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Recruiting

A fresh look at the freshmen: A.J. Terrell

The remaining 10 members of Clemson’s 2017 signing class arrived on campus June 25, joining early enrollees Hunter Johnson, Logan Rudolph, Baylon Spector and Blake Vinson.

The Clemson Insider gives a scouting report on each of the newcomers. We break down what the player does best, what he can do to earn playing time as a freshman, his future outlook and more.

Name: A.J. Terrell

Position: Defensive back

Height, Weight: 6-2, 180

Hometown (High School): Atlanta, Ga. (Westlake HS)

Prospect rankings: 4-star, No. 9 CB, No. 15 state, No. 106 national (ESPN); 5-star, No. 2 CB, No. 2 state, No. 13 national (Rivals); 4-star, No. 10 S, No. 2 S in state, No. 96 national (Scout); 4-star, No. 7 CB, No. 7 state, No. 61 national (247Sports)

High school stats & accolades: As a senior, had 53 tackles, 36 first hits, seven assists, eight tackles for loss, two interceptions and 13 pass breakups… As a junior, had 55 tackles, two interceptions and team-best 16 passes defended… also scored eight touchdowns as a junior, five on receptions, one on a fumble return, one on an interception return and one on a kickoff return… 7A Player of the Year in Georgia in 2016 by the coaches association… First-team all-state in 2016 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Strengths: Terrell has the combo of size, length and athleticism that Brent Venables covets in cornerbacks. He is quick, especially at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds — he ran a 4.07 shuttle at The Opening Finals last summer and was laser-timed at 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. He is adept in coverage as well as a very physical player who is comfortable in press coverage and playing the run. Terrell is a playmaker and can do it all as a defensive back.

What he can do to earn playing time as freshman: Terrell’s frame and skillset gives him the versatility to play both cornerback and safety, though he is expected to begin his career as a corner. Terrell is the type of tall corner Venables likes in his scheme, and he appears poised to jump into the mix at corner where the Tigers are looking to replace Cordrea Tankersley. He will have to adjust to playing in a new defense and continue honing his technique, but shouldn’t have a problem doing so with his work ethic and high football IQ.

Future outlook: Terrell has been compared to former Florida State and current Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Clemson has quality depth at the cornerback position, but Terrell is certainly talented enough to make an impact in his first season. Regardless, he has a lot of potential and looks like a No. 1 corner in the future.

 

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