Saturday, February 7, 2015

The 2015 Clemson Tiger Recruiting Class

Recruit - Proj. position at CU - HS - any linked film I can get - vitals - rankings from Rivals and some of our thoughts after looking at their film.

Bold indicates player signed on Signing Day, the others are already enrolled.

Shadell Bell - WR - Columbia HS, Decatur GA - 6'2 202, 4.58 40 -  film - 3* WR. Rivals#41 player in Georgia and #42 WR overall. Offers from Kentucky, Miss State, NC State, Tennessee among others. Makes good cuts, smooth in his routes, but is not a burner so he has to be good at routes to get separation. Real nice size and could play on the boundary 9 position, as he can already block. Actually dropped from a 4* ranking due to playing a very average senior season, beset by ankle and groin injuries that sidelined him half the year. Given our WR situation I expect they'll play him. Recruited by Marion Hobby and Jeff Scott.

 Kaleb Chalmers - DB/CB - Greenwood HS, SC - 5'11 180lbs, 4.45 40- film - #10 player in SC and #47 CB nationally.  Offers mainly from the local Carolinas, including SC and Tennessee. Chalmers is a good player in HS who needs polishing at the next level. Hip flex is good, speed is good, but just needs coaching up because he's not consistent. Does show good ball skills, which is a must here. Definite RS. Recruited by Mike Reed.

Tucker Israel -  QB - Lake Nona HS, Orlando FL- 6'0 195lbs.  - Film 1, 2 - No ranking in-state or nationally. Received an offer and attention from Florida, LSU, and then a bunch of 2nd tier programs. Based on his film, I'd say the 3-stars is low. He's set tons of Florida passing records. Based on the measurables, its probably right on the money, and considering that they take other things besides on-field play into these ratings, its fair. If he was two inches taller they'd be all over him; he's on the short side to ever make it to the next level. Good arm strength and is capable of making the throws in our system, and sets his feet well, but I have concerns about his deep floaters against good coverage teams. Either Israel or Bryant will RS, not both, and the one who RS's is the one you have to think will look elsewhere within 2 years. Recruited by The Chad.

Sterling Johnson - DT - Cleveland HS, Clayton NC - 6'5 288lbs.  - film, 2 - #55 DT nationally, #26 player in NC. Johnson has an impressive offer list, but I get the feeling many of these are just verbals and place-holder offers, namely Alabama, FSU, Florida, UNC, and Texas. He had tried to commit to Tennessee but they would not take him. Size is obviously ready, first step is good, but the motor...not so good. This is the one thing we look for in DL players, and he does not have it. Technique is bad. Competition he faced in Western NC isn't that good either. Definite RS. Recruited by Mike Reed.

Albert Huggins - DT  - Orangeburg-Wilkinson HS, SC - 6'2 280lbs 4.9 40 - film 2 3 - #2 player in SC, #10 DT nationally and #88 player overall. Played with Jadar Johnson at O-W. This one was really between Clemson, Georgia and SC. His dad really pushed him hard towards the SEC, and was in attendance when Clemson thumped SC, which is the day things turned in our favor. I do believe had UGA worked harder, they likely would've landed him early on. Huggins is a War-Daddy, basically unblockable inside at the HS level, and spends much of the game in the backfield. I think this is the best DT we've signed in some time. First step is good, pad level is good, strength is outstanding. He's also doing well in school academically. Huggins should crack the 5-man rotation at DT. Recruited by Marion Hobby.

Chad Smith - OLB - Dominion HS, Sterling VA- 6'4 215 4.7 40 - film - #2 player in VA, #4 OLB and #48 player nationally. His main offers are from Virginia Tech, Wisconsin, and Pitt, who were the main early suitors for his services. Had he stayed uncommitted, a lot of other teams may have followed. I'll tell you, based on his first available film, I was not impressed at all. He merely looked like the best athlete on the field. Later film shows much improvement, and he showed out well against the top competitors in the AS games. Hip flex is good, speed is fine but needs to get better and I think it can. Pad level must come down, but technique is otherwise quite good. I think he's a future tweener at SAM in our system, capable of moving to SS unless he bulks up too quickly. Likely a RS. Recruited mainly by Venables.

