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Recruiting

Recruiting updates from the EPT Showcase

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The third annual Elite Position Training (EPT) Showcase was held at Ridgeview High School in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday.

The Clemson Insider was on hand for the Palmetto State’s premier recruiting event. Here are some news and notes as it relates to Clemson prospects:

— One of the headlining names in attendance was Richburg (S.C.) Lewisville four-star defensive tackle and Clemson commitment Josh Belk. Though Belk was present, he sat out of competition as he continues to recover from surgery on a torn labrum that he underwent after Christmas. Belk hasn’t yet been cleared for contact but said he expects to be 100 percent by the start of his senior season.

Belk, who was diagnosed with the injury before his junior season, played through it the entire season and still was able to perform at a high level. It’s a testament to his competitiveness, and one could tell he was itching to be in action Sunday. He arrived at the showcase in a white T-shirt, but about 20 minutes after it started, changed into the gear given to the participating athletes. He wanted to be a part of the event in any way he could and was an engaged observant of his D-line peers throughout the day.

— A couple of other Clemson commits were listed on the roster for the showcase but unable to attend. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas stayed back to study for his upcoming final exams this week, while Seneca (S.C.) tight end Braden Galloway has been dealing with back spasms and decided to rest as a precaution.

— Another prospect listed on the roster that didn’t make it out is Summerville (S.C.) Cane Bay athlete R.J. Roderick. Roderick’s stock has shot up since he received an offer from South Carolina last month. Duke, Georgia Tech, N.C. State and Wake Forest have since offered. Clemson is expressing interest in Roderick, who drew a visit from running backs coach Tony Elliott earlier this month. The Tigers and Wolfpack are looking at him as a running back, while the Gamecocks see him as a safety. The Yellow Jackets are recruiting him as a quarterback.

— The highest-ranked recruit in attendance was IMG Academy four-star defensive lineman Stephon Wynn. Wynn, a Clemson legacy, was viewed a Clemson lean until recent months when he has trended toward other schools recruiting him harder. He confirmed to TCI that the Tigers are no longer in the mix and named Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and South Carolina when asked which schools he is considering. “I haven’t been talking to them lately,” Wynn said of Clemson. “It’s been a long time since I talked to them. I’m at the point now where I’m about to pick a school, and they just got a new defensive line coach (Todd Bates) so it’s real late for me to build a relationship with somebody they just brought in.”

— Wynn’s former teammate, Zacch Pickens, competed and showed why he is one of the most highly regarded prospects in the 2019 class. The Anderson (S.C.) T.L. Hanna product made the drills he went through look effortless. He stands at 6-foot-4, 250-pounds, moves well and just has a smooth all-around game.

Clemson and Florida State are arguably the strongest contenders for Pickens, who most recently visited FSU in early March before visiting Clemson for a spring practice at the end of the month. Coaches from both programs checked in on him at his school during the spring evaluation period.

— Irmo (S.C.) 2019 running back Kendrell Flowers earned MVP honors among the running backs. Flowers, a nephew of former Clemson running back Raymond Priester, is getting interest from the Tigers and will compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June. “Coach Streeter has told me about the facility. He invited me to one of their camps,” Flowers said. “I’m going to attend, probably June 7.”

— One of the most impressive young quarterbacks in the state is Myrtle Beach’s Luke Doty, who was named the showcase’s QB MVP. The rising sophomore has unofficially visited Clemson multiple times, including for the N.C. State and South Carolina games last season. He plans to camp at Clemson next month. “It feels like a home to me, especially growing up with it, growing up adopting that culture,” he said of Clemson. “It’s always felt like a home and somewhere I can go and still feel close.”

— Among the quarterback competitors was Kershaw (S.C.) North Central’s Bubba Williamson, who has a full scholarship offer from S.C. State and received a preferred walk-on offer from Clemson last month. He showcased an accurate arm and athleticism with his ability to maneuver the pocket and extend plays. Williamson, who grew up a Clemson fan, visited Clemson for its junior day in March and plans to camp next month as well.

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