In our “Looking Ahead” feature, The Clemson Insider takes a position-by-position look at where Clemson stands with targets in the 2019 class and beyond.
In this article, we look ahead at the Tigers’ tight end recruiting.
Clemson is set to lose two scholarship tight ends after the 2018 season, in redshirt seniors Milan Richard and Cannon Smith. Garrett Williams will be a redshirt senior in 2019, while J.C. Chalk will be a redshirt junior and Braden Galloway will be a sophomore or redshirt freshman.
The Tigers planned to take two tight ends in the 2019 class, and they have a pair of verbal commitments from Riverdale (Ga.) four-star Jaelyn Lay and Calhoun (Ga.) three-star Davis Allen.
The potential exists, though, for Clemson to over-sign and add one more tight end in this cycle.
The over-sign candidate on the board is Little Rock (Ark.) Pulaski Academy four-star Hudson Henry, the nation’s top-ranked tight end. If Henry wants to play for the Tigers, they would be happy to accept his commitment.
In late May, Henry narrowed down his recruitment to five schools: Clemson, Wisconsin, Penn State, Stanford and Arkansas.
Henry’s father and two brothers all played football at Arkansas, and he is slated to make another visit there later this month. Henry’s deep ties to the Razorbacks presents a difficult hurdle for the other contenders to overcome, but we don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion that he ends up at Arkansas, as several schools are legitimately in contention.
Clemson offered Henry in February and got him on campus for an unofficial visit in late April. The Tigers figure to get one of his official visits in the fall, and that will be their best chance to make a move.
Looking ahead to Clemson’s tight end recruiting in the class of 2020, the name that jumps out is Marietta (Ga.) five-star Arik Gilbert.
Gilbert is an athlete that is being pursued by some schools as a defensive end, but the Tigers view him as a tight end. He received one of his two dozen offers from Clemson in April.
In-state Georgia is the team to beat, but Gilbert told TCI recently that Clemson has a spot high on his list. He has been to Clemson for a few games in the past and was one of the standout performers at the Dabo Swinney Camp last summer.
Clemson has yet to offer a tight end in the 2020 class beyond Gilbert.
A couple of the names on Clemson’s radar worth mentioning are Akron (Ohio) Archbishop Hoban’s Caden Clark and Loganville (Ga.) Grayson’s Beau DeBerry.
Clark, who visited Clemson in the spring, carries offers from Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Kentucky, West Virginia, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.
DeBerry visited Clemson for the Georgia Tech game last season and also took in games at Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida and Florida State. He has a good relationship with Clemson assistant and former longtime Grayson head coach Mickey Conn.
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