Van Smith - DB/S - Hough HS, Charlotte NC - 6'0 180lbs 4.5 40- film 2- #14 player in NC, #41 Safety nationally. Offers from NC State and Kansas State, but he committed very early. Played everywhere, mainly RB and DB at Hough. Speedy athlete that plays hard, but needs coaching. Hip flex is good. I expect him to RS.  Recruited by Dan Pearman.

Mitch Hyatt - OT - North Gwinnett HS, GA- 6'5 285lbs.  - film, 2, 3, 4 - #3 OT nationally, #5 player in GA and #45 player overall. Offered by everybody. Hyatt is a Clemson legacy, as his mother went to school here and his uncle, Dan Benish, played for Coach Ford. Hyatt has the frame to put on muscle, footwork is great, he's got good length and knee bend, and he uses his leverage. He keeps his pads low. You can tell that Benish and others have coached him really well. He's a real athlete playing Tackle instead of a big fat kid. He basically does everything well.The reason why he dropped from the #1 spot nationally is that he gained weight this season, and didn't carry it as well this season compared to some others. He was beaten off the edges against good competition and to the inside by quicker guys. We do believe he needs to add muscle to play at the next level and continue growing into his body. Candidate to play at least a little as a true freshman. Recruited chiefly by Tony Elliott, with Chad Morris and Robbie Caldwell.

Kelly Bryant - QB - Wren HS, Piedmont SC - 6'4 204lbs -  film, 2 3 4- Rated 4-star dual-threat QB by Rivals. #3 player in SC, 11th-ranked Dual Threat QB nationally. Early on, he was ranked in the top 150 players nationally, but has been fighting health concerns throughout his HS career. Gets good spin on the ball, and good arm strength for our system. Really makes a lot of big plays with his legs, though he's not a speed burner at the college level. Most of his HS tapes are just big bombs or runs. His cousin is Martavis Bryant. He ran the offense for a heavily-run-oriented Abbeville before going to Wren for his Jr/Sr seasons, due to Academic reasons. I'm expecting Bryant to get the 2nd string job, but if he doesn't, watch for him to RS. Technically Kelly is a Jeff Scott recruit.

Jake Fruhmorgen - OT - Plant HS, Tampa FL - 6'5, 282lbs.  - film - #5 OT nationally, #15 in FL and #73 nationally. Offered by everybody, though Florida and Bama were the main competition early on, and his dad played at Bama. He's tall, carries his weight well, and his feet are really good. He shuffles them into his pass set very well without taking too big a step that would make him bend at the waist or lunge at pass rushers. Sometimes his pads are a bit high, but this is normal for a 6'5 guy in HS. It appears his HS runs a mostly-pass offense, because you just don't see enough of him in the dirt and drive blocking to get a real feel for that part of his game. At least not from anything I see on Hudl. I suspect he'll need to put on some more mass, but this is the type of OT you'd want to run a zone read with. He can get to that 2nd level pretty quickly. Candidate to play at least a little as a freshman. Recruited by Tony Elliott.

Zach Giella - OG -Augusta Christian HS,Augusta GA- 6'5 300lbs.  - film, 2 - #49 player in GA, #60 OG nationally. Offered by Wisconsin, LSU, the Mississippi's and SC.  Giella is a tweener for Guard or RT, and it depends on his weight and footwork where he ends up, but after watching more film on him I think he'll end up at Guard. RT might be where he starts out. His feet aren't completely fluid like Fruhmorgen or Hyatt's films show, but he has enough of a mean streak in him that he tends to finish blocks. He screws up when he straightens himself up and lets a defender get in close under his pads, because then they can turn him. In all, he's a bit more of a project and definite RS. Giella was recruited by The Chad.

