Louisiana is one of the more talent-rich states in the country and produces numerous major college prospects on an annual basis. Clemson dipped into the Bayou State in the 2017 recruiting cycle to land star running back Travis Etienne, beating out LSU for his signature.
The Tigers are recruiting several prospects from Louisiana in the class of 2019. Here are some of those players to keep an eye on:
Ishmael Sopsher, 5-star DT, Amite, La. (Amite):
Sopsher (pictured) is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in Louisiana, the No. 1 defensive tackle nationally and a top-10 overall prospect in the 2019 class according to all of the major recruiting services. The Tigers offered Sopsher in April 2017, and he visited Clemson last June to compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp.
Last September, Sopsher released a top 12 consisting of Florida, LSU, Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas, Clemson, Michigan, Georgia, Mississippi State, Florida State, Tennessee and Penn State. Sopsher visited LSU again in January, and the Bayou Bengals are the presumed favorite to eventually land his services. However, it is too early to count out other suitors as Sopsher doesn’t appear close to making his decision. Look for Clemson to try to get him on campus for an official visit in the future.
Sopsher (6-4, 305) was named Class 2A All-State in Louisiana and earned multiple All-America honors after a big junior season. He has committed to play in the 2019 Under Armour All-American Game.
Donte Starks, 4-star LB, Marrero, La. (John Ehret)
Starks (6-1, 210) is regarded as the top linebacker in Louisiana and a top-100 national prospect by multiple recruiting services. He cites over 30 scholarship offers, with the likes of Clemson, LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma and Tennessee comprising his list.
Clemson offered Starks in January, and he told TCI recently that he appreciated it. “It was a great feeling,” Starks said of getting the offer. “Clemson is a championship program, so that was cool to know that they’re interested in me.” Starks is looking to visit Clemson this spring, perhaps to watch a practice. He made his most recent visit to Auburn two weekends ago after going to LSU in January.
Starks registered 82 tackles, including 13 for loss, as a junior in 2017. In January, he participated in the Under Armour Future 50 combine in Orlando, Fla.
Derek Stingley Jr., 5-star CB, Baton Rouge, La. (Dunham):
One of Clemson’s most recent offers went out to Stingley Jr., who is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 cornerback and No. 11 overall prospect in the 2019 class.
Stingley (6-1, 185) lists around 30 offers in total. Earlier this month before Clemson offered, he announced a top 10 of Oklahoma, Penn State, LSU, Florida, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama and Michigan. Stingley had been committed to LSU since June 2016 before reopening his recruitment last April. Despite that, LSU remains a major player in his recruitment and got him on campus again last week. Expect Clemson to get a visit and consideration from Stingley moving forward.
After his junior season, Stingley was named Class 2A All-State as well as first-team All-Louisiana by USA TODAY.
Jordan Clark, 4-star CB, Baton Rouge, La. (University Lab):
Clark (5-10, 160) picked up his latest offer from Ole Miss a couple of weeks ago, to go with other power conference offers from Mississippi State, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Indiana. Clark told TCI that he has recently been in contact with Clemson as well as schools such as Stanford, Texas A&M and Arizona State. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables visited his school during the NCAA contact period last month.
As of now, Clark plans to check out Stanford, Mississippi State, Pitt and Arizona State this spring. He intends to camp at Clemson this summer as well and told us he is highly interested in Clemson. “I really like the culture that they have and how important football is to them out there,” said Clark, who is looking to narrow down his recruitment at the beginning of his senior season.
Clark is the son of former LSU and NFL safety Ryan Clark. The younger Clark helped University Lab to an undefeated season and the Louisiana Division II state championship in 2017.
Bryton Constantin, 3-star LB, Baton Rouge, La. (University Lab):
Another Louisiana linebacker the Tigers are showing interest in is Constantin, who has been communicating with Venables of late. Constantin said recently that he was planning to attend Clemson’s junior day on March 3.
Constantin (6-2, 220) visited Mississippi State on Saturday and has also been to Louisiana Tech and Tulane this year. He got his first Power Five offer from Kansas in January before Kansas State gave him another one last week. Constantin has also garnered offers from Arkansas State, Army, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, South Alabama, Texas State, Tulane and Western Kentucky.
As a junior in 2017, Constantin recorded 104 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. He was named the Class 3A Most Outstanding Defensive Player and earned first-team All-State honors for his efforts as well.