DABO AND CLEMSON CELEBRATE EARLY CHRISTMAS WITH RECORD 26 EARLY SIGNEES
- 2018-12-19 12:13:59
The Tigers signed 26 players from 14 different states today! The class isn't done yet, but it's a tremendous benefit to get that many signed in December. That is bigger than most classes the Tigers have signed in February. The early signing period concludes on December 21, and the traditional National Signing Day is February 6. The Tigers' early signees are listed below as well as our press conference with Dabo!
QB Taisun Phommachanh
WR Joe Ngata
DE Ruke Orhorhoro
RB Chez Mellusi
DT Tyler Davis
DE Etinosa Reuben
LB Bryton Constantin
WR Brannon Spector
LB LaVonta Bentley
LB Kane Patterson
OL Hunter Rayburn
S Joseph Charleston
DE Logan Cash
TE Jaelyn Lay
S Jalyn Phillips
S Lannden Zanders
DT Tayquon Johnson
WR Frank Ladson
LB Greg Williams
OL Kaleb Boateng
P Aidan Swanson
CB Andrew Booth, Jr.
S Ray Thornton
LB Keith Maguire
TE Davis Allen
CB Sheridan Jones
Davis Allen, Tight End, Calhoun, Georgia
In High School: Ranked as 15th-best tight end-H Back in the nation by ESPN.com … had strong senior season at Calhoun High … Region 6 AAA Defensive Player of the Year … first-team all-region on offense and defense … first-team Chattanooga All-Area … County Defensive Player of the Year … played his high school football at Calhoun High for Hal Lamb … teammate of 2019 signee Brannon Specter at Calhoun High … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Danny Pearman … committed to Clemson on June 10, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.
LaVonta Bentley, Linebacker, Birmingham, Alabama
In High School: Ranked as the No. 119 overall player in the nation by Prep Stars … rated as the No. 177 overall player by Rivals.com, who also sees him as the ninth-best inside linebacker and eighth-best player from Alabama … four-star by Prep Stars, ESPN and Rivals … ESPN rated him as the No. 289 overall player in the nation, the seventh-best inside linebacker and 12th-best player in Alabama … had strong senior year with 118 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, four passes broken up … ranked as No. 6 player in Alabama by Al.com … Lineman of the Year by the Birmingham Quarterback Club … named Defensive Player of the Year in Birmingham … Played high school football at Jackson-Olin High for coach Tim Vakakes … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … committed to Clemson on July 27, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … LaVonta Bentley: luh-VON-tay.
Kaleb Boateng, Offensive Lineman, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
In High School: One of the top offensive linemen in Broward Country, Florida, who helped Fort Lauderdale High to breakout 2018 season as athletic offensive tackle … had 49 knockdown blocks to lead the offensive line … team finished with a 9-3 record, most wins for the program since 1974 … two of the three losses were to St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the top 10 teams in the nation according the USA Today … had 38 offers before selecting Clemson … made first-team All-Broward County in 2018 after starting every game … strong candidate for all-state, which had not been released at the time of his signing … ranked as the No. 3 offensive lineman in Broward County entering 2018 … ranked as No. 67 offensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com and No. 64 at his position by ESPN.com … in 2017, had 38 pancake blocks to lead the team … second-team All-Broward County … had 18 pancake blocks as a sophomore for the Flying L’s … played four years and started on the offensive line three years … has 80-inch wingspan … recruited by Brent Venables … played at Fort Lauderdale High for Richard Dunbar … Committed to Clemson on signing day, Dec. 19, 2018 … last name pronounced “boat-ing.”
