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Recruiting board watch: Safety

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 seventh 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.

Clemson has seven safeties on scholarship entering the 2017 season. Korrin Wiggins is a rising redshirt senior. Van Smith will be a senior in 2018, while Tanner Muse and Denzel Johnson will be redshirt juniors in 2018, K’Von Wallace will be a junior and Isaiah Simmons and Nolan Turner will be redshirt sophomores.

We think Clemson will sign two to three defensive backs in this cycle, including one or potentially two safeties. But as it stands now with the tight scholarship numbers, the Tigers taking one would seem to be the more likely scenario.

Clemson is expected to get an official visit down the road from Chattanooga (Tenn.) Baylor School four-star safety Brendon Harris (pictured). The top-10 prospect at his position and top-100 prospect overall by Rivals received an offer from Clemson after competing in the Dabo Swinney Camp last June. He returned for the Tigers’ top-five win over Louisville in October.

Harris is high on the in-state Volunteers, who have emerged as the team to beat after offering in August and making him a priority. His latest visit to Tennessee occured for its Junior Day on Feb. 18. The 6-foot-2, 195-pounder holds Clemson in high regard, while Auburn is also a factor with Florida and LSU others in contention.

Clemson has pulled the trigger on a trio of safety offers since the New Year began.

The latest was doled out to Arp (Texas) four-star DeMarvion Overshown on Feb. 13. Overshown has seen his recruitment skyrocket since the beginning of February, when he has collected about two-thirds of his two dozen offers. Oklahoma, UCLA, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M, Florida State, Ohio State and Georgia are just some of them.

The major Texas programs figure to have pull with him, but he has a lot of visits to take before he approaches a decision and has stated that his recruitment is wide open. He told us he is interested in Clemson and checking out the new facility.

Another prospect from the Lone Star State picked up an offer from Clemson last month in Cypress Springs four-star Leon O’Neal Jr. A top-150 prospect by ESPN, Scout and 247, O’Neal owns over 20 offers.

Texas A&M is considered the favorite by some, with Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Alabama and Clemson others in the discussion. He attended Junior Days at Oklahoma and Texas this month and is expected to travel for the Tigers’ second Junior Day of the year on March 4.

Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute four-star Isheem Young, a top-100 prospect and top-10 safety by ESPN, Scout and 247, also landed an offer from Clemson in January.

Ohio State and Penn State are in good position early on, though a number of other schools are in the mix. He has mentioned getting to Clemson for a visit this spring.

A couple of targets we named in our cornerback board watch, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake four-star Myles Sims and Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage four-star Tyson Campbell, have the versatility to play safety, as well.

Among the other safeties we’re keeping tabs on are South Grand Prairie (Texas) four-star Atanza Vongor and McDonough (Ga.) Eagles Landing four-star Tre Douglas. Clemson offered Vongor in May and Douglas in December. The latter listed Clemson as one of his top 10 schools in February.

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