Clemson Offense - Rankings Flashback

Clemson Offense - Rankings Flashback

Football

Clemson Offense - Rankings Flashback

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By Keith McGonigle.

Recruiting rankings are an art, not a science.  Today we take a look back at the recruiting ratings for the Clemson offensive starters when they came out of high school.  As you would expect there are some cases where players have exceeded expectations and some where they have not.

QB – Kyle Parker 2008 class

Rating: Rivals – 4 Star, 10th best pro style QB in the country.  ESPN – Grade 83, 4th best QB.

Other notables: Terrelle Pryor (Ohio State), Dayne Crist (Norte Dame), Andrew Luck (Stanford), Jacoby Harris (U of Miami)

Overview: Parker had an outstanding freshman year throwing 20 TDs and only 12 interceptions.  Clemson fans are banking on the fact that he will continue his success.

Accuracy: So far it looks like Parker deserved his high rating coming out of high school.  It will be interesting to see if he can get even better this year and become a possible NFL prospect.

RB – Andre Ellington 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star, rated 172 overall.  ESPN – Grade 83, #6 RB 

Other notables: Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), Jeffery Demps (Florida),

Overview: Ellington did a very good job backing up C.J. Spiller last year he averaged an amazing 7.2 yards per carry.   

Accuracy: The predictions seem to be pretty accurate it will be exciting to see what Ellington can do with a full year taking the majority of the carries.

RB- Jamie Harper 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star, rated 119 overall. ESPN – Grade 86, #3 RB 

Other notables: Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech), Jeffery Demps (Florida)

Overview: Harper has yet to live up to the hype. I think that when Clemson fans think of Harper they still remember his first carry against Alabama two years ago, when he fumbled on the first play of the game.  Harper came on strong late last season and played well in the bowl game.  Hopefully this year he can make Clemson fans remember him for good reasons.

Accuracy: So far I would say that Ellington has been a better back then Harper and the four star rating was a little generous.  He still has the talent to be that highly touted running back.

WR- Xavier Dye 2007 class  

Rating: Rivals –3 star   ESPN – Grade 77, #63 WR

Other notables: Arrelious Benn (Illinois), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma St.)

Overview: Dye has come up with some big plays at times but only has 24 career receptions. 

Accuracy: The 3 star rating was probably pretty accurate.  It will be interesting to see if Dye can emerge as a reliable receiver this year. 

WR- Marquan Jones 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star, rated 238 overall.  ESPN – Grade 80, #37 WR

Other notables: Arrelious Benn (Illinois), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma St.)

Overview: Jones has 14 receptions and 1 TD in his career as a Tiger.  He has not been a huge name in Clemson’s passing attack.

Accuracy: Marquan has not really lived up to the 4 star rating so far.  He is another guy that will have a chance to step up this year.

WR Brandon Clear 2007 class

Rating: Rivals –3 star  ESPN – Grade 70, #147 WR

Other notables: Arrelious Benn (Illinois), Dez Bryant (Oklahoma St.)

Overview: Clear is a 6’5” receiver with a lot of potential but only has 3 catches in his career. 

Accuracy: So far the low rating has been correct. Clear still has a couple of years left to contribute.

TE– Dwayne Allen 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star ESPN #12 TE– Grade 82, #3 TE

Other notables: Kyle Rudolph (Norte Dame), Blake Ayles ( USC), Jake Stoneburner (Ohio State)

Overview: Allen is only going into his sophomore year but all indications are that he is going to have an excellent season.

Accuracy: ESPN was more accurate on this one.  I don’t know think there are many other tight ends that are as young as Allen, that can have the same impact as he could.

LT – Chris Hairston 2006 class

Rating: Rivals –3 star  ESPN – not graded

Other notables: Andre Smith (Alabama), Sam Young (Norte Dame), Bruce Campbell

Overview: Hairston is one of the best players on the Clemson roster this year.  He is a candidate for the Outland trophy and should be one of the best lineman Clemson has seen in a while. 

Accuracy: A great example of why high school ratings can be misleading.  Hairiston is one of the best lineman in the country, yet was not considered to be talented enough to be scouted by ESPN when he was in high school.  Hairston was 6’5” 270 lbs coming out of high school but is now playing at 6’7” 325 lbs.  Perfect case of proving recruiting sites wrong.

LG – David Smith 2007 Class

Rating: Rivals – 3 star  ESPN – Grade 71, #122 OT

Other notables: Anthony Davis (Rutgers), Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)

Overview: Versatile player who can play multiple positions on the line for Clemson.  Hard worker, Came in weighing only 254 lbs and benching 285 lbs. now is at 315 lbs freshman and benching 405 lbs. 

Accuracy: Obviously another guy that was vastly underrated by recruiting sites should be a solid player for the next two year.

C –Dalton Freeman 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star  ESPN – Grade 78, #16 guard

Other notables: Jermaine Johnson (Auburn), Tyler Love (Alabama), Tyrone Smith (USC)

Overview: great rookie campaign, named co-rookie of the year for Clemson along with Kyle Parker.  Only a sophomore, he should continue to get better.

Accuracy: It looks like Freeman’s high ratings coming out of high school were well deserved.

RG – Antoine McClain 2008 class

Rating: Rivals –4 star rated #108 overall ESPN – Grade 82, #6 OT

Other notables: Jermaine Johnson (Auburn), Tyler Love (Alabama), Tyrone Smith (USC)

Overview: McClain started every game last year and won the Strength Training award for the offensive lineman this spring.

Accuracy: McClain has showed that he was worth the high rating coming out of high school.  He should be another key player on the offensive line for Clemson this year.

RT – Landon Walker 2007 class

Rating: Rivals – 4 star  #14 OT ESPN – Grade 76, #59 OT

Other notables: Anthony Davis (Rutgers), Bryan Bulaga (Iowa)

Overview: A solid player at right tackle.  Had a season high 5 knockdowns in the team’s biggest games: TCU, Georgia Tech and U of Miami.

Accuracy: Good predictions so far, hopefully he can get even better.

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