Andrew Booth, Jr., Cornerback, Dacula, Georgia
In High School: Five-star cornerback who was ranked among the top 50 players in the nation by every service … ranked as No. 8 overall player in the nation by Rivals.com, the highest-ranked Clemson signee in this class by that service … also ranked as the second-best player in the state and the second-best cornerback in the nation … ranked as the No. 27 overall player in the nation by Tom Lemming … rated as the No. 30 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, who also have Booth as the third-best cornerback in the nation and fifth-best player in Georgia … ranked No. 32 overall player and third-best cornerback by Prep Stars … ranked No. 41 overall player, second-best cornerback and sixth-best player in Georgia by 247Sports … three-year starter who had 162 career tackles, including 131 solo … had 13 interceptions, 44 passes defensed, four caused fumbles and a blocked field goal … on offense, had 22 receptions for 557 yards and four touchdowns … also had three punt return touchdowns over his career … as a junior, was all-state, all-region, all-county first team … as a senior in 2018, was Region Specialist of the Year, and county defensive back of the year … 2018 team captain. … selected to play in Under Armour All-American game … played high school football at Archer High School for Andy Dyer … Clemson recruiters were Mickey Conn and Mike Reed … committed to Clemson on July 30, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.
Logan Cash, Defensive Lineman, Winder, Georgia
In High School: Led the state of Georgia in sacks in 2017 with 23.5 … had 40 tackles for loss among his 101 tackles … starter for his final three seasons and was all-region three times … all-state selection in 2017, as the 2018 all-state team had not been announced at the time of his signing … career leader at Winder–Barrow High School in sacks with 42.5 … recorded 204 total tackles in his career at Winder-Barrow High School … in 2018, played just seven games, but had 40 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss and five sacks … had nine tackles, five of which were tackles for loss against Flowery Branch … had 101 tackles as a junior, he had four games with double figures … had 10 tackles, including five sacks against Habersham Central for his best game of the year … high school coach Ed Dudley said, "Logan is one of the best young men I have had the opportunity to coach in the past 35 years. His enthusiasm, energy, and passion for the game are unmatched” … Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on June 21, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Joseph Charleston, Safety, Milton, Georgia
In High School: A national top 150 player from Georgia … ranked No. 122 overall player by 247Sports, where he was listed as No. 13 safety nationally and No. 14 overall player in Georgia … ranked No. 150 overall player by Rivals.com, listed as the 14th-best safety and 13th-best overall player from Georgia … ESPN.com had Charleston as a top 300 player, 14th-best safety and 29th-best player in Georgia … had team-best 83 tackles, nine tackles for loss, two caused fumbles, a fumble return of 46 yards and two interceptions as a senior … had 12 tackles against Roswell and 10 against South Gwinnett … helped his team to AAAAAAA state championship, a first for the Milton High program … played his high school football for Adam Clack … primary Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on Oct. 10, 2017, as he was the first player in Clemson’s signing class to commit to the Tigers … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Bryton Constantin, Linebacker, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In High School: Unanimous four-star linebacker who joins Travis Etienne as Louisiana natives on the Clemson’s roster for 2019 … Top 100 player according to Rivals.com, who listed him as No. 94 overall player, fifth-best inside linebacker and seventh-best player from Louisiana … ranked as fourth-best inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN, who see him as No. 157-best overall player in the nation and 10th-best player from Louisiana … ranked No. 199 in the nation by 247Sports, he was the sixth-best inside linebacker and seventh -est player from Louisiana in their ratings … attended The Opening in summer of 2018 … helped University Lab to state championships in 2017 and 2018 … had 104 tackles, including 23 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2017 … also had two caused fumbles and a pick-six … All-Metro MVP and 3A all-state … in 2018, helped team to 13-0 record and state title … also played high school basketball … wore No. 21 in high school … high school teammate of Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses … will play in the World Bowl in Mexico on December 22, then, will play in Under Armour All-American game … played his high school football at University Lab School for Chad Mahaffey … father, Tony Harris, played college basketball at University of New Orleans, then in NBA with 76ers and Celtics … Clemson recruiter was Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 13, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in the summer of 2019 … Bryton Constantin: BRY-tin; CON-stin-teen
Tyler Davis, Defensive Lineman, Apopka, Florida
