The remaining eight members of Clemson’s historic 2018 signing class arrived to campus in late June, joining the group of mid-year enrollees that the Tigers welcomed to the fold in January.
In this feature, TCI takes a fresh look at the eight newcomers and gives a scouting report on what each player does best, how they will fit in and more. In this installment, we look at defensive back Kyler McMichael:
Hometown (High School): Atlanta, Ga. (Greater Atlanta Christian School)
Height, Weight: 6-1, 185
Prospect ratings/rankings: 4-star, No. 53 national, No. 8 CB, No. 7 state (Rivals); 4-star, No. 84 national, No. 9 CB, No. 12 state (247Sports); 4-star, No. 90 national, No. 8 ATH, No. 13 state (ESPN)
High school stats/accolades: Played running back and cornerback at Greater Atlanta Christian… played in U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Jan. 6… as a running back in 2017 scored 24 touchdowns (all rushing) and had 1,483 yards on 128 carries, an 11.6 average… had a streak of eight straight games with multiple touchdowns during the 2017 season… had at least 100 yards in each of his last five games and eight of the 14 games in 2017… finished senior year with 1,639 all-purpose yards… named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Super 11 team for 2017… had 19 solo tackles in 14 games his senior year… as a junior had 1,493 rushing yards and averaged nine yards per carry… scored 16 touchdowns rushing… had five 100-yard games for the season… finished 2016 with 1,946 all-purpose yards and 18 total touchdowns… first-team all-state as a junior in 2016
Strengths: Clemson loves big, long, physical cornerbacks and got just that in the 6-foot-1, 185-pound McMichael. Dynamic is a word that Clemson’s coaches use to describe him. A versatile athlete, McMichael’s athleticism and playmaking ability was especially on display as a featured running back at Greater Atlanta Christian. He possesses the coveted blend of size and speed, has a nose for the ball in coverage and is a very capable run-stopper from the defensive back position as well. His ability to catch the ball is another strength, as well as his instincts. McMichael is a big-time talent and one of the crown jewels of Clemson’s 2018 class.
How he fits in: McMichael played running back, cornerback and safety at Greater Atlanta Christian, and probably could have played on either side of the ball at the college level. But he wanted to play corner at Clemson, and that’s where the Tigers hope he will help to provide depth as a true freshman. He is already physically developed and ready to play from a size standpoint. He will have to learn Clemson’s defense and the little details of playing cornerback in its scheme, and his high football IQ should help that cause. The Tigers value versatility at DB, and McMichael could move around the secondary if asked to do so. McMichael has a bright future and the chance to make an instant impact in 2018.
Coach speak: Greater Atlanta Christian coach Tim Hardy on McMichael —
“The thing that really stands out to me is Kyler is an unbelievable teammate. … He’s a guy that you want in your locker room. He’s a guy that other people connect with and care about. He’s awesome about encouraging his teammates. Little things like that to be a guy as talented as him… He really is about the team and not about himself, and that’s really cool.
“He is as explosive as you can be, and you can see him make plays. But Clemson’s getting a guy that’s really, really special.”
Hot off the press. ‘Back with a Vengeance’ is now available for online orders. TCI takes an in-depth look at the upcoming season as the Tigers march towards another national championship. Order your copy today!