Even if Bradley Pinion chose to stick around for his senior year at Clemson, Dabo Swinney would have been on the market for a punter in the 2016.
Ideally, walk-on Andy Teasdall will keep a tight grip on the Tigers’ punting duties for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina product has punted three times in two seasons at Clemson, with a net average of 43 yards. Entering spring practice, it was his job to lose.
However, Clemson is expected to save a scholarship in the 2016 signing class for a punter. One of the candidates is Blake Gillikin, a 6-1, 180-pound All-Region performer from Atlanta’s Westminster High School, who was on campus Saturday for Junior Day.
Gillikin flew to Boston on Sunday, to make a trip to Boston College. Later this week, he’ll head to Northwestern. He also hopes to squeeze in a stop by Michigan.
Clemson’s pursuit of a punter is on hold until June, for the Dabo Swinney Football Camp when Gillikin and a host of other prospects will vie for a Clemson scholarship.
Special teams coordinator Danny Pearman went in-depth with Gillikin at Junior Day.
“They’re really high on people coming to — especially punters and kickers, to come and kick in front of the coaches and see how they perform under pressure like that,” Gillikin said.
Gillikin said that if he repeats what on film from his junior season, a Clemson a scholarship offer could be headed his way.
In addition to a summer-time return to Clemson, he’ll attend camps at Vanderbilt and Stanford.
Top targets at Junior Day: Four-star guards Parker Bourdreaux and John Simpson were billed as two of the headliners at the Tigers’ second Junior event of the year.
Simpson told TCI on Saturday night that Clemson was in his top three with Mississippi State and LSU. Bourdreaux left Clemson on Sunday morning, destined for his first trip to Columbia.
Clemson remains in great position for both prospects.
The details on Simpson’s decision were shared on Saturday night. Bourdreaux, who detailed the new football facility, also discussed his visit upcoming visit plans.
“I’m going to, this spring, I’m going to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. I’m going to Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn, and I’m probably going to visit Florida again for a spring practice,” Bourdreaux said.
Notre Dame is also in line for a visit.
Back in Clemson: Luke Elder first visited a day after the Elite Junior Day event. Instead of making that Saturday trip up from LaGrange, Georgia, he went to Columbia, to visit South Carolina.
Elder, a three-star offensive lineman, picked up his offer from Clemson the next day when he came up for a quick trip and meeting with offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and defensive backs coach Mike Reed, his area recruiter.
That visit, in addition to his Saturday return to Tigertown, leaves Clemson inside his top three, along with Ole Miss and Tennessee. Even though the trio is “sticking out,” there aren’t any “top teams’ on his list.
“I still have not been able to see all the schools that could be up there too once I get to visit them, like Florida State, Cal and UGA,” Elder said. “Plus, I like a lot of these other schools that have offered, and I’m not narrowing down anything yet.
“I’m still open minded and all this is just based on schools that have offered me.”
Davondre The Tank: Davondre Robinson is an early candidate to receive our nod as top prospect in the state for 2017.
With multiple offers to his name before Saturday, the Lake Marion sophomore netted a Clemson offer on Saturday.That was the “highlight of the day” when he was in Clemson.
Robinson, who currently checks in at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, will visit Georgia and Louisville later this spring. He hopes to hit up Auburn, Florida State and Alabama this summer.
Perfect visit: Along with Simpson, Fort Dorchester 2018 quarterback DaKereon Joyner visited Clemson for Junior Day. Joyner called it a “perfect” trip.
Because South Carolina offered before his freshman season, plenty of Clemson folks are clamoring to know when the Tigers will pull the trigger. It didn’t happen on Saturday.
Joyner told TCI that he’s not expecting a Clemson offer any time soon.
“I know, if I do what I’m supposed to do, by the end of this season, I know I should have an offer,” Joyner said.
Clemson quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter has already developed a strong rapport with Joyner, who also shares a connection with co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, the Tigers; Charleston area recruiter.
K.J. Island: It’s official. Former Legion of Boomer/Clemson Tiger Byron Maxwell is a perfect example. Big cornerbacks have become all the rage in football.
Emerald cornerback K.J. Chamberlain could become a hot commodity before too long. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound junior played safety during his junior season and led the state with 14 interceptions.
Reed told him on Saturday that he thinks cornerback might be his future. Chamberlain has some experience at the position. At 6-foot-2, he played there sparingly last season, primarily against bigger wide receivers.
Wake Forest had Chamberlain on campus for a visit earlier this spring. He was scheduled to make a trip to Louisville, but winter weather put at end to those plant. Coastal Carolina is slated to host him this spring, too.
Clemson, South Carolina and Wake Forest will receive camp visits this summer.
Name to know: One of the instate 2017 prospects we mentioned in last week’s feature was Broome safety/outside linebacker D’Marco Jackson. He visited Clemson in the fall. On Saturday, he returned for Junior Day.
Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott serves as the area recruiter in Spartanburg County. So, while Jackson was in for Junior Day, Scott introduced him to Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
Jackson plans to return for the spring game and again in June for camp.
“(Venables) sees me as an outside linebacker/strong safety,” Jackson said. “They see me as a hybrid. (Venables) said he was talking about I’ve got the size and everything. If I put on weight, that would be great.”