Clemson set to host several key targets for official visits
Clemson’s biggest recruiting weekend of the season is upon us. The Tigers have designated it as their major official visit weekend, as welcoming top prospects for Saturday’s game against The Citadel will allow the coaching staff to devote more attention to them than it would have been able to with a more formidable opponent in town.
In addition to all 11 of Clemson’s 2018 commitments, six priority targets in the 2018 class will take official visits this weekend, including three five-stars: Knoxville (Tenn.) Catholic offensive tackle Cade Mays, Phenix City (Ala.) Central wide receiver Justyn Ross and Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian safety Tyreke Johnson.
This will mark Mays’ second appearance on campus in four weeks. He made an unofficial visit for Clemson’s game against Georgia Tech on Oct. 28 before going to Georgia on an unofficial visit the following weekend. He is coming off of an official visit to Ohio State last weekend.
Georgia, Notre Dame and Tennessee are all expected to get official visits, as well, though this has shaped up to be another battle between Clemson and Georgia. Mays of course de-committed from Tennessee last week. The No. 2 offensive tackle in the 2018 class had been committed to Tennessee since July 2015.
Ross (pictured) will return to Clemson for his official after making an unofficial visit for the Auburn game in September. He has a formal top five of Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida and Florida State, but his recruitment has boiled down to Clemson and the in-state schools Alabama and Auburn. Right now, he plans to make his decision on signing day in February.
Johnson is set to make his first visit to Clemson since the Florida State game in November 2015. The Tigers have gained traction and are in a good spot with Johnson heading into his official. He has also taken officials to Ohio State and UCLA, and plans to sign in December prior to January enrollment.
Joining the aforementioned trio on official visits this weekend will be Butler (Ga.) Taylor County four-star running back Lyn-J Dixon, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star cornerback Brendan Radley-Hiles and Roebuck (S.C.) Dorman offensive lineman Jordan McFadden.
Dixon has been on Clemson’s radar for more than a year now. He coveted a Clemson offer but didn’t get it until one week after he committed to Tennessee in June. Dixon de-committed from the Volunteers last month, and Clemson appears to be in the driver’s seat. He most recently visited Clemson for the All In Cookout in July.
Radley-Hiles was trending toward Clemson after his unofficial visit for the Auburn game this season, though Oklahoma is now the perceived team to beat following his official visit there last month. He doesn’t plan to announce a decision until January, so Clemson has a chance to make up ground.
Rounding out Clemson’s official visitor list is McFadden, who has been committed to Virginia Tech since July. He received a dream offer from Clemson in August and has visited Clemson twice since then for the Auburn and Boston College games. He made an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech in September, as well, before taking his official visit there in late October. McFadden is expected to render a decision soon after the Clemson visit, and the Tigers have a chance to seal the deal this weekend.
Along with the official visitors, Clemson will host a number of top prospects in the 2019 and 2020 classes.
Among the 2019 guests will be Marietta (Ga.) four-star wide receiver Ramel Keyton, Cincinnati (Ohio) Archbishop Moeller four-star offensive guard Zach Carpenter, Jefferson (Ga.) four-star tight end Garmon Randolph and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy kicker/punter Aidan Swanson.
Notable 2020 prospects slated to visit include Jackson (Ga.) cornerback Tee Denson, Marietta (Ga.) athlete Dawson Ellington, Atlanta (Ga.) Langston Hughes safety Travis Rivers, Hightstown (N.J.) Peddie School linebacker Korey Smith and Duncan (S.C.) Byrnes running back Rahjai Harris.
Above photo: Five-star receiver Justyn Ross during his unofficial visit to Clemson for the Auburn game on Sept. 9