Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class is currently comprised of five commitments, two on offense and three on defense. Cartersville (Ga.) five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 2018 prospect, headlines a Clemson group that is ranked fifth in the country by 247Sports in the early going with all of the pledges rated among the recruiting service’s top 250 prospects.
The class will end up similar in size to Clemson’s 14-member 2017 class, as the Tigers are expected to take anywhere from 13 to 16 prospects.
Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe four-star wide receiver Derion Kendrick became the second offensive member of the class when he committed after Clemson’s Junior Day on Jan. 28. Rated as an athlete by some recruiting services, Clemson is recruiting him as a receiver. A consensus top-150 prospect and top-three prospect in South Carolina, the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder led South Pointe to its third straight 4A state title as the team’s starting quarterback in 2016, passing for 3,348 yards and 37 touchdowns while rushing for 630 yards and eight more touchdowns.
Clemson has seven receivers on scholarship entering the 2017 season, including rising redshirt juniors Hunter Renfrow and Trevion Thompson, and rising juniors Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud.
With Kendrick on board and numbers tight for Clemson in the 2018 cycle, it’s conceivable the Tigers could elect to hold off on signing a second receiver in 2018. However, Clemson will lose Renfrow, Thompson, Cain and McCloud by the end of the 2018 season, if not earlier in some cases because of potential NFL departures.
With that said, we think Clemson will choose to take another receiver in the 2018 class, and there’s one prospect the Tigers would certainly accept a second commitment at the position from.
That would be priority target and Cary (N.C.) Green Hope four-star wide receiver Jordyn Adams, who Clemson offered last October. He is rated as the No. 132 overall prospect and No. 8 athlete by 247, but like Kendrick, Clemson is recruiting him as a receiver. Before transferring from Blythewood (S.C.) High to Green Hope for his final year of high school, Adams also had a stellar junior season as his team’s quarterback, throwing for 2,350 yards and 24 touchdowns while rushing for 793 yards and 11 scores.
Adams visited Clemson twice last season for the Syracuse and South Carolina games before returning for its Junior Day on Jan. 28. Clemson emerged as a top contender for Adams after offering, while North Carolina is also prominently positioned. The 6-foot-2, 175-pounder lists other offers from East Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, SMU, South Carolina, Southern Miss, TCU, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Adams’ father, Deke Adams, was hired as North Carolina’s new defensive line coach in January after previously coaching the Tar Heels’ defensive line in 2012. He was the defensive line coach at East Carolina in 2015.
Adams plans to visit North Carolina for its Junior Day in March, and while many assume he will follow his father to North Carolina in the future, that isn’t necessarily going to be the case. At least not according to Adams, who told us after his Junior Day visit to Clemson that his dad’s new gig is “good for the family but doesn’t effect my recruiting at all.”
A standout baseball player, as well, Adams has stated that he plans to play football and baseball in college, at least initially. Both Clemson and North Carolina present attractive destinations for someone looking to participate in both sports.
Should the Tigers need or opt to look beyond Adams to fill a second spot at receiver, they have options. Pensacola (Fla.) Pine Forest four-star Jacob Copeland visited Clemson for the Dabo Swinney Camp last June and named Clemson among his top 10 schools later that month, though Florida and the other major in-state programs are the perceived teams to beat. Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes four-star Demarcus Gregory last visited Clemson for the Louisville game in October and has long been on the Tigers’ radar. So has Alcoa (Tenn.) four-star Tykee Kellogg, who attended Clemson’s game against Troy in September and was named one of Tennessee’s Mr. Football winners following his junior season. IMG Academy four-star wide receiver Brian Hightower could warrant consideration, as well.