In High School: Rated as No. 60 overall player in the nation by ESPN and No. 74 by Tom Lemming … unanimous four-star player … ESPN listed him as No. 7 defensive tackle in the nation and seventh-best overall player in Florida … Rivals.com listed him as 18th-best defensive tackle in the nation … national top 300 player according to 247Sports, where he ranked as the No. 218 player in the nation as well as the 12th-best defensive tackle in the nation and 24th-best player in Florida … had 34 tackles, including 14 tackles for loss and six sacks in 2018 … had best game against West Orange when he had eight tackles, four tackles for loss and three sacks … had an interception in 2018 as well … helped team to 11-2 record and a top 10 ranking in the state of Florida … played his high school football at Wekiva High School for Rich Bedesem … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … did not commit to the Tigers until signing day, Dec. 19, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Tayquon Johnson, Defensive Lineman, Williamsport, Maryland
In High School: Ranked as seventh-best player in Maryland by ESPN.com, which ranked him as 22nd-best defensive tackle in the nation … ranked as eighth-best player in Maryland and No. 29 defensive tackle by Rivals.com … ranked as 11th-best player in Maryland and 33rd-best defensive tackle in nation by 247Sports … joined the Williamsport football program in the Spring of 2017 … team captain in 2017 & 2018 … Herald-Mail Defensive Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018 … Washington County (MD) Coaches Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 … Herald-Mail All Area Team as both offensive lineman and defensive lineman in 2017 and 2018 … led Williamsport High to best season in 20 years in 2017 … anchored best defense in school history in 2017 … over his last two years, had 184 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 12 sacks … had eight rushing touchdowns on goal line situations over 2017 and 2018 … after senior season was invited to USA Football National Team to participate in the 2019 International Bowl … also an outstanding wrestler, finished third in the heavyweight division as a junior, his first year of competition … also plans to compete on the school wrestling team in the winter of 2019 … honor Roll student … member of Program Leadership Council 2017 and 2018 … played his high school football at Williamsport High School for Tim Small … Clemson recruiters were Todd Bates and Mike Reed … committed to Clemson on May 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … first name is pronounced TAY-kwan.
Sheridan Jones, Cornerback, Norfolk, Virginia
In High School: Ranked among the top 100 players in the nation by ESPN.com and Rivals … ESPN.com ranked Jones as 69th-best overall player, second-best player in the state of Virginia and seventh-best cornerback in the nation … ranked 91st overall by Rivals, fourth-best from the state of Virginia and ninth-best cornerback in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as eighth-best player in Virginia … ranked as four-star prospect by all three services … two-way player, who had 45 tackles, two interceptions, one he returned for a score, in 2018 … as a receiver, had 17 receptions for 347 yards and two scores … will play in World Bowl in Mexico on Dec. 22, then will play in Under Armour All-American game in early January. … played his high school football at Maury High School under Dyrri McCain … Clemson recruiters were Mike Reed and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 20, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Frank Ladson, Wide Receiver, Miami, Florida
In High School: Ranked among the top 51 players in the nation by five services … Clemson’s highest-rated player in the class of 2019 by Prep Stars, as he was 22nd overall and the fifth-best wide receiver with a five-star rating … rated No. 23 player in the nation by USA Today Chosen 25 … ranked 33rd-best overall player by 247Sports, who also listed him as the fourth-best receiver in the nation and fourth-best overall player from Florida … ESPN ranked Ladson 35th overall, third-best from state of Florida and the fifth-best wide receiver … Rivals.com ranked Ladson 36th-best overall, fifth-best from Florida and seventh-best wide receiver … noted recruiting analyst Tom Lemming ranked Ladson 51st among his top 100 players … attended The Opening in summer of 2018 … had record-setting senior year when he had 50 catches for 1,133 yards (22.7 per catch) and 13 touchdowns … set school record for receiving yards … led team to a 10-3 season in 2018 … as a junior had 29 catches for 675 yards (23.7 per catch) and eight touchdowns … over last two years had 79 receptions for 1,808 yards and 21 touchdowns, and average of 22.9 yards per reception … will play in All-American Bowl … played his high school football at South Dade High School for Nathaniel Hudson … wore No. 9 in high school … primary Clemson recruiter was Jeff Scott … committed to Clemson on April 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Jaelyn Lay, Tight End, Atlanta, Georgia
In High School: One of the top five tight ends or H-Backs in the nation by ESPN and Rivals … ESPN ranked Lay as the fourth best tight end/H-back, while Rivals ranked him fifth in that position … ranked as the No. 165 best all-around player in the nation and 16th-best player from the state of Georgia … ranked as the 21st-best overall tight end by 247Sports … helped Riverdale High School to an 8-4 record in 2018 … had 29 receptions for 240 yards and four touchdowns in 2017 … had 7-119 and a touchdown in 2016 … at 6-6, is tied for the tallest tight end in Clemson history … played his high school football at Riverdale High School for Rodney Hackney … Clemson recruiters were Mike Reed and Danny Pearman … older brother is a student at West Point … committed to Clemson on March 3, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January, 2019 … first name pronounced: JAY-lynn.
