Looking Ahead: 2018 DT


The Clemson Insider takes a look ahead at Clemson’s top defensive tackle targets in the 2018 class.

At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Clemson lost only one contributor at defensive tackle in D.J. Reader.

After this season, Clemson will once again lose just one interior lineman in Carlos Watkins.

Scott Pagano is a redshirt junior. Christian Wilkins and Albert Huggins are sophomores.

The Tigers won’t take a defensive tackle in the 2017 class, but here are the biggest names at defensive tackle in the class of 2018 we’re keeping tabs on:

Taron Vincent – Bradenton, Fla. (IMG Academy)

Vincent is a five-star recruit and one of the highest-rated prospects in his class. The son of former NFL defensive back and current NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent, Taron has offers from over 30 schools, including Clemson. In late August, Vincent told TCI that he “most definitely” plans to visit Clemson and looks forward to meeting defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks as well as seeing the atmosphere, school and academic side of things. The 6-foot-3, 285-pounder also said then that Ohio State and Florida State were his leaders. One thing that bodes well for Clemson, though, is that Vincent is teammates with 2018 Clemson linebacker commitment Mike Jones.

Josh Belk – Richburg, S.C. (Lewisville)

Clemson offered Belk in June 2015 following his performance at the Dabo Swinney Camp. South Carolina and LSU offered two days before Clemson, and since then, Belk has added offers from Florida State, N.C. State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Auburn and Virginia Tech. Belk recently visited Clemson for the Tigers’ game against Louisville on Oct. 1. Brooks visited Lewisville High on Sept. 23 to see Belk, as well. The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder also camped at South Carolina in June. South Carolina is high on Belk’s list, as is Clemson. It could ultimately boil down to an in-state battle for Belk, who is rated by 247Sports as the No. 4 player in South Carolina, the nation’s No. 14 defensive tackle and the nation’s No. 144 player overall in the 2018 class.

Austin Fontaine – Hyattsville, Md. (DeMatha Catholic)

In September 2015, Clemson became the fifth school to offer Fontaine. He also holds offers from Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Fontaine visited Clemson in July 2015. The 6-foot-3, 280-pounder most recently visited Penn State in July and Ohio State in June. Maryland is considered to be the leader for Fontaine’s services by some in the recruiting industry, though there is a long way to go. Fontaine is rated by 247Sports as the No. 3 player in Maryland, the nation’s No. 3 defensive tackle and the nation’s No. 44 overall player in the 2018 class.

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