For Clemson, Christmas came early this past week when the Tigers signed 15 players, including four 5-star prospects and four of the top 10 players in the country according to the 247Sports composite.
But with another signing day in February, Clemson is still looking to close out its 2018 class with a select group of players. Here are some gifts the Tigers have on their Christmas recruiting wish list for next year:
… A commitment from Justyn Ross
Justyn Ross would be one of the best gifts. The 5-star wide receiver from Phenix City (Ala.) Central sits high on the Tigers’ wish list. He is regarded as one of the nation’s elite talents.
The Tigers are in a good spot with Ross, who made his official visit to Clemson in November. Alabama and Auburn are both squarely in contention as well and likely to receive official visits before he announces his decision in February.
Clemson has one spot left for a receiver in this class and would love for Ross to fill it.
… Official visits from key DB targets
There are several shiny DB presents whose recruitments have not yet been wrapped up, and Clemson would be happy to put the bow on them. The most prized package comes in the form of 5-star Patrick Surtain Jr., the nation’s top-ranked cornerback. The Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage standout will take his official visits in January before signing in February, and Clemson is vying for one of those visits. The competition is stiff with schools such as LSU, Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State.
The Tigers are also hoping to get an official visit from Surtain’s teammate, touted 4-star cornerback Tyson Campbell. The same goes for Cypress (Springs) Texas 4-star safety Leon O’Neal and Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood 4-star Matthew Hill (pictured), an Auburn commitment.
Clemson is considered a legitimate threat to flip Hill, whom it views as a safety and hosted for the Wake Forest and Citadel games this season. O’Neal named Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma and Texas A&M his top four schools last month.
Dabo Swinney always says that if the Tigers can get a prospect on campus, then they have a chance to get him. Clemson would love to get its crack with the aforementioned guys.
The Tigers signed one DB last week (4-star cornerback Kyler McMichael) and are looking to add a couple more in February. Clemson has already gotten an official visit from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy 5-star cornerback target Brendan Radley-Hiles.
… Another top O-lineman.
The Tigers are still jolly following their pickup of 5-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman during the early signing period, but there is room for another large gift under the tree. The best things don’t always come in the biggest packages, though that’s not the case with Tampa (Fla.) Berkeley Prep 4-star tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere (6-6, 270).
Petit-Frere — ranked among the top three offensive tackles nationally — is like the item left on the shelf after Christmas that everybody rushes to go get. He didn’t sign last week, so his recruitment is wide open heading down the stretch. Clemson is in the conversation with a number of other programs such as Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Tampa (Fla.) Cambridge 4-star Richard Gouraige, a Florida commitment, is another offensive tackle on the Tigers’ wish list.