Keith Maguire, Linebacker, Media, Pennsylvania
In High School: Talented four-star linebacker who ranked as the best player in Pennsylvania by some services … had strong 2018 season, leading his team to third straight Inter-AC Championship in a row … as a senior, had 106 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks and four interceptions … also had 313 yards rushing and 314 receiving on the offensive side of the ball … scored 14 total touchdowns … two-time conference MVP … named all-state in 2017, and the 2018 team was not yet announced at the time of his signing … No. 219 player in the nation by Rivals.com … that service also ranked McGuire as best player in Pennsylvania and 11th-best outside linebacker … seventh-best player in Pennsylvania by 247Sports … No. 26-best outside linebacker by Prep Stars … led his conference in tackles as a junior … had a touchdown catch in 2017 that was the No. 2 play of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter … played high school football at Malvern Prep for Dave Gueriera … very active in community service, he went on a 10-day trip to Dominican Republic in June to help build homes … also played on lacrosse team at Malvern … from same conference that produced Matt Ryan (Atlanta Falcons) and Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame All-American) … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on April 27, 2018 … .plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.
Chez Mellusi, Running Back, Naples, Florida
In High School: One of the top running backs in the nation and one of the top all-around players from Florida … ranked No. 137 overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, which ranked him as seventh-best running back and 23rd overall player in Florida … 247Sports listed him as the 17th-best running back in the nation, while Rivals has him as the 20th-best running back … No. 216 player overall and 14th-best running back by Prep Stars … unanimous four-star rating … finished his high school career with 3,905 yards rushing and 50 touchdowns … had 4,409 all-purpose yards and 55 total touchdowns … eight-time Player of the Game according to Max Preps over his last two years … averaged incredible 9.3 yards per carry over 32 games and 421 carries … had 21 100-yard games … as a senior had career-best 1,819 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns … averaged 165 yards a game and 9.9 yards per rush … had three straight 200-yard rushing games early in the season … had eight games with at least 167 yards as a senior … as a junior had 1,505 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns … team reached semifinals of state playoffs … averaged 125 yards rushing per game with a high game of 219 vs. Palmetto Ridge … will play in All-American Bowl … Mellusi played his high school football at Naples High School for Bill Kramer … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Tony Elliott … committed to Clemson on April 16, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … Last name pronounced: mell-OOH-see
Joseph Ngata, Wide Receiver, Folsom, California
In High School: Ranked as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, which listed him as the 21st-best overall player in the nation, fourth-best player from the state of California and fifth-best wide receiver … 247Sports ranked Ngata as 39th-best overall player, the ninth-best from California and eighth-best wide receiver … listed as 28th-best overall player in the nation by Tom Lemming … ESPN.com rated him as its No. 159 overall player … led his team to the state championship each of his final two years … led Folsom High in the 2018 state championship victory on Dec. 14 with nine receptions for 103 yards and a score … his touchdown catch with under two minutes left sent the game into overtime … team finished 14-1 in 2018 … for his high school career, had 188 receptions for 3,682 yards and 55 touchdowns … team had a 39-3 record in his three years on the varsity … had a touchdown catch in 36 of 42 career games … also had 17-yard average on rushing plays (17-236) … in 2018, had 66 catches for 1,272 yards and 22 scores, a 19.3-yard average … had six 100-yard receiving games … caught a touchdown in each of his last 10 games