Making Clemson’s historic, 59-10 win over Florida State last Saturday even sweeter for the Tigers was the fact that there were a bunch of big-time recruits on hand to witness it.
Among the prospects in attendance at Doak Campbell Stadium was five-star Clemson target and Charlotte (N.C.) Harding athlete Quavaris Crouch, who took his official visit to FSU over the weekend.
Recruiting the talent-rich state of Florida is important for Clemson, which sent several staff members out on the recruiting trail in the state Friday night.
The Tigers have done well to pull some of the top talent out of the Sunshine State in the past, and Saturday’s 49-point victory – the largest home defeat ever suffered by the Seminoles – figures to only help Clemson’s recruiting efforts in the state moving forward.
“I think it’s great,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said after the game. “We’ve had a lot of success recruiting in this state. We had about five coaches out last night all over the state of Florida. I know there was some top talent that was here at the game watching.”
Clemson has a handful of players on its roster from Florida, including wide receiver T.J. Chase and tight end Garrett Williams, both of whom scored touchdowns with the recruits looking on.
“Even with T.J. Chase, a guy from Florida, getting a touchdown down here — that goes a long ways, and I think these players from Florida know that the guys that have come to Clemson have had a lot of success,” Scott said.
Clemson has signed nearly two dozen players from Florida since 2009, Dabo Swinney’s first full season as the head coach. Many of those players have gone on to make a big impact for the Tigers, such as Sammy Watkins, Tavaris Barnes, Tony Steward, Mackensie Alexander, Jayron Kearse, Jordan Leggett, Artavis Scott, Deon Cain, Ray-Ray McCloud, Trayvon Mullen and others.
The Tigers currently hold four commitments from Florida natives in their 2019 class, in five-star wide receiver Frank Ladson, four-star running back Chez Mellusi, four-star offensive lineman Hunter Rayburn and three-star punter Aidan Swanson.
“You look back over the last eight years really since coach Swinney took over, guys like all the way back even to C.J. Spiller, kind of in that transition, Sammy Watkins… There’s a lot of guys from Florida that have come and helped us,” Scott said.
Clemson’s annihilation of the Noles on Saturday showed that there is a significant gap between Swinney’s elite program and the program that first-year FSU coach Willie Taggart is trying to restore to previous prominence.
As Clemson looks to continue its trend of landing game-changing talent from Florida, the big win against Florida State with recruits watching live and on TV should help the Tigers reinforce their message to Sunshine State prospects.
“The big message we send those guys is hey, if we’re coming down to Florida to get you, we’re expecting you to be a big-time player and make a difference in our program,” Scott said, “and that’s exactly what these guys that we’ve signed from Florida have done to this point.”