Tiger Tracker: After Missing On Walker White, What’s Next for Clemson at Quarterback In 2024

Jake Merklinger Jason Priester All Clemson

For a short time, it appeared the Tigers might have found their 2024 quarterback in Walker White.

However, in the recruiting world, nothing is ever certain, and on Friday, White (Little Rock Christian, Ark) announced a commitment to Auburn, choosing the other Tigers over Clemson and Baylor.

White had just visited for Clemson’s Elite Junior Day last weekend, coming in on Friday and staying until Sunday. By all accounts, the visit went as well as it could have, but it wasn’t enough.

With White off the board, where will the Tigers turn now? The only uncommitted quarterback with an offer is Jadyn Davis (Providence Day, Charlotte), but he has slowly trended away from Clemson over the past several months, with Michigan looking like a favorite and North Carolina gaining some momentum. The only other quarterback in the class with an offer from Clemson is DJ Lagway, but he came off the board late last year, committing to Florida.

While it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Tigers sit tight and see how things play out over the next few weeks, there are a couple of names worth monitoring.

One of those is Jake Merklinger (Calvary Day, Savannah). New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley made a stop by Merklinger’s school last month and the blue-chip talent visited for the NC State game during the fall. While he doesn’t have an offer, he has long been on the Tigers’ radar, having worked out at Dabo Swinney’s high school camp last summer.

Merklinger now has more than two dozen offers, which include Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Michigan State and Arkansas. Can the Tigers gain the necessary traction needed to become a contender if they were to offer at this late stage?

Another name worth keeping an eye on is Marcos Davila (Midland, Tx), who is currently committed to TCU. While he is currently committed to the Horned Frogs, the announcement came just before Riley left to take the offensive coordinator job at Clemson. Kendal Briles replaced Riley at TCU, and while it appears Davila was Riley’s guy, it does not appear that he is Briles’ top choice.

Briles brought in blue-chip quarterback Michael Hawkins (Frisco Emerson, McKinney, Tx) for TCU’s Elite Junior Day, a player he had been recruiting hard while he was at Arkansas. It will be interesting to see how TCU’s flirtation with other players at the position affects Davila’s commitment. It’s possible he decides to open things back up and with Riley now at Clemson, Davila could be a very realistic option.

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