and 13 of the 15 games in 2018 … added 8-86 rushing … in 2017, had career-high 81 receptions for 1,777 yards and 26 scores … averaged 22 yards per catch … led team to a 16-0 record with seven 100-yard receiving games, including two games with at least 200 yards … had 12-202 against Oakdale High in 2017 … had 8-213 and career high four touchdowns against St. Mary’s in 2017 … caught at least one TD pass in 14 of 16 games … had 41-633 receiving and seven touchdowns as a sophomore … had 9-139 receiving in his first career high school game in 2016 … had a touchdown catch in seven of 11 games in 2016 … played his high school football at Folsom High School for Kris Richardson … primary Clemson recruiter was Jeff Scott … will be first Clemson signee from California to matriculate to Clemson since Bobby Forbes in 1991 … attended same high school as Washington quarterback Jake Browning … wore No. 10 in high school … will play in All-American Bowl … committed to Clemson on July 28, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … last name pronounced: enn-GOT-uh.
Ruke Orhorhoro, Defensive Lineman, Lagos, Nigeria
In High School: Played high school football in Michigan, becoming the first Clemson football signee from the state of Michigan since 1975 (Joe Carolan) … athletic defensive end who played just two years of high school football … ranked as 15th-best overall player in Michigan by 247Sports, 18th-best by Rivals.com and 17th-best in Michigan by ESPN.com … born in Nigeria and came to the United States when he was nine … played basketball as a youth and in high school … averaged a double-double as a sophomore … the week after his sophomore season of basketball ended in the state semifinals, he met with the school’s football coaches and decided to join the team for spring practice … did not play his first football game until the fall of 2017 … had solid 2017 and received some offers from Michigan and Michigan State … as a senior in 2018, had 13 sacks and 22 tackles for loss to go with 60 tackles … scored a touchdown on a fumble return … helped team to an 8-2 season … played his high school football at River Rouge High School for Corey Parker … Clemson recruiters were Brent Venables and Lemanski Hall … has three cousins who played or are still playing college football, Michael Ojemudia (Iowa), Mario Ojemudia (Michigan) and Ovie Oghoufo (Notre Dame) … committed to Clemson on June 15, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … first name rhymes with juke; last name pronounced Oh-roh-roh-roh.
Kane Patterson, Linebacker, Brentwood, Tennessee
In High School: National top 300 player by three services who was standout two-way player … ranked No. 138 overall player in the nation by 247Sports, which also listed him as the seventh-best player in Tennessee and 12th-best inside linebacker … ranked No. 202 overall and fifth-best inside linebacker by Prep Stars … ESPN ranked Patterson No. 262 overall and sixth-best player in Tennessee and sixth-best inside linebacker … finished the 2018 season with 647 yards rushing on 92 carries for a 7.0 average … also had 16 touchdowns … on defense had 59 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, including four sacks … led team to state championship Division II AA … was MVP of state championship game, he had 13 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns and had seven tackles on defense … found out the next day he was invited to All-American Bowl in San Antonio … as a junior in 2017, had 1,003 yards rushing in just 110 carries, a 9.1 average … had 23 touchdowns and four 100-yard rushing games … played just 12 games, he suffered knee injury in state playoffs of 2017.. … had 64 tackles on defense in those 12 games and had 12.5 tackles for loss … in 2016 as a sophomore, had 141 yards rushing and 27 tackles on defense … for career, had 42 touchdowns, all rushing, in 5 games … finished with 1,794 yards rushing on 227 carries, 7.9 yards per rush … had 258 career tackles, including 38.5 tackles for loss, 13 of which were sacks … played at Christ Presbyterian Academy for Coach Ingle Martin … wore No. 4 in high school … Clemson recruiter was Lemanski Hall … committed to Clemson on Sept. 4, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.
