Tiger Tracker: All Clemson Recruiting Mailbag

Dabo Swinney and Wes Goodwin Jason Priester All Clemson

You’ve got recruiting questions and we have the answers.

Welcome to All Clemson’s recruiting mailbag, where we will answer your recruiting questions. Or we will at least attempt to do so, as recruiting is a world with many moving parts and an ever-changing landscape where circumstances can often change in a flash.

With that in mind, let’s dive in.

Kevin: Looking ahead, with Klubnik and Vizzina hopefully having us set for the next 4 years, who are the early QBs to look at for 2024?

Nicki: Who are we after after missing on 2024 QB Walter White?

Touched on this over the weekend. You can check that out here. With Garrett Riley just settling in to his new role with the program, I could see the staff taking their time before offering the next target. February is a dead period, so no visits are taking place this month, While I doubt they hold off this long, it’s possible they wait until June when Dabo Swinney holds his high school camps and they have ample opportunity to evaluate players in person. There is still a long time until signing day.

Having said that, waiting to long could hurt with some guys. For example, Jake Merklinger (Savannah Day, Ga), who has long been on Clemson’s radar but does not hold an offer, it may be too late for him. Merklinger seems to be already leaning towards Tennessee.

Another name to watch is Marcos Davila (Midland, Tx), who is currently committed to TCU. Riley is very familiar with Davila, as the quarterback committed to the Horned Frogs just before he took the job with Clemson. Riley’s replacement at TCU, Kendal Briles, has already started targeting other quarterbacks in the 2024 class, which could possibly lead to Davila opening things back up. Regardless of how it plays out, it will make for an interesting next few weeks.

Deron: Are we gonna continue to recruit 2024 CB Jalyn Crawford (Parkview, Lilburn, Ga)?

Absolutely. He’s one of the ten best corners in the country, and the Tigers are still looking to add one more to the 2024 class. Crawford has long been considered a fairly strong LSU lean. Clemson jumped in with an offer in December and got him to campus for Elite Junior Day the final weekend in January. He also made stops at Auburn, Tennessee and Miami last month. The Clemson visit made an impression, though. A big one. Enough to swing him over to Clemson’s side? That’s hard to say. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say there is still some work to be done. Let’s see what happens through the spring.

Wayne: I know 2024 OL Blake Franks (Greenville, SC) does not look promising. Where do the Tigers stand with locking in some offensive linemen? Lot of comments last year about the line. Seems improvement is needed. Recruiting is the answer and the 24 class will be what I’m keeping an eye on.

Yes, Clemson needs to be better along the offensive line, but at the same time, I think there is more talent in the room now than there has been at any point in Dabo Swinney’s tenure. For me, offensive line recruiting really started to pick up with the 2021 class. The Tigers signed Tristan Leigh, Marcus Tate and Dietrick Pennington. While Tate started as a freshman, the other two just haven’t been ready.

Leigh, who was the highest rated player Clemson signed in that class, came in having not played football in a year, due to his senior season being wiped out. It put him behind from the jump, both physically and mentally. The hope is he will be ready come next season and with Jordan McFadden moving on, the Tigers need him to take that jump. Injuries have hampered Pennington’s development.

In 2022 they signed Blake Miller and Colin Sadler. Obviously, Miller started as a freshman, while Sadler redshirted. Heading into his second season, though, Sadler is one of the offensive linemen to watch. It just might be him and Leigh battling for a starting spot at tackle.

Then, they added three blue-chip talents in 2023 in Zechariah Owens, Ian Reed and Harris Sewell, and all three are early enrollees.

As for 2024, yes, Franks might very well be leaning towards South Carolina at this point, with his recruitment nearing an end. There was talk that he might announce this week, but now he is talking of pushing the decision back, maybe as far back as early next month. Maybe that is a good sign for Clemson, maybe not.

Beyond him Clemson has offers out to Josiah Thompson (Dillon, SC), Blake Frazier (Vandergrift, Austin, Tx) Jameson Riggs (Hiram, Ga) and Fletcher Westphal (Tuscarora, Leesville, Va). Thompson, is a strong lean to the Gamecocks, and Frazier is a guy who the Tigers are in it for, but I am not sure I would call them a favorite at this juncture. Having said that, I do they think have a chance.

They are also in good shape with Westphal, who will likely be back for a visit in the spring, and they are in great shape with Riggs. Although, if the plan is to sign up to four offensive linemen, the board will likely have to expand at some point.

Wanna ask a recruiting question, shoot us an email a jp@clemsonmaven.io or shoot us a DM on Twitter.

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