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’ safety recruiting.
Five of Clemson’s scholarship safeties have returning eligibility for the 2019 season, but three of those — K’Von Wallace, Tanner Muse and Denzel Johnson — would be seniors next season.
Considering that and the fact the Tigers didn’t sign a true safety in the past two classes, it’s easy to see why safety was a position of need for Clemson coming into this recruiting cycle.
Clemson currently holds three commitments from safeties in the 2019 class: Milton (Ga.) four-star Joseph Charleston, Shelby (N.C.) Crest three-star Lannden Zanders and Phenix City (Ala.) Central three-star Ray Thornton. Expect the Tigers to take at least one more safety in this class.
Clemson looks to be on the verge of landing a commitment from another safety target in Lawrenceville (Ga.) Archer four-star Jalyn Phillips.
Phillips (pictured above) picked up a long-awaited scholarship offer from Clemson while on campus with his parents during the Dabo Swinney Camp last month. It was the latest of many visits that the 6-foot-1, 190-pound prospect has made to Clemson over the course of his recruiting process.
Clemson is the last school he went to, and the Tigers appear to be in great shape with him heading into his college announcement on Aug. 20. Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma are the other finalists.
Phillips, the country’s No. 24 safety according to ESPN, is teammates at Archer High School with five-star Clemson cornerback target Andrew Booth.
Some other safeties we’re keeping an eye on, should Clemson choose to over-sign, are Tulsa (Okla.) Booker T. Washington five-star Daxton Hill, Lakeland (Fla.) Kathleen four-star Brendan Gant and Mansfield (Texas) Legacy four-star Jalen Catalon.
Gant collected an offer from Clemson in early June. Hill, the nation’s top-ranked safety per multiple recruiting services, named Clemson one of his final six schools in April along with Alabama, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Michigan and Ohio State. Catalon announced a top eight of Clemson, TCU, Texas, Alabama, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Ohio State in May.
Looking ahead, Clemson has already offered several safeties in the class of 2020, including Central (S.C.) Daniel three-star Tyler Venables, Carrollton (Texas) Hebron four-star Darius Snow, Marietta (Ga.) four-star Rashad Torrence and Southlake (Texas) Carroll five-star R.J. Mickens.
Both Mickens and Snow visited Clemson in June and told TCI that they were very impressed by the Tigers. Torrence told us recently that Clemson was “definitely” one of his favorites. Last but not least, Venables, the son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, received an offer from the Tigers last November and also owns an offer from Nevada.
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