While Clemson signed most of their recruiting class during the early signing period, Wednesday, Feb. 7 is the last day for the Tigers to sign their remaining targets in the 2018 class.
With the loss of Leon O’Neal to the Aggies on Tuesday night, only six players remain on the watch list for the Tigers. Here are the players to watch:
5-star WR Justyn Ross
Announcement – 1 p.m. on ESPN2
Finalists – Alabama, Auburn, Clemson
While Ross seemed to be a lock for the Tigers earlier in the cycle, the Crimson Tide have made a late push and are now considered the favorite for the Alabama native. It’s looking like Alabama and Clemson are the teams Ross will be debating between, and according to his coach and family members, this has been an extremely hard decision for him. While Clemson rarely loses out on wide receiver prospects it’s hard to bet against Saban and the Tide. I would put this as a toss-up with a slight lean towards Bama, due to the in-state ties.
5-star CB Patrick Surtain Jr
Announcement – 10 a.m. on ESPNU
Finalists – Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Miami
While adding another 5-star prospect would be huge for the 2018 class, signs do not point to Surtain joining the Tigers. LSU and Miami are considered the final two with Alabama as a dark horse candidate. I believe Surtain will ultimately sign with LSU.
4-star CB Mario Goodrich
Announcement – 8:30 a.m.
Finalists – Clemson, Georgia, LSU
As I mentioned last week, Clemson is in dire need of backfield depth on the defensive side of the ball. With a height of 6-2, Goodrich has the size to hold up against college football’s tallest receivers. He took his official visit in January with the Tigers in the lead, and LSU looks like the only serious threat at this point. I believe Goodrich will be the Tigers’ first commit of National Signing Day and will have a chance to contribute early.
4-star LB Dax Hollifield
Announcement – 11 a.m.
Finalists – Clemson, North Carolina, Stanford, Virginia Tech
Hollifield was a target earlier in the season, but he was dropped due to the Tigers’ lack of scholarship spots this class. Now, with other prospects committing elsewhere, room was made and another late push has been made for the North Carolina native. Defensive end commit KJ Henry is seen as a main source of recruitment for Hollifield, as the two have a close relationship. Though Clemson is making a strong pitch, it might be too late. Virginia Tech and Stanford have been in contact with Hollifield throughout his entire recruiting process and seem to be the heavy favorites.
4-star OT Richard Gouraige
Announcement – 2:30 p.m.
Finalists – Auburn, Clemson, Florida
Gouraige took his final official visit to Florida, and it is believed to be a two-man race between the Tigers and Gators. For Clemson, the addition of Gouraige would be great for added depth along the offensive line. He would be a top candidate to start the 2019 season, as Hyatt and others will be lost to the draft and graduation. This is another toss-up due to the in-state ties Gouraige has with the Gators. I give Florida the slight edge, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up a Tiger.
3-star S Trevon Flowers
Announcement – 9:30 a.m.
Finalists – Clemson, Kentucky, Tennessee
Flowers is a dual athlete prospect who will play baseball as well as football. Flowers was a Kentucky commit until he backed out to consider other options. After spending time with Monte Lee, Clemson’s baseball coach, and touring both facilities, Flowers left impressed, but he also took a late visit to Tennessee. With the recent success both football and baseball have had in Clemson, many see Flowers as a near-lock, even after his visit to Knoxville. When describing both schools, he said that Clemson was where it wanted to be, and Tennessee was still putting the pieces together. I see Flowers pulling the trigger with the Tigers on Wednesday.
In other news, Clemson lost yet another player due to transfer. Tight end Shadell Bell announced he finish up his semester at Clemson before heading to another college. We wish Bell the best of luck at his next destination.
Will National Signing Day be filled with unexpected surprises or will things play out exactly as they seem? Clemson fans, stay tuned to @ArmchairClemson, @ArmchairACCRC and @ArmchairCrootin throughout the day for breaking news and updates regarding the Tigers’ 2018 signing class.