Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will welcome the remainder of the Tigers’ historic 2018 signing class to campus today. The eight summer session enrollees will move into Clemson today and begin their careers as Tigers.
The list of the eight incoming freshmen includes four players who were ranked among the top 150 prospects in the country according to the 247Sports Composite rankings: wide receiver Justyn Ross (No. 45), cornerback Kyler McMichael (No. 56), cornerback Mario Goodrich (No. 114) and defensive end Justin Mascoll (No. 142).
Ross, a former five-star recruit, was regarded by multiple services as the No. 1 prospect in the state of Alabama. The Phenix City, Ala., native became the first top-ranked player from the Yellowhammer State to sign with Clemson, and just the second No. 1 player from the state of Alabama who did not sign with Alabama since 2005. Ross earned first-team 7A All-State honors and was a finalist for Mr. Football as a senior in 2017, when he recorded 37 receptions for 730 yards (19.7 yards per catch) and 13 touchdowns.
The Tigers are counting on both McMichael and Goodrich to provide depth at the cornerback position this fall. McMichael was considered a national top-100 prospect by all three major services and played in the U.S. Army All-American Game, while Goodrich was ranked as a top-100 prospect by Rivals. The latter had 11 career interceptions, five of which he returned for touchdowns, along with 35 passes defensed, 140 total tackles and 13 tackles for loss in his career.
Mascoll, meanwhile, was billed as the nation’s ninth-best weak-side defensive end by the 247Sports Composite. The Snellville, Ga., standout played in the U.S. Army All-American Game and was a first-team all-region 8-A selection his senior year. In his last two seasons at South Gwinnett High School, Mascoll tallied 127 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 15 sacks.
Also moving into Clemson today are running back Lyn-J Dixon, linebacker Jake Venables, offensive lineman Jordan McFadden and kicker B.T. Potter.
One of the country’s top running backs, Dixon gained over 5,000 yards in his high school career. Despite being limited to just six games as a senior due to injury, Dixon still averaged 108 yards per game, 8.9 yards per rush and scored 13 touchdowns. The Butler, Ga. (Taylor County High School) product had 7,201 all-purpose yards and 88 total touchdowns for his career, including 1,088 yards and nine scores through the air. He was tabbed as the No. 258 overall prospect nationally by the 247Sports Composite.
Venables, the son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, was ranked as the sixth-best prospect in the state of South Carolina. The former Daniel High School (Central, S.C.) star posted 70 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and five sacks as a senior en route to All-Region I-AAAA honors. He also had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the season, and finished his high school career by playing in the prestigious Shrine Bowl all-star game.
McFadden likewise played for the South Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl. The local product from Dorman High School (Spartanburg, S.C.) was named the Lineman of the Year for the state of South Carolina by The State newspaper as a senior after helping Dorman to the 5A state championship game. McFadden, who was considered a top-10 prospect in the Palmetto State per ESPN, was a big reason Dorman averaged 277 rushing yards per game and scored 71 touchdowns.
Last but not least, Potter was touted as the No. 1 overall kicker in the nation according to Chris Sailer. As a senior at South Pointe High School (Rock Hill, S.C.), Potter converted 12-of-17 field goal attempts and 77-of-81 extra point tries while also handling the punting duties and averaging 37.1 yards per punt. His most impressive stat, though, was his 117 touchbacks on 126 kickoffs. For his career, Potter scored 304 points on 31-of-45 field goals and 211 extra points while helping South Pointe win four consecutive state championships. He played in the U.S. Army All-American Game as a senior and booted a 32-yard field goal.
The aforementioned eight players represent a big part of Clemson’s historic 2018 recruiting class and are expected to make significant contributions for the Tigers over the next four to five years.
Also, with the new redshirt rule that allows players to play up to four games and still be eligible for a redshirt, Clemson’s freshmen will certainly have a chance to play and gain some experience this fall.
The Clemson Insider saw most of the members of the 2018 class during our “Tour of Champions” series last fall and got to know them very well. They come from great families and are true Clemson men that will fit right in on and off the field.
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