Noah Green - OG - Boiling Springs HS, Spartanburg SC - 6'4 283lbs 5.03 40 - film - #8 player in SC and #39 OG nationally. Committed early on, but had offers from ECU, NC, SC. Both parents attended Clemson. I have seen Green play in person a couple times, and I was not wowed, but he is a big kid with good strength and pretty good feet. Sometimes lets defenders get in and knock him off balance. Definite RS. Recruited by Jeff Scott with Robbie Caldwell.
Austin Bryant - SDE - Thomas Cty Central HS, Thomasville GA - 6'4 251lbs.- film -  4* SDE. #13 player in GA, 149 overall nationally, and 11th ranked SDE nationally. Offered by just about everyone in the southeast, including Florida, FSU, LSU, ND, A&M, SC. Played with Adam Choice in HS, and grew up a UGA fan. Plays with good pad level, seems to understand leverage. We've been harping on Clemson not getting enough high-quality DEs for some time now, and Bryant is that. He fills an immediate depth need on the Strongside, and we do expect him to get a taste on field this fall. Recruited by Dan Pearman.

Deon Cain - WR - Tampa Bay Tech School, Tampa FL - 6'1 190lbs, 4.4 40. film, 2, 3 ,4 - #4 WR, #6 in FL, and 17th-ranked player nationally. He was an early FSU lean with offers from Florida, Bama, Miami, UGA, Nebraska and Ohio State. Cain actually played a lot of QB in HS, since he was the best athlete out there, so don't be shocked if he's not good at WR technique when he gets on the field. He's playing this fall either way. He has to learn how to block, which I don't see on any film. Runs good routes that I can see. Hands look good. He's fast, but quicker and more fluid than an outright blazer. Change of direction is good, indicating good hip flexibility. The reports on his personality say that he's a gamer, but quiet like our last two great WRs. Cain projects as a 5 or a 2 in Clemson's system, but probably starting out at 5. Tony Elliott is the typical area recruiter for Tampa, with Jeff Scott.

Gage Cervenka -DT -  Emerald HS, Greenwood SC -6'3 280 4.9 40.- film - #12 in SC and #37 DT nationally. Cervenka has offers from NC State, WF, Miami, and Duke. Very good HS wrestler, so he'll understand leverage. Most important thing I can say from his film is that he has a good motor, a very good thing at DT. Pad level is fine, first step is good. Cervenka's parents are Clemson fans and he grew up one. I expect him to RS. Recruited by Mike Reed.

LaSamuel Davis - WDE -Bamberg-Ehrhardt, Bamberg SC - 6'4 215lbs 4.68 40. - film - #13 player in SC, #33 WDE nationally. Davis had strong interest from NC State and UNC, and supposedly had offers from K-State, Florida, GT and Virginia Tech. Based on what I have heard, I'm skeptical of the offers from Florida and another from Tennessee. I'm not super high on Davis. I like the speed and first step obviously, and that is why he makes so many plays at Bamberg. His motor is good, which is most important. Davis is an athlete playing DE, the fundamentals and experience as a DE aren't there, so this one is a project, but not a project I mind since we got Bryant and Ferrell. I could see him becoming a pass rush specialist as an upperclassman. Definite RS. Recruited by Marion Hobby.

Clelin Ferrell - WDE - Benedictine School, Richmond VA - 6'5 240lbs. 4.7 40. - film - #5 in VA, #6 WDE and #135 national player. Offered by Bama, FSU, LSU, and many others. Ferrell looks like a future Beasley in frame, though obviously the edge speed from VB is pretty rare. Right now he plays like most 6'5 guys, too high, but that can be fixed. He's also left free a little too much on the film, coming completely unblocked off the edge from a 6 or 7 technique, which makes me wonder about the level of competition he's playing against. In some camps he has been pushed around by some good linemen, which gives me some pause as to how to rate his hand usage and how well he sheds. Right now, he's just beating guys with athleticism and not moves, but again you rarely see a guy in HS get more than 1 move down. Dropped a little in rankings later due to a ACL tear in August. Possible RS, but I think either he or Bryant plays given our lack of DE depth. Watch the knee though, given our record healing them. Recruited by Venables and Hobby.

Mark Fields Jr- CB - Hough HS, Charlotte NC - 5'10 186lbs, 4.34 40 -film, 2 -#5 player in NC, #10 CB nationally and #113 overall. Had been committed to SC for a long time, but staff uncertainty and the fact that Spurrier will not be there for 4 years are the main reasons why he pulled away. Son of former Panther LB Mark Fields. Bigger, physical CB not afraid to jam at the line, which we will be needing this year. Excellent speed and good ball skills. I do have questions about his toughness after sitting out an AS game with a broken finger. Fields is too talented to RS. Recruited initially by Pearman, but Mike Reed gets most of the credit here.

