Clemson landed a big-time prospect on Tuesday when four-star defensive back Joseph Charleston announced his commitment to the Tigers.
In this feature, The Clemson Insider breaks down Charleston’s pledge to the defending national champions:
Class/Position: 2019 Safety
Hometown (High School): Alpharetta, Ga. (Milton)
Height/Weight: 6-2, 190
Offers: Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, N.C. State, Ohio State, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, West Virginia
Rankings: No. 10 safety, No. 185 national, No. 24 state (ESPN); No. 8 safety, No. 132 national, No. 14 state (Rivals); No. 10 safety, No. 144 national, No. 16 state (247Sports Composite)
How Clemson got him:
Charleston’s stock took off in the spring, when he received offers from Georgia, Alabama, Virginia Tech and Tennessee among others. Clemson got him on campus during the Dabo Swinney Camp in June before extending an offer later that month.
The Tigers made Charleston a priority and attracted him to the Kent State and Auburn games in September. Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn paid Charleston a visit to watch him play a game in late September. Charleston then returned to Clemson with his parents for the Wake Forest game last weekend. Before the game, they exclusively were taken to the top of the hill, where they were shown Howard’s Rock and took pictures with it. The Tigers sealed the deal with the visit, and on Tuesday, Charleston gave them his pledge.
Charleston’s experiences during the three visits, including two overnight stays, assured him that Clemson is the right fit for him. Clemson’s coaching staff, family atmosphere and the fact the Tigers rotate players in the secondary resonated with him especially. His close relationship with Clemson freshman cornerbacks and fellow Georgia natives A.J. Terrell and LeAnthony Williams helped the Tigers’ case, as well.
What Clemson gets:
Clemson is getting a very talented, high-upside player in Charleston. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder is the type of physical, rangy athlete Clemson loves in the secondary. Charleston has good vision and reads the field well, while his instincts help him break on the ball quickly. He has good ball skills to boot, a reason he could project at corner or safety at the next level. But given his skillset, he figures to be a safety for the Tigers.
What it means:
Charleston becomes the first commitment in Clemson’s 2019 class, so the Tigers are off to a great start in the next recruiting cycle with the top-10 safety and top-200 prospect regardless of position per ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports.
Charleston is one of a select few prospects in the 2019 class that Clemson has made a priority thus far, and that speaks to what the Tigers think of his potential. Locking him up early is big for Clemson as his recruitment would have continued to intensify. Alabama and in-state Georgia were believed to be Clemson’s stiffest competition, so the Tigers again flexed their muscles on the recruiting trail by beating out them and other major programs for his pledge.
Clemson also continued its success nabbing talent from the Peach State. Clemson’s previous three commitments from defensive back prospects have come from Georgia, as well, in Terrell, Williams and Kyler McMichael.