Over the weekend Clemson held their final home game of the season and one of their biggest recruiting weekends of the year. During their 61-3 beatdown over the Citadel, the Tigers hosted all of their current 2018 commits along with some key uncommitted targets Dabo Swinney hopes to add to his roster. Overall, the weekend was a huge success, with multiple uncommitted players acknowledging how close Clemson is to being their final choice. With signing day fast approaching, Dabo has a chance to compile the best recruiting class Clemson has ever seen.
There was, however, some bad news — 5-star offensive guard Jamaree Salyer cancelled his official visit to Clemson last week in favor of taking a trip to Georgia. Georgia and Clemson are his final two schools, but it seems like the Bulldogs will managed to snag the top offensive lineman.
Fans might see yet another Venables on the Clemson sideline in the coming seasons. Tyler Venables, a 2020 athlete, was offered by the Tigers Saturday. His older brother Jake is currently committed to Clemson’s class of 2018 as a linebacker. Both are the sons of defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
5-star defensive end commit and fan favorite Xavier Thomas announced that he will be signing on Dec 20, his birthday, at 9 a.m. Thomas will hold a ceremony at his former high school, Wilson, in Florence, S.C.
5-star wide receiver Justyn Ross had himself a weekend. Before his official visit to Clemson on Saturday, Ross helped Central High School (Phenix City, Ala.) continue their march for a state championship in a 42-14 victory. He made SportsCenter Top 10 for a spectacular one-handed touchdown grab during the game that seemed to be plucked out of the air mid-leap (in Clemson gloves, no less).
Ross enjoyed his visit to Clemson and talked to Jeff Scott and Trevor Lawrence about what his role would be in the offense as a playmaker. Auburn is currently Clemson’s biggest challenger for Ross, but the Tigers still appear to be in the lead for the talented receiver.
2019 4-star offensive tackle Pierce Quick has been in contact with the Tigers staff regularly throughout his recruiting process. The Alabama commit even said that the Tiger’s staff talks to him more than the Tide’s does. While Quick is still committed to Saban, he understands a lot can happen in a year and isn’t ruling any school out yet. He is also talking to Georgia, Michigan and Oregon.
Clemson defensive tackle commit Darnell Jefferies was honored last week as the Region 8 7A defensive player of the year. Jefferies caught a touchdown pass to force overtime in his last high school game but eventually fell short 42-35.
Trevor Lawrence and the Purple Hurricane’s domination over the high school football landscape is over. Lawrence and his team fell in the state playoffs against Blessed Trinity in heartbreaking fashion, 21-17. The loss ended a 41-game win streak for Cartersville, along with the legendary high school career of Lawrence. The next time Lawrence takes the field, he will be wearing orange and in the midst of the country’s most hyped quarterback battle.
Former Tennessee commit Lyn-J Dixon was in town for the Tigers big recruiting weekend and enjoyed every moment of it. The 4-star running back out of the 2018 class has been a target for some time, and this visit might have been the one, as The Clemson Insider suggests Clemson is the team to beat for the talented running back.
Cade Mays was the most anticipated recruit coming into the weekend after the loss of Salyer to the Bulldogs. With the majority of the offensive line departing after the season, Mays is a crucial element in the success of the line in the coming years. Mays and his family enjoyed their visit with the Tigers, with sources saying Clemson has made significant progress with the talented 5-star. The Tigers will have to again battle Georgia for his commitment, with Salyer attempting to get Mays to join the Bulldogs.
Brendan Radley-Hiles is another talented recruit who enjoyed his visit to Death Valley. The 4-star cornerback is teammates with IMG Academy Clemson commits Xavier Thomas and Mike Jones, who are both trying hard to sell Clemson on their teammate.
2018 5-star safety Tyreke Johnson has Ohio State, Clemson and UCLA as his top three right now. It is believed that the Buckeyes have the lead on Johnson, but his visit to Clemson gave him a lot to think about.
Three Clemson commits have been announced as semifinalists for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl National Player of the Year. Trevor Lawrence, Xavier Thomas and Derion Kendrick were part of the 16-player list consisting of the best high school players in the country. The finalists will be trimmed down to six next Tuesday with the winner being announced prior to the U.S. Army All-American game on Jan. 5.
The back and forth battle between Virginia Tech and Clemson for offensive lineman Jordan McFadden has gone on all year. The Hokie commit visited the Tigers officially on Saturday and hinted at a possible flip in recent interviews. For McFadden and his family, it was the perfect weekend to help decide which place is right for him. With signing period rapidly approaching, the odds of a flip to the Tigers are looking better by the day.2019 4-star athlete Litchfield Ajavon, 2019 4-star defensive end Braylen Ingraham, 2020 4-star wide receiver Jermaine Burton, 3-star offensive guard Zach Carpenter, 2018 long snapper Carson Todd, 2019 4-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton and Auburn commit 2018 4-star safety/receiver Matthew Hill were also in Death Valley over the weekend. Litchfield, Ramel and Braylen received offers from the Tigers earlier in the year.