Jalyn Phillips, Safety, Lawrenceville, Georgia
In High School: Four-star safety according to ESPN.com … ranked as 28th-best safety in the nation by that service … Rivals.com also ranked him No. 28 among safeties … three-year starter who finished his career with 198 tackles, 127 solos and 71 assists … had six tackles for loss, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, on caused fumble, three recovered fumbles and a blocked punt … had 16 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown … in 2017, was an all-regional defense back … in 2018, all-region and all-county … one of the team captains in 2018 … played at Archer High School for Andy Dyer … primary Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … committed to Clemson on Aug. 20, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019 … First name is pronounced JAY-lynn
Taisun Phommachanh, Quarterback, Bridgeport, Connecticut
In High School: Among the top quarterbacks in the nation … ranked as 166th-best overall player in the nation by ESPN.com, who also call him the No. 1 player in Connecticut and eighth-best pocket passing quarterback in the nation … Rivals.com listed him as best player in Connecticut and fifth best quarterback in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as the fifth-best player in Connecticut and third-best quarterback in the nation … consensus four-star prospect … played his high school football at Avon Old Farms School for Pierce Brennan … played two years at Harding High School in Bridgeport and two at Avon Old Farms Prep … for his high school career, he completed 339 of 556 passes for 5,224 yards and 46 touchdowns against 12 interceptions … also had 300 rushes for 1,264 yards and 25 touchdowns, giving him 6,492 yards of total offense and 71 touchdowns … had his best year in 2017 when he had passing efficiency of 205 … completed 135-192 passes for 2,253 yards and 22 touchdowns against just one interception at Avon Old Farms in 2017 … also had 122 carries for 633 yards for another 17 touchdowns … accounted for 39 touchdowns in just nine games … took team to 8-1 record … had injury plagued 2018 and played just six games … was 73-128 for 1,066 yards and nine scores … had another 163 yards rushing and two scores … posted high school career passing efficiency of 162 … primary Clemson recruiter was Brandon Streeter … played high school prep football in Connecticut, same region as unanimous Clemson All-American Christian Wilkins … committed to Clemson on April 14, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … name is pronounced Tyson; PUMA-chon.
Hunter Rayburn, Offensive Lineman, Pensacola, Florida
In High School: Four-star prospect by ESPN.com who is ranked as 18th-best offensive guard in the nation … 247Sports ranked him as 27th-best offensive guard … played his first three years of high school football at West Florida Tech … played on varsity as an offensive tackle at the end of 2015 season, then started in 2016 and 2017 … team reached second round of the state playoffs in 2016 and Final Four in 2017 … also played baseball as a pitcher and first baseman at West Florida Tech … transferred to Pensacola High School for his senior year and played baseball in spring of 2018 and football in the fall … named to the all-area team on the gridiron … played in all-area All-Star game on Dec. 14, 2018 … played his senior year of high school football at Pensacola High for Mike Mincy … brother plays college baseball at Coastal Alabama … won Pensacola High FCA Award for 2018 … named to National Honor Society … primary Clemson recruiters were Jeff Scott and Robbie Caldwell … committed to Clemson on June 11, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Etinosa Reuben, Defensive Lineman, Kansas City, Missouri
In High School: Ranked as sixth-best overall player in the state of Missouri by 247Sports … ranked as 28th-best defensive end in the nation by that site … ranked as ninth-best overall player from Missouri in this class by Rivals.comand the 41st-best defensive end … ranked as 11th-best player in Missouri by ESPN and 35th-best defensive end … second signee from the state of Missouri to come to Clemson, joining Mario Goodrich, who signed with Clemson a year earlier out of the Kansas City area … only played three years of football, he has a high upside with a large wingspan … named team Defensive Lineman of the Year at Park Hill South High School in each of his final two years … first-team all-conference, all-district and second-team all-state by the Missouri Football Coaches Association … Mr. Panther Award winner at Park Hill South, the most prestigious award presented by the