Ray-Ray McCloud III - WR/DB - Sickles HS, Tampa FL 5'9 176lbs 4.4 40 - film 2 3 4 - #2 athlete in the nation, #9 player in FL and #23 player in the nation. Offered by everyone, but committed to Clemson after his close friend Deon Cain did, which is when I predicted he'd commit to us. Florida was the main competitor earlier on. RRM played mostly RB in HS, but would project as a WR or DB at the next level, depending on where he wants to play. I expect we'll start him at WR in the slot 2 position, which was Sammy's spot. Basically will bench Germone Hopper, who needs to get it straight that he won't play over RRM unless he starts working hard. Speed and change of direction are simply excellent, but other than that there is not a ton of WR film to examine. Also, if he wants to bulk up (he's a little scrawny), he could be another Spiller. He won't RS. Recruited by Tony EIliott and Jeff Scott.

Tanner Muse - SS - South Point HS, Belmont NC - 6'4 205lbs 4.4 40 - film 2 - #17 player in NC, #44 rated Safety by Rivals. Committed long ago, but offers had come from Michigan, NC, Florida, and GT. Muse is just a big athlete, who will need a little development and to focus on either football or baseball. He is a candidate to get drafted by MLB this June. I think you see him start in the back end and whether he bulks up or not will dictate a move to OLB. I do believe he RSs. Recruited by Dan Brooks.

Christian Wilkins - DT - Suffield Academy, CT - 6'5 305lbs - film 2 3 - #1 player in CT, #4 DT nationally and #21 player overall nationally. Offered by Bama, Florida, Penn State, Ohio State among others. Another War Daddy. As you can imagine, CT doesn't provide him enough competition, so he bulldozes everyone he plays. He does show out in AS games and camps though. Wilkins is a rare blend of size and speed, but is a bit wreckless and plays higher than Huggins. Wilkins may need just enough coaching that he'll benefit from the RS, but don't be surprised if he cracks the 5-man rotation. Recruited by Venables.

Garrett Williams - 4* TE - 6'4 225lbs. First Academy Orlando FL - film, 2 - #3 TE nationally, #18 in FL and #118 player overall. Offered by nearly everyone, including Bama, Auburn, the Florida schools, Stanford and Notre Dame. Williams is an FSU legacy, his dad played for Brad Scott as a FB under Bowden, and Brad's connection got us in, but Stanford was the main competition according to him. Williams has everything you'd want in a TE, but you could probably find someone who does something better without having the entire package. He has good speed, but its not elite. He's not going to stretch the field deep as well as Leggett could (if he ever stopped being lazy).  He isn't stiff in the hips and it shows in his cuts, but he's not as fluid as Allen ended up. His hands are good. He gives effort as a blocker, but I don't see him starting out as a line TE, he'll be flexed out like a Leggett or Seckinger in the beginning. If he can put on about 20-30lbs, without losing any athleticism, maybe then he becomes a guy you'd play every snap and capable of doing everything we'd need at this spot. If he can do that he'll make it to the NFL without a problem, I just don't see him going as high as a Fleener or Allen. Given our TE situation, I expect them to play him. Recruited by Jeff Scott.

Grayshirt - Amir Trapp - CB - Daniel HS, Clemson SC - 5'7 165lbs 4.7 40 - film - Offered by Furman and PC. Son of James Trapp. Amir has no height and not enough speed to deserve a scholarship to play Div 1 football for Clemson. This is Dabo dabbing and nepotism, just like the Davis twins. Trapp is meant to enroll next January, on scholarship.

I'll reiterate my opinion on Clemson legacy players here. If a kid can play and is a legacy, then I want him. I think Cannon Smith can play and deserved his offer. I don't think Trapp or the Davis' can play.  They eat up useful scholarships that we can use for depth. If they walk-on and make the 2 deep, they deserve to get a scholarship, not before. Giving out 4-5 scholarships to players who can't help you defeat FSU is self-imposed probation.