Early offers aren’t always the best offers. This rings true for Clemson as it rarely jumps early on the wagon of a player without seeing their potential first hand.
In the last couple of years, the Tigers have grabbed Isaiah Simmons and Travis Etienne weeks before signing day. There is still plenty of time and it is by no means early for the 2018 signing day, but it is rare a highly-ranked recruit signs with a team that offered them last minute.
Already with a class of eight that probably won’t expand past 14 players limits flexibility in recruiting this year, Clemson could still, and probably will dish out some offers this summer.
Inside linebacker Jacob Doddridge could be one of those players that gets a late offer because of his up-and-coming development.
Doddridge is by no means a “top-ranked” recruit, but his versatility as a player will land the three-star athlete plenty of offers down the road.
In addition to playing linebacker, the Southlake (Texas) Carroll product put time in at fullback and was also one of the top wrestlers in the state of Texas last year. Doddridge said he enjoys playing both ways and does not mind switching positions in college.
“Towards the end of our regular season this past year, our stud senior, Robert Barnes, broke his leg. I really blew some people up and had fun on offense,” he said. “This past week they had me working mostly at ILB. I’m not sure where they will end up having me playing there. I actually don’t really mind where I play because my versatility is probably one of my biggest assets.”
Doddridge told The Clemson Insider he does not have any visits planned for this next month but intends on visiting some schools over the summer. He is also in frequent contact with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
“Coach Venables and I traded texts after I got my first offer (Army),” said Doddridge. “I have so much respect for him and like him so much. We definitely have a great relationship.”
In addition to talking to Venables, Doddridge said he gets plenty of mail from Clemson and they might be one of the many schools coming to watch his high school’s spring practices this month.
While there is limited room in the 2018 class, Doddridge still looks to be on Clemson’s board as he hears from them quite often.
“I get consistent mail from Clemson, so I assume I’m still on their board,” he said. “But I know their ’18 class is going to be a small one and they have firm commits in positions I play.”
Doddridge’s offer sheet currently only holds offers from Nevada and Army, but with his size (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) and versatility, more schools, including Clemson could be knocking on the door this summer and fall.
Regardless of who is on his offer sheet when it’s time to make his decision, Doddridge said if Clemson makes him an offer, it would be a game changer.
“It would be huge and would change it a lot,” he said. “To be offered by the National Champs with Coaches that you know, like and trust, who have a proven track record of developing men, not just as athletes, but preparing them for life. That’s an amazing opportunity. The part that I have is the combination of athletics and intellect…an offer would be big.”