A look at ESPN’s Junior 300 rankings for the class of 2019, which were released on Monday, shows the potential of Clemson’s 2019 class.
While Clemson doesn’t yet have any commitments in its 2019 class and thus none in the rankings, the list is loaded with Clemson prospects.
Clemson’s class of 2019 is expected to be significantly larger than its previous two classes, so the Tigers have had the luxury of dispensing a lot more scholarship offers to elite recruits in the next cycle. By our count, 45 prospects ranked among ESPN’s top 300 have reported offers from Clemson. That number includes 30 prospects in the top 150, 20 in the top 100 and 14 in the top 50.
It has become easier and easier in recent years for Clemson to get prospects on campus and show off all it has to offer, especially on the heels of the national championship last season and ensuing completion of the new football operations facility. By our count, 33 of the aforementioned 45 prospects have made at least one visit to Clemson this year.
That includes four of ESPN’s top 10 players: Loganville (Ga.) Grayson linebacker Owen Pappoe (No. 3); Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy defensive end Nolan Smith (No. 4); Marietta (Ga.) Walton wide receiver Dominick Blaylock (No. 7), a Georgia commit; and Belleville (Mich.) offensive tackle Devontae Dobbs (No. 9).
Pappoe visited Clemson in early June and said afterward that Clemson caught his attention in a big way. Clemson, meanwhile, is one of the biggest threats to flip Smith, a Georgia commit who also visited in June. Dobbs picked up an offer from Clemson while on campus with a small group of Michigan prospects in July.
A number of ESPN 300 prospects with Clemson offers competed at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June: Amite (La.) defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher (No. 15); Oxford (Ala.) offensive lineman Clay Webb (No. 31); Pinson (Ala.) Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix (No. 51); Twin City (Ga.) Emanuel County Institute defensive end Curtis Fann (No. 134); Cornelius (N.C.) Hough cornerback Tyus Fields (No. 177); and Fort Myers (Fla.) South Fort Myers defensive end Quashon Fuller (No. 256).
Several more visited Clemson during the Swinney Camp but did not work out, including Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele (No. 81), Thomaston (Ga.) Upson-Lee defensive end Travon Walker (No. 103) and Milton (Ga.) safety Joseph Charleston (No. 185).
Another group of prospects in ESPN’s rankings visited Clemson for its junior day in March. Mineral (Va.) Louisa County linebacker Brandon Smith (No. 16), Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy linebacker Shane Lee (No. 38), Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic athlete DeMarcco Hellams (No. 50), Stafford (Va.) North Stafford running back Devyn Ford (No. 150) and Alexandria (Va.) Episcopal safety Litchfield Ajavon (No. 238) were among them.
Clemson played host to a couple of ESPN 300 prospects for the spring game in April, Hogansville (Ga.) Callaway offensive guard Keiondre Jones (No. 34) and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy linebacker Mikel Jones (No. 269).
A list of other Clemson targets in the rankings have visited Clemson at various times this year, including Largo (Fla.) defensive end Jaquaze Sorrells (No. 20); Anderson (S.C.) T.L. Hanna defensive end Zacch Pickens (No. 73); Charlotte (N.C.) Harding running back Quavaris Crouch (No. 83); Mansfield (Texas) Mansfield Legacy safety Jalen Catalon (No. 104); Belleview (Fla.) offensive tackle Michael Tarquin (No. 119); Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith cornerback Cam’Ron Kelly (No. 143); and Buford (Ga.) offensive lineman Harry Miller (No. 178).
The rankings are also littered with prospects who have not yet received an offer from Clemson but are firmly on the Tigers’ radar.
Clayton (N.C.) defensive end Savion Jackson (No. 24) visited Clemson in March to watch a spring practice before returning to compete at the Swinney Camp in June.
At the camp, he was joined by prospects such as New Smryna Beach (Fla.) safety Jaleel McRae (No. 26); Lakeland (Fla.) tight end Keon Zipperer (No. 64); Rahway (N.J.) defensive tackle Antonio Alfano (No. 77); Kennesaw (Ga.) Kennesaw Mountain tight end Ryland Goede (No. 87); Powder Springs (Ga.) Hillgrove safety Jaylen McCollough (No. 117); Nashville (Tenn.) Montgomery Bell offensive guard Jackson Lampley (No. 174); Detroit (Mich.) Cass Tech running back Jaren Mangham (No. 182); Lanett (Ala.) safety Trikweze Bridges (No. 211); and Monroe (N.C.) Sun Valley quarterback Sam Howell (No. 281).
Edina (Minn.) offensive tackle Quinn Carroll (No. 86) is another noteworthy prospect who visited Clemson in late March. Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes running back Travis Tisdale (No. 93) and Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman wide receiver Trey Knox (No. 197) attended Clemson’s spring game in April.
You can see the full 2019 ESPN Junior 300 rankings here.
— Above picture: Loganville (Ga.) Grayson linebacker Owen Pappoe, who is the highest-ranked Clemson target in ESPN’s rankings at No. 3 overall.
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