Clemson has repeatedly tapped into the Virginia talent pool over the years, signing future stars from the state such as linebacker Kavell Conner (2005), defensive end Andre Branch (2007), quarterback Tajh Boyd (2009) and defensive end Clelin Ferrell (2015).
Looking ahead, the Tigers have their eye on several prospects from the Cavalier State in the 2019 recruiting cycle.
Here are a handful of 2019 recruits from Virginia to watch as it relates to Clemson:
Cam’Ron Kelly, 4-star CB, Chesapeake, Va. (Oscar Smith):
Kelly (6-1, 190) is one of the most coveted junior defensive backs in the country with close to 40 offers featuring Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford, Virginia Tech and others. The Tigers offered him over the summer and have gotten him on campus several times since, most recently for their elite junior day last weekend. Clemson has solidified itself as a standout in Kelly’s recruitment. “A top contender. One of my top schools,” he told TCI in the fall. Kelly has said he wants to render a decision before his senior season.
Brandon Smith, 4-star DE/LB, Mineral, Va. (Louisa County):
Like Kelly, Smith (6-4, 215) attended Clemson’s elite junior day last Saturday as one of the Tigers’ priority targets in the next cycle. As is the case with Kelly, Clemson has staying power in Smith’s recruitment. “They will be one of my top schools for sure,” Smith told TCI after the visit. The Tigers view Smith as a linebacker and have told him he could be a “great asset” to their defense with his range and athleticism. Smith attended games at Penn State, Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Georgia in the fall. He is ranked among the top 50 prospects in his class regardless of position.
Sheridan Jones, 4-star CB, Virginia Beach, Va. (Bishop Sullivan):
Jones (6-1, 165) joined Smith and Kelly on Clemson’s campus for the junior day a week ago. Jones reclassified to the 2019 class earlier this month and quickly received an offer from Clemson thereafter. Following the offer, he told TCI that Clemson was his childhood favorite school. “Clemson was actually my favorite college growing up,” he said. “I know that they have produced some great athletes. And also that they are all about their kids.” Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ohio State and Penn State are some of the other schools on his offer sheet. Before reclassifying, Jones was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 cornerback in the 2020 class.
Litchfield Ajavon, 4-star S, Alexandria, Va. (Episcopal):
Last month, Ajavon (6-0, 190) released a top seven of Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. Ajavon picked up an offer from Clemson last April after attending the Tigers’ junior day a month earlier. He made his first game-day visit to Clemson for The Citadel game in November. Ajavon told TCI recently that he felt something special while at Clemson for both of his visits. ”Everybody always says there’s something about Clemson, and I think I felt that ‘something’ during both of my visits there,” he said. “You just can’t tell what it is, but it’s something that I don’t think you can find at most other places.” Ajavon told us he hopes to have made his decision by May 26th or earlier.
Devyn Ford, 5-star RB, Stafford, Va. (North Stafford):
Ford (5-11, 185) carries around 30 offers and is ranked by Rivals as the No.1 running back in his class. Clemson offered Ford in the spring of 2016 and has gotten him on campus a few times since, most recently for its junior day last March. He lists other offers from the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Ford is expected to announce his top schools sooner than later.
Jesse Hanson, OL, Daleville, Va. (Lord Botetourt)
Adarious Jones, DT, Virginia Beach, Va. (Bishop Sullivan)
Kyle Bilodeau, TE, Woodberry Forest, Va. (Woodberry Forest)
Above photo: Brandon Smith (left) and Cam’Ron Kelly