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Elliott: Class of '18 showing its commitment to Clemson

Seven of Clemson’s commitments in the class of 2018 have taken a big step toward officially becoming Tigers.

The Clemson football program has received financial aid agreements from seven standout prospective student-athletes, all of whom are expected to enroll early at Clemson in January.

Headlining the list are the nation’s top offensive and defensive prospects, Cartersville (Ga.) five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas.

The group also includes Richburg (S.C.) Lewisville four-star defensive tackle Josh Belk, Seneca (S.C.) tight end Braden Galloway, Covington (Ga.) Newton four-star defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star linebacker Mike Jones and Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe four-star wide receiver Derion Kendrick.

After Clemson’s first preseason practice on Thursday, assistant Tony Elliott spoke to the media about those that signed their aid agreements.

“That just shows the commitment on our part to them,” Elliott said, “and it also shows the commitment on their part that they’re committed to us.”

A financial aid agreement is non-binding, but in most cases, a prospect that signs it goes on to sign their national letter of intent with the school. The school that receives an agreement is allowed unlimited contact with the prospect and allowed to talk freely about the prospect.

Signing aid agreements with the aforementioned prospects gives Clemson a sense of security with them, though Elliott said it won’t change the way the Tigers recruit them.

“It’s comforting as a recruiter, I know, for those guys that are recruiting them,” Elliott said. “But still, we have to recruit those guys as if they haven’t signed because again, it’s still a long way until signing day.”

This month is a dead period in college football recruiting, meaning college coaches can’t have face-to-fact contact with prospects or their parents.

When the calendar turns, Elliott said the Tigers will look to get these seven prospects back on campus like nothing has changed.

“With the dead period, we’ll continue to recruit them hard within the rules,” Elliott said. “Now it’s really time for us to focus on what we got here, and then once we get back into September, we’ll have those guys back on campus and continue to recruit them.”

 

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