Clemson’s 2018 recruiting class is one of the best, if not the best, class in the history of Clemson football.
Don’t just ask Dabo Swinney, who said that it was probably the most complete class he has ever signed “on paper” during his tenure as head coach, the numbers speak for themselves.
Using data from 24/7 Sports Recruiting’s class rating scale, a score calculated by adding up each recruit’s 24/7 recruiting grades (79 – below = Two-star prospect, 89 – 80 = Three-star prospect, 97 – 90 = Four-star prospect, 100 – 98 = Five-star prospect, 110 – 101 = Franchise Player), we measured how the Tigers stacked up against some of the top recruiting schools in the country this past season. Each recruits rating is added up to calculate a class composite score, which then is measured against other schools to rank the class.
Before we go into that, the major statistic that stands out and grabs your attention – Clemson was the first school in the history of college football to sign the No. 1 prospect out of six different states (Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia). Adding to that Justyn Ross was the first No. 1 recruit from the state of Alabama to not sign with the Crimson Tide since Jameis Winston committed to Florida State back in 2013.
Clemson’s class consisted of 17 recruits, another relatively small group even after last year’s 14, and while 2017 was considered a great class for the Tigers, 2018 stepped it up to a whole new level.
Let’s start with class ranking.
In 2017, Clemson ranked 16th nationally in 24/7’s recruiting class with a composite score of 238.91. This year in 2018, the Tigers jumped 10 spots to sixth nationally with a class composite score 283.67.
While that jump is partially due to the addition of three more recruits than the previous class, the average recruit in 2017 scored a 92.1 rating as opposed to 2018’s average score of 93.45.
While Clemson outdid itself from last year, let’s see how it stacked up against each of the Power Five conference champions recruiting classes (throwing in national champion Alabama as well).
Overall, Georgia finished No. 1 in the rankings followed up by Ohio State at No. 2, Southern Cal at No. 4, Clemson at 6, and Oklahoma at 9.
All in all, each of these schools had a great recruiting class, but when you look closer at the numbers, Clemson ranks higher on a player by player basis.
Alabama signed 19 recruits with a 92.78 average player rating and a composite score of 283.27.
Ohio State signed 26 recruits with a 94.29 average player rating and a composite score of 317.06.
Georgia also signed 26 recruits with a 94.23 average player rating and a composite score of 323.31.
Oklahoma signed 22 recruits with a 91.31 average player rating and a composite score of 275.97.
Finally, Southern Cal signed 18 recruits with a 94.23 average player rating and a composite score of 291.20 (arguably the most similar class to Clemson’s in 2018).
In summation Clemson’s class player for player actually finishes at No. 4 in the country. Only Georgia, Ohio State and USC had higher average player rankings. It is also important to note that only Georgia brought in more Five-star recruits (seven) than Clemson’s five.
While all of these statistics are important, especially with the Tigers high ranking, it is important to note that development is really the key part of this process.
Kirby Smart and Urban Meyer can get as many top ranked players as they want on campus, but not every single one of them are going to develop into a starter, especially when they are continuously bringing in over 25 recruits during each cycle (transfers, transfers, transfers…).
We could continue to throw numbers at you all day long, like the Tigers record against all of these teams since 2013 (6-3), but the fact of the matter is that Dabo Swinney has established the Clemson program as a football powerhouse, and based on recent recruiting efforts it should settle in and get comfortable.