In our “Recruiting Board Reset” feature, The Clemson Insider provides an update on Clemson’s recruiting board for the 2018 class and where the Tigers stand with their top targets at each position.
In this part of the series, we take a look at safeties.
Clemson has five safeties on scholarship entering the 2017 season (not counting K’Von Wallace, who could play safety), with all of them having returning eligibility for the 2018 season. Looking ahead to when Clemson’s 2018 class will arrive, Van Smith will be a senior during the 2018 season, while Denzel Johnson and Tanner Muse will be redshirt juniors, and Isaiah Simmons and Nolan Turner will be redshirt sophomores.
Considering the current scholarship numbers, the Tigers are expected to sign at least two defensive backs in their 2018 class, though that number could end up being three.
Clemson landed its first commitment from a defensive back in this cycle last Friday when Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian four-star Kyler McMichael committed to the Tigers over Alabama and Georgia among others. McMichael, a top-150 prospect nationally by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports, has the versatility to play cornerback, safety or nickel.
In early June, Clemson gave Atlanta (Ga.) Carver four-star safety Quindarious Monday (pictured) an offer he coveted. Monday, the No. 8 safety and No. 105 overall prospect nationally according to ESPN, told us after the offer that Clemson is one of his “dream schools.”
Four days after receiving the offer, Monday visited Clemson during the first session of the Dabo Swinney Camp with his mother, father, sister and niece. Clemson made a move with Monday, who told us after the visit that Clemson felt like home and it is a place his parents can see him at.
Monday (6-3, 175) received his first offer from Auburn in January 2016, and the SEC’s Tigers had been regarded as the heavy favorite until his offer from and visit to Clemson, and an ensuing visit to Florida State. Monday has mentioned the possibility of committing late this summer or early in the fall.
With limited available scholarships in this cycle, Clemson has its eye on versatile defensive backs who could play multiple positions in the secondary, and one prospect who fits that bill is Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage four-star Tyson Campbell.
Campbell (6-3, 180), a consensus top-100 overall prospect, most recently visited Clemson for its elite junior day in January and could return for Clemson’s annual All In Cookout next month.
Campbell’s lead group is thought to comprise Clemson, Miami and Ohio State right now. But his recruitment is expected to go the distance, and other schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State and Georgia are in the conversation.
Earlier this month, Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute four-star safety Isheem Young named Clemson one of six finalists in his recruitment along with Alabama, Maryland, Ohio State, Penn State and West Virginia.
Clemson offered Young, a consensus top-250 overall prospect, in January. He has visited Penn State numerous times of late, and the Nittany Lions are viewed as the distant frontrunner. Clemson hopes to get a visit before Young (5-10, 200) announces his decision on July 18.
Another hybrid defensive back Clemson has retained interest in since he committed to Notre Dame in February is Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter’s Derrik Allen. Allen, who attended Clemson’s January junior day, was paid two visits by Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and co-defensive backs coach Mickey Conn during the spring evaluation period. Allen (6-2, 211) could potentially consider other options depending on how the Fighting Irish fare this fall.
Among others names we’re keeping an eye on are Bossier City (La.) Parkway four-star Israel Mukuamu, Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian five-star Tyreke Johnson, Hampton (Ga.) Dutchtown four-star Trey Dean and Lee’s Summit (Mo.) West four-star Nebraska commit Mario Goodrich.
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