Today marks the start of a new journey for Clemson’s newest football players.
The nine early enrollees in Clemson’s historic 2018 recruiting class have officially begun college. Classes for the Spring 2018 semester at Clemson University got underway Wednesday.
The Tigers signed 15 players on Dec. 20, the first day of the early signing period for college football recruits. The nine midyear enrollees arrived on campus and joined the team over the weekend.
The group of newcomers is headlined by the country’s No. 1 offensive and defensive prospects: five-star quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Ga., and five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas of Florence, S.C., who attended IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Both were unanimous top-five prospects nationally.
Lawrence and Thomas are joined on campus by fellow five-stars K.J. Henry of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Jackson Carman of Cincinnati. Henry (DE) was ranked as the No. 5 overall player in the nation by ESPN, while Carman (OL) was a top-10 national prospect according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
The list of Clemson’s midyear enrollees also includes linebacker Mike Jones of Nashville, Tenn.; wide receiver Derion Kendrick of Rock Hill, S.C.; defensive tackle Josh Belk of Fort Lawn, S.C.; defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies of Covington, Ga.; and tight end Braden Galloway of Anderson, S.C.
Jones became the first member of Clemson’s 2018 class when he committed in June 2016. He was considered a national top-250 player by ESPN and 247Sports. Kendrick was seen as the top-ranked player in South Carolina and a national top-50 player by Rivals. Belk was ranked as a national top-100 player and the No. 2 prospect in the Palmetto State by ESPN.
This year’s group is tied for the biggest class of midyears for the Clemson football program. Dabo Swinney also had nine midyear enrollees in 2015.
In all, five of the midyears (Lawrence, Thomas, Henry, Carman and Kendrick) are ranked as the No. 1 player in their respective states.
Clemson’s early enrollees will be able to participate in spring practice and the Orange & White spring game this year. The remainder of Clemson’s 2018 class will arrive over the summer.
Clemson’s 2018 early enrollees:
Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville, Ga. (Cartersville High)
Xavier Thomas, DE, Florence, S.C. (IMG Academy (Fla.))
KJ Henry, DE, Winston-Salem, N.C. (West Forsyth High)
Jackson Carman, OL, Cincinnati, Ohio (Fairfield High)
Mike Jones, LB, Nashville, Tenn. (IMG Academy (Fla.))
Derion Kendrick, WR, Rock Hill, S.C. (South Pointe High)
Josh Belk, DT, Fort Lawn, S.C. (Lewisville High)
Darnell Jefferies, DT, Covington, Ga. (Newton High)
Braden Galloway, TE, Anderson, S.C. (Seneca High)
Clemson early enrollees history:
2007—(5) Landon Walker, Xavier Dye, Willy Korn, DeAndre McDaniel, Brian Linthicum
2008—(4) Stanley Hunter, Da’Quan Bowers, Marquan Jones, Kyle Parker
2009—(2) J.K. Jay, Malliciah Goodman
2010—(2) Kalon Davis, Josh Watson
2011—(4) Tony McNeal, Corey Crawford, Cole Stoudt, Joe Gore
2012—(8) Kevin Dodd, Jay Guillermo, Oliver Jones, Patrick Destefano, Isaiah Battle, Travis Blanks, Bradley Pinion, Zac Brooks
2013—(4) Jadar Johnson, Ebenezer Ogundeko, Shaq Lawson, Jordan Leggett
2014—(5) Demarre Kitt, Kyrin Priester, Chris Register, Artavis Scott, Deshaun Watson
2015—(9) Kelly Bryant, Chad Smith, Noah Green, Shadell Bell, Van Smith, Zach Giela, Tucker Israel, Kaleb Chalmers, Albert Huggins
2016—(7) Tremayne Anchrum, LaSamual Davis, Tre Lamar, Dexter Lawrence, Nyles Pinckny, Sean Pollard, Shaq Smith
2017—(4)–Hunter Johnson, Logan Rudolph, Baylon Spector, Blake Vinson
2018—(9)–Xavier Thomas, Trevor Lawrence, K.J. Henry, Jackson Carman, Mike Jones, Jr., Derion Kendrick, Josh Belk, Darnell Jefferies, Braden Galloway