You hear Dabo Swinney say it all the time: For Clemson, “It’s always about what’s next.”
That phrase certainly applies to the never-ending cycle of recruiting. Clemson is fresh off putting the finishing touches on an elite 2018 signing class, but that is already in the rearview mirror for the Tigers, who have flipped their focus to the next recruiting class.
After wrapping up their 17-player 2018 class on Wednesday, National Signing Day, the Tigers are now able to pour their primary attention on prospective members for their 2019 class.
“We’re always looking ahead,” Swinney said during his signing day press conference Wednesday. “We’re always looking at what’s out there and what’s next and how we want to put it all together so that you have the right type of chemistry, morale, numbers at each position and so forth. It’s a never-ending task.”
There is plenty of work to be done for Clemson, which is preparing to take a complete, 25-player recruiting class for 2019.
“Last year we signed 14, which was a small class, and this year we signed 17, which is a small class,” Swinney said. “So next year will be the very first time in probably three years that we’ll sign a full 25, and I’m excited about doing that.”
The Tigers already have two commitments in their class of 2019. Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton four-star safety Joseph Charleston became the first member of the class when he pledged to Clemson on Oct. 10. Two weeks later, Calhoun (Ga.) athlete Brannon Spector committed to the Tigers before the Georgia Tech game on Oct. 28.
According to 247Sports, Clemson has dispensed offers to 81 prospects in the 2019 class thus far, including 63 that are ranked among the recruiting service’s top 250 players in the class. Of those 63, 34 are ranked in the top 100, 19 are ranked in the top 50 and 12 are ranked in the top 25.
Clemson held its elite junior day for 2019 recruits on Jan. 20, and a number of top-100 prospects (per the 247Sports Composite rankings) were in attendance. The list includes five-star athlete Quavaris Crouch (No. 17); five-star offensive tackle Pierce Quick, an Alabama commit (No. 23); four-star linebacker Brandon Smith (No. 35); four-star wide receiver Frank Ladson (No. 43); four-star athlete Demarcco Hellams (No. 62); four-star offensive tackle Harry Miller (No. 64); and four-star cornerback Andrew Booth (No. 68).
The Tigers will host another junior day for 2019 prospects on March 3, as they continue to lay the foundation for the next class.
“We’ve already started on our 2019 class. It’s going to be a great class,” Swinney said. “We’ve got a lot of great young people identified, and I look forward to that process. It never ends.”