The Clemson Insider’s Tour of Champions continued on Friday night in Atlanta, where we saw two Clemson commitments go toe-to-toe as part of the 2018 Corky Kell Classic at Georgia State Stadium.
Four-star safety Joseph Charleston and Milton (Ga.) High School faced off against five-star cornerback Andrew Booth and Archer High School (Lawrenceville, Ga.), and the pair of future Tigers were at the center of one of the biggest plays of the game.
Down by two points with less than two minutes remaining, Archer had the ball in Milton territory when Archer’s quarterback launched a third-down pass to the end zone intended for Booth, who also saw some action at receiver in the contest. But Charleston ranged over from his safety position to help break up the pass, and Milton hung on for a 21-19 victory.
“It was crazy,” Charleston said of the play in an interview with TCI after the game. “We were just both going up to try to get it, and nobody came down with it.”
“They have great athletes and they’re well coached, so it feels amazing,” he added of the win.
Following the game, Charleston shook hands with Booth and had a message for his future Clemson teammate.
“You’re a great player,” Charleston said of what he told Booth. “You’re the truth.”
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Charleston is ranked as the No. 11 safety and No. 161 overall prospect in the country per the 247Sports Composite. As a junior last season, he logged 67 tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions, one pass deflection, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Charleston remains All In with Clemson and is working to recruit a highly touted teammate of his — 2020 four-star offensive lineman Paul Tchio — to join him in Tiger Town.
Tchio (6-5, 325) is focused on Clemson, Alabama and Georgia, and intends to make his decision in the near future.
“I think Clemson’s definitely one of the top [schools],” Charleston said of Tchio’s recruitment. “I don’t really try to get into it a whole lot with him. I’m definitely recruiting him, but it’s his decision at the end of the day, and wherever he goes I’m supporting him.
“But I’m definitely trying to get him at Clemson. He has a great relationship with all the coaches and he loves the coaches.”
Tchio is planning to visit Clemson for its season opener against Furman on Sept. 1, and Charleston is looking to frequent Death Valley throughout the season.
“A lot,” Charleston said of how often he’ll visit. “Definitely more than six times.”
Charleston, who became the first member of Clemson’s 2019 class when he committed last October, believes a big 2018 season is in the store for the Tigers as they chase their second national championship in three years.
“I definitely think they can win it all this year,” he said. “They have everything. They’re a great overall team. They have depth and great players at every position. So, I definitely think that they can win it all.”