Swinney: Tigers Filled Needs With 2023 Recruiting Class, Starting In Trenches

It was a fairly quiet National Signing Day in Clemson, as the Tigers locked up its entire class during the early signing period back in December.

However, that didn’t stop Dabo Swinney from celebrating the 27-member signing class on Wednesday, 15 of which are early enrollees, with the head coach noting that he has high expectations for the incoming freshmen.

“It’s always exciting and it’s a blessing when when a bunch of young men choose to come to Clemson, they choose to come be a part of our program,” Swinney said. “Every single signing class that I have had, has won a championship. Most have won multiple and I don’t have any doubt that this group’s gonna keep that tradition going.”

Swinney is confident that the program filled all of its needs, starting in the trenches. Offensive line coach Thomas Austin signed three blue-chip prospects in his first recruiting class, in Zechariah Owens, Ian Reed and Harris Sewell, all of which are early enrollees.

The defensive line is where the Tigers really loaded up, as Clemson signed six in total. Three defensive tackles and three defensive ends.

Peter Woods, Vic Burley and Stephiylan Green are the interior guys, with Woods being the highest rated player in the class. Burley is also considered one of the five best defensive linemen in the country, with Green being a Top 250 talent, as well. All three are already on campus.

Tomarrion Parker, David Ojiegbe and AJ Hoffler are the three ends, with each being blue-chip talents. However, Parker is the only early enrollee. With Myles Murphy and K.J. Henry entering the NFL Draft and Kevin Swint transferring out, end was considered a position of need.

“I think we hit all of our needs, starting in the trenches,” Swinney said. “We got some some big nasties on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Thomas (Austin) crushed it on the OL and, and (Lemanski Hall) and Nick (Eason) did a great job with those defensive linemen. Incredible group of players.”

The program also signed one of the ten best quarterbacks in the country in Chris Vizzina, as well as three dynamic wide receivers in Noble Johnson, Ronan Hanafin and Tyler Brown, two very productive running backs in Jay Haynes and Jarvis Green and two tight ends in Markus Dixon and Olsen Patt Henry.

On the other side of the ball, Clemson signed six defensive backs in total. Three corners (Aveion Terrell, Branden Strozier, Shelton Lewis) and three safeties (Kylon Webb, Khalil Barnes, Rob Billings). Misun Kelley was also signed as an ATH and could eventually transition to defensive back after possibly beginning his career at wideout.

“Then we’ve got another really good talented young quarterback that I think has a bright future ahead and another veteran guy (Paul Tyson) to kind of come in and shore the room up and a bunch of skill. You know guys that can run, cover, catch. Running backs, tight ends, DBs, and two really, really good linebackers that we’re excited about. So it’s a complete class.”

Add in seven veterans who decided to use their COVID years, including All-ACC defensive tackle Tyler Davis, and Swinney is extremely excited about the potential of next year’s team.

“We got an excellent team coming back,” Swinney said. “Especially with those seven COVID guys that are taking an extra year. So with these guys, it’s going to be a great addition and with the 15 mid-years that are already here, it should be a pretty salty spring. It’ll be a lot of fun out there a lot of competition going on.”

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