program … nominated for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive lineman or linebacker in Greater Kansas City … finished 2018 with 62 total tackles, 16 tackles for loss, including three sacks … also recorded a safety … finished his junior year with 55 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, including three sacks, two forced fumbles and one recovered fumble … made first-team all-conference and all-district in 2018 and was a strong candidate for all-state honors, which were not yet announced at the time of his signing … played his high school football at Park Hill South High School for Mike Sharp … Clemson recruiters were Todd Bates and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on July 29, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019 … first name pronounced “ETT-in-oh-sah”
Brannon Spector, Wide Receiver, Calhoun, Georgia
In High School: Second-generation Clemson player who played wide receiver and safety in high school … had 49 receptions for 719 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018 as a senior … had 47 tackles, five tackles for loss, and five interceptions on defense … returned one interception for a touchdown … had one of his best all-around games in the season opener, he had eight catches for 103 yards and a touchdown on offense, and an interception on defense against Ridgeland … had one of his best games in the state playoffs when he had 87 receiving yards and a touchdown in a victory … Region 6 AAA Athlete of the Year … first-team all-region … first-team Chattanooga Times All-Area … County Player of the Year … in 2017 team won the state championship with a 14-1 record … played his high school football at Calhoun High School for Hal Lamb … high school teammate of 2019 Clemson signee Davis Allen at Calhoun High … showed his athletic ability at the Atlanta Regional of The Opening, where he finished second in the competition to Nolan Smith, one of the top five players in the nation … brother of Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector … his father, Robbie Spector, was a wide receiver for the Tigers who lettered from 1988-90 … Clemson won two ACC Championships when Robbie was on the team and his senior class had a 40-8 record with four straight 10-2 seasons … also has a sister, Blair, at Clemson … also ran track at Calhoun, competing in the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump … Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Jeff Scott … committed to Clemson on October 28, 2017 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Aidan Swanson, Punter, Tampa, Florida
In High School: Left-footed punter who ranked as the third-best punter in the nation by Prep Stars and Rivals.com … ranked as the fourth-best punter by 247Sports and 16th-best punter by ESPN.com … handled kickoffs for IMG Academy in 2018 and had 29 touchbacks on 46 kickoffs (63 percent) … opponents averaged just 19.6 yards per kickoff return … averaged 42.3 yards per punt in 2018 and 46.0 in 2017 … had a 49-yard touchdown pass out of punt formation for IMG in 2017 … opponents averaged just 2.5 yards per punt return in 2018 … played two years at IMG Academy and two years at Jesuit High School in Tampa … punted for a 13-1 team that reached the state semifinals at Jesuit in 2015 … Jesuit was 12-1 in 2016 … was 54-80 on touchbacks at Jesuit in 2016 … had eight touchbacks in a game twice … As a sophomore, was a first-team All-Tampa Bay and All-Hillsborough County selection and a second-team 5A all-state honoree by the Associated Press … was also competed in track and field … was the Hillsborough County district champion for high jump and a State Championship finalist … Head Coach at Jesuit Tampa was Matt Thompson and Special Teams Coach was Tom Feely … played at IMG Academy for Kevin Wright … primary Clemson recruiters were Tony Elliott and Danny Pearman … his mother is a Clemson graduate … committed to Clemson on March 5, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Ray Thornton, Safety, Columbus, Georgia
