte_starks8) January 11, 2018
****Clemson Offers Arizona WR
Clemson reached out west to the deserts and mountains of Arizona to offer 2019 athlete Jake Smith, who has offers from all over the Power Five, especially on the west coast. Smith is 6’1 and 185 pounds, and the Tigers see him as a wide receiver at the next level. Stay tuned, as we track Smith’s recruitment from now until NSD 2019!
****Clemson Offers 2018 Peach State DB
Clemson reached over the border into the Metro-Atlanta area and offered 4-star 2018 DB Taiyon Palmer out of Archer High School. The 6’0, 178-pound DB de-committed from Duke in November and since has seen offers roll in from the likes of Notre Dame and Nebraska, along with previous offers from NC State, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Syracuse out of the ACC. Stay tuned, as we monitor this one up until NSD in February!
January 11, 2018
****Clemson Offers Nation’s Top 2020 Safety
Clemson offers 2020 DB Sheridan Jones out of Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School in Virginia Beach, VA. The 6’0, 165-pound star is regarded as one of the nation’s top DB’s for the 2020 class. Stay tuned, as this one has legs! The Tigers invaded the Virginia Beach area as recently as 2017, when they landed DE Jordan Williams.
— SHERIDAN JONES ?? (@SJones3_) January 12, 2018 Blessed to receive another offer from Clemson University
Blessed to receive another offer from Clemson University
****This Week’s Tweets
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. Part of our heart in Clemson, SC. pic.twitter.com/KPA1k0BnQ3
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11. Part of our heart in Clemson, SC. pic.twitter.com/KPA1k0BnQ3— Amanda Lawrence (@AmandaL52435308) January 8, 2018
????????. (@donte_starks8) January 11, 2018
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