Clemson’s guest list of recruits for its game against Kent State on Saturday will predictably feature more of a local flavor and younger players as opposed to high-profile prospects. With a marquee matchup against Auburn on the docket in Week 2, the Tigers are reserving their invitations to priority targets for that contest and figure to attract some big names next weekend.
Still, a number of noteworthy prospects are slated to make their way to Death Valley for the season opener.
Chief among them is one of Clemson’s commitments in the class of 2018. Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian four-star defensive back Kyler McMichael (pictured) is expected to be at both the Kent State and Auburn contests.
While it is typical for commits to attend games, McMichael’s anticipated presence is a positive development for Clemson, as the solidity of his commitment has been the subject of speculation recently. Both Alabama and Auburn have maintained communication with McMichael since he committed to Clemson in June. Alabama invited him to its top-five matchup with Florida State in Atlanta on Saturday, but McMichael is expected to spurn that invitation in favor of the Clemson visit, which should help quiet the concerns about his commitment status.
McMichael will be joined by at least a couple of other 2018 commits, in Covington (Ga.) Newton defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies and Central (S.C.) Daniel linebacker Jake Venables. Seneca (S.C.) tight end Braden Galloway had expressed the intent to be there but was unsure of his attendance plans as of Thursday, when he underwent surgery on the Jones fracture in his foot that was sustained in his team’s game last Friday. Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe kicker B.T. Potter had planned to be there before his team’s game was moved to Saturday because of inclement weather.
At least one prospect in the class of 2019 with a Clemson offer will be on hand in Calhoun (Ga.) wide receiver/safety Brannon Spector. Spector — whose father is former Clemson receiver Robbie Spector, brother is Clemson freshman linebacker Baylon Spector and sister is a cheerleader for the Tigers – picked up his offer from Clemson after impressing at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June. He is planning to be at the Auburn game as well.
Among the local prospects on the visitor list is Honea Path (S.C.) Belton-Honea Path 2019 defensive tackle Tysheik Galloway. Galloway, who also competed at the Swinney Camp in June, visited for the Tigers’ spring game in April as well as their game against Pittsburgh last season. He is drawing early interest from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia State and UNC Charlotte along with Clemson.
Another in-state prospect getting early interest from Clemson is Columbia (S.C.) Ben Lippen athlete Akele Pauling, who will make his first game-day visit to Tiger Town after showing at the Swinney Camp this summer. Before transferring to Ben Lippen over the offseason, Pauling posted 48 tackles, three forced fumbles, three pass breakups and an interception as a defensive back at Cardinal Newman. Offensively, he totaled 690 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. Schools such as Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, N.C. State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech have shown early interest as well.
As always, visitor lists are fluid and subject to change. We will of course let you know of any scratches or additions, and we’ll have much more on tomorrow’s visitors as well as the visitors for the Auburn game in the coming days and weeks, so stay tuned to TCI.