****Nation’s Top OL Signs with Clemson
The nation’s #1 offensive tackle in the 2018 class has committed to the Clemson Tigers over in-state favorite Ohio State and Pac-12 perennial powerhouse Southern Cal.
In a huge surprise, the big man from Ohio picked the Defending National Champs and surprised the recruiting world, as many had Jackson penciled in as a Buckeye after his multiple visits to the Horseshoe and campus in Columbus.
After speaking today with Clemson recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter, we learned that Clemson never felt at any point like it led for the mauler from the midwest. Only after an early-morning text transpired right before his commitment ceremony from his high school coach to Clemson Offensive Line Coach Robbie Caldwell did the Tigers know of Carman’s destination.
The Clemson fan base and those of us in the recruiting intelligentsia were more focused on the recruitment of Cade Mays and his affinity for Clemson after his official visit, losing sight of the Carman recruitment.
In the background, Carman was continuing to break down his official visits, and after his last trip to Los Angeles, he was supposedly trending to the west coast Trojans. Only then did Ohio State’s apparent hold on the big man seem to slip a little, and it seems it was never as tight a grip as all of us were led to believe.
Again, the Tigers kept recruiting the big man, and their perseverance paid off, as the Tigers landed the best offensive lineman in the 2018 class and a sure-fire NFL first-rounder.
****5-Star Defensive End K.J. Henry Signs
After a 3-year recruitment, the Tigers finally got their man in K.J. Henry out of Charlotte, NC. The West Forsyth HS star picked the Clemson over finalists Alabama, SC, Georgia and Virginia Tech.
As you know, we at CUTigers have projected Henry to Clemson for months, so it should come as no surprise to you that the big time Tar Heel State talent picked the defending ACC and National Champs. Henry cited the chance to play “Swinney Ball” and work with the Clemson defense as a big reasons behind his decision to bring his talents to Clemson.
In Henry, the Tigers picked up another 5-star cefensive end to couple with Xavier Thomas and shore up a defensive line unit that will again see attrition come season’s ends. Multiple starters on the current DL are expected to announce for the draft following this season.
****4-Star RB Dixon Signs with Clemson
After a long back-and-forth recruitment that saw Butler, GA native Lyn-J Dixon committed to Tennessee at one point, it finally came to a suspected end, as the all-purpose back committed to the Tigers on Early Signing Day as expected and will now enroll at Clemson in 2018.
Dixon was likened to former Tiger RB Andre Ellington by Clemson Running Backs Coach Tony Elliot. He’s a player with really good hands out of the backfield and has great pass-catching ability. Clemson likes to split the RB out into the slot or out to the boundary often, and this would be a true opportunity for the Peach State star to get some early playing time as a freshman.
He will definitely need to get into the Clemson weight program and put on some good weight while maintaining his foot speed in the process. In Dixon, the staff again addressed a numbers need, as the Tigers will lose C.J. Fuller and Adam Choice from this year’s RB stable and will need reliable and sustainable depth at the position.
****2018 Early Signees
Clemson received an early Christmas present in the form of 15 unwrapped new recruits freshly signed, sealed and soon to be delivered to campus in Clemson. The Tigers picked up 3 of the top 5 and 5 of the top 10 ESPN 300 prospects and shot up the recruiting rankings to #5.
With headliners like Lawrence, Carman, Thomas and Henry and a supporting cast that would top the wish list of many a school, the Tigers once again racked up big-time on the recruiting trail. The staff met all of their needs sans a WR and DB target(s) they have their eyes on for the traditional signing period on the first Wednesday of February. But locking down this star-studded 15 will enable the staff to get a head start on the 2019 class like never before. Stay tuned, as we will go over the remaining targets in the 2018 class in our next Radar and apprise you of the staff’s updated big board.
The staff really did well on the defensive side of the ball, especially shoring up the defensive line by signing 3 defensive ends and 2 interior guys along with 2 linebackers to boot.
On the offensive side of the ball, you bring in the nation’s overall #1 recruit, Trevor Lawrence, to lead a group that includes talented and underrated playmakers Derion Kendrick and Braden Galloway—two in-state stars that play QB for their respective high schools, as is usually the case when you have the athleticism that these two possess.
Solidify that skill with two late additions to the offensive line in the form of monster Jordan McFadden—the best OL in the 2018 Palmetto State crop—and America’s #1 OL, Jackson Carman, add 4-star all-purpose RB in the likes of Lyn-J Dixon, and the staff on this side of the ball has reason to feel pretty confident as it brings this bunch on campus to develop the next set of future stars to run down The Hill.
The Tigers also pulled off a rare feat in recruiting circles by signing the top player from 4 different states in the process of building the class of 2018 so far. Remember, the 2018 class is not over, and there are more than a few high-tier targets left out there for Februarys signing day, including a 5-star from the state of Alabama!
Clemson is still in the mix for some more of the 5-star variety, as the Tigers’ needs at defensive back, offensive line and wide receiver are still being sorted out and recruited. The Tigers are in it for more than a few of the big names left uncommitted at this point. We will break that down, as well as each of he signees in next week’s Radar, so stay tuned right here to CUTigers and the Recruiting Radar for your go-to spot for all things Clemson and recruiting!
****This Week’s Tweets
Let it be known, Coach Dabo Swinney is very much in favor of the early signing period... hear his reasoning: pic.twitter.com/WSm6eLqILa— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) December 20, 2017
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