In High School: Georgia native who played his high school football in Alabama … athletic safety who joins 2017 high school teammate Justyn Ross at Clemson … Ross and Thornton were first scholarship athletes to come to Clemson from Phenix City since Marvin Sims (1976-79) … ranked as the 18th-best player in state of Alabama by ESPN.com and Rivals.com … ranked as No. 13 prospect in Alabama by the Birmingham News … integral reason why Central High won the state championship in 2018 with a 14-0 record … bright spot in the secondary that helped Central to 52-7 win in 7A state championship game against team led by Alabama signee Taulia Tagovailoa, the brother of Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa … Had an interception and 68-yard return to set up a field goal in the third quarter of that game … Helped lead Central to its first undefeated season since 1944 and first state championship since 1993 … had 57 tackles and two interceptions in 2017, helping Central to the semifinals of the state championship tournament … wore No. 5 in high school … played his high school football at Central High School for Jamey Dubose … Clemson recruiter was Todd Bates … committed to Clemson on June 22, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
Greg Williams, Linebacker, Swansea, South Carolina
In High School: One of the top linebackers in South Carolina who played in the Shrine Bowl for South Carolina in 2018 … four-year starter at Swansea … played inside linebacker in 2017 and outside linebacker in 2018 … ranked as the eighth-best overall player in state of South Carolina by ESPN.com … listed 12th in the state by Rivals.com and 16th by 247Sports … had 78 tackles with a sack, two forced fumbles and three interceptions as a senior in 2018 … named the Region 5 Defensive Player of the Year … All-Region 5 AAA All-Region in football and basketball in 2017-18 academic year … the basketball team won the Region 5 AAA Championship in 2017-18 … had outstanding junior year in 2017 when he had 103 tackles … comes to Clemson from Swansea, S.C., the same hometown that sent Bryant McNeal to the Tigers between 1999-2002 … wore No. 4 for Swansea … played at Swansea High School for first-year coach Eric Pack … primary Clemson recruiters were Brandon Streeter and Brent Venables … committed to Clemson on June 21, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in summer of 2019.
Lannden Zanders, Safety, Shelby, North Carolina
In High School: Ranked as 24th-best player in North Carolina by ESPN.com … had 51 tackles and five interceptions as a starting safety in 2018 … returned two of his five interceptions for touchdowns … had a fumble return and 175 yards rushing and a touchdown … as a receiver, had 545 receiving yards and eight touchdowns … first-team all-conference … team finished 9-4 in 2018 … in 2017, had 54 tackles and six interceptions to go with seven tackles for loss … had five receiving touchdowns on 24 catches for 363 yards … averaged 15 yards per catch … played his high school football at Crest High School for Nicholas Eddins … Clemson recruiter was Mickey Conn … comes to Clemson from same school that produced Clemson linebacker Justin Foster, as well as former ACC basketball great David Thompson and former NFL linebacker Brandon Spikes … committed to Clemson on April 4, 2018 … plans to enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
One day after adding 26 players at the start of the early signing period, Clemson added a 27th member to its signing class by signing offensive lineman Will Putnam out of Plant High School in Tampa, Fla. Putnam becomes the seventh Florida product in Clemson’s current signing class, the second-most Floridians in a class in school history behind the single-class school record of nine set in 2008.
Will Putnam, Offensive Lineman, Tampa, Florida
In High School: National top 120 player and four-star recruit by three services … ranked No. 80 overall player in the nation by 247Sports, third-best offensive guard in the nation and 11th-best overall player in Florida … Rivals.com ranked Putnam as its No. 106 overall player, No. 7 offensive guard and No. 14 player in Florida … ESPN.com listed him as No. 116 overall player, No. 5 offensive guard and No. 15 player in Florida … will play in US Army All-American game in San Antonio on Jan. 5 … played for Robert Werner at Plant High School in Tampa the last two years … played at Glenwood High School in Chatham, Ill. as a freshman and sophomore … father is with the U.S. Army and his job was reason for the transfer … helped Plant High to 11-2 season in 2018 … one of four team captains in 2018 for Plant … played both ways throughout his career … in addition to his outstanding blocking, had 63 tackles on defense in 2018 with eight tackles for loss, five of which were sacks … had 31 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss in 2016 at Glenwood High … outstanding wrestler who competed in state heavyweight tournament as a freshman at Glenwood in 2016 … was the Florida state champion as a heavyweight in 2018 with a 25-0 record for the season … recruited by Robbie Caldwell and Tony Elliott … signed with Clemson on Dec. 20, 2018 … will enroll at Clemson in January 2019.
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