Clemson landed one of the Palmetto State’s top prospects on Saturday night when class of 2018 offensive lineman Jordan McFadden announced his commitment to the Tigers.
In this feature, The Clemson Insider breaks down McFadden’s pledge to the defending national champions:
Hometown (High School): Roebuck, S.C. (Dorman)
Height/Weight: 6-4, 290
Offers: Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Louisville, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri, N.C. State, North Carolina, Rutgers, Syracuse, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Appalachian State, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Colorado State, Georgia State, East Carolina
Rankings: 3-star, No. 47 OT, No. 269 regional, No. 10 state (ESPN); 3-star, NR OT, NR national, No. 20 state (Rivals); 3-star, No. 77 OT, No. 868 national, No. 14 state (247)
How Clemson got him:
Clemson extended McFadden’s dream offer before the season and eventually beat out Virginia Tech for his services. McFadden had been formally committed to the Hokies since the summer before flipping his pledge to the Tigers. He announced the flip on Saturday night but told TCI he had known for about two or three weeks that he wanted to be a Tiger. “Growing up as a kid, all I wanted to do was go to Clemson and play at Clemson, and I couldn’t let that opportunity go,” he said. “I’ve liked everything about Clemson since I was young. It’s just my dream place.”
McFadden committed to Virginia Tech on July 4 over finalists Michigan State, Duke and Rutgers. Clemson started trending with McFadden after offering on August 1 and subsequently attracting him to campus for the Auburn and Boston College games in September. McFadden then made an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech for its game against Clemson on Sept. 30, and he returned to Blacksburg for his official visit in late October. The Tigers essentially sealed the deal with McFadden during his official visit to Clemson the weekend of The Citadel game last month.
What Clemson gets:
TCI tripped to Dorman this season to watch McFadden play as part of our Tour of Champions. The Tigers are getting a talented and very underrated prospect. He was an anchor on Dorman’s offensive line as a senior and a big reason his team made it to the 5A state championship game. Unfortunately, McFadden injured his knee in the title game and will be forced to miss the Shrine Bowl all-star game this Saturday. It could potentially be an MCL injury, though as of Saturday evening McFadden had not yet gotten the results of the MRI he underwent Friday. McFadden will sign with Clemson on Dec. 20, although he will not be an early enrollee, so he will have plenty of time to recover from the injury before he arrives on campus this coming summer.
McFadden is big-bodied at 6-foot-4, 290 pounds. He has outstanding athleticism for his size, moves his feet well and is adept at pulling out. He is versatile, as he played both left and right tackle for Dorman, and a valuable blocker in space. McFadden finishes blocks and had his way with many defenders this season. He will benefit from extra time in the weight room once he gets to Clemson. He projects as a tackle at the next level.
What the commitment means:
McFadden’s commitment helps fill a need for the Tigers as he becomes their first offensive line pledge in the 2018 class. Clemson wants to sign two to three offensive linemen this cycle, including at least a couple of tackles, and now it has one in the barn so to speak. The Tigers successfully locked up one of their top targets and can now turn their attention to other priorities on the O-line board.
Clemson continues to have success recruiting in-state. Of Clemson’s 12 commitments in the 2018 class thus far, six are from South Carolina (seven if you count Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy defensive end Xavier Thomas, a native of Florence). Four of the aforementioned six players (McFadden, athlete Derion Kendrick, defensive tackle Josh Belk and linebacker Jake Venables) are ranked as top-10 prospects in the Palmetto State by various recruiting services.