Clemson’s brand has grown a lot in recent years and is only getting stronger thanks to the Tigers’ second national championship in three seasons.
The strength of the brand has helped the Tigers recruit at a national level and pull in prospects from all over the country. Take their 2019 recruiting class, for example, which is comprised of 27 signees that represent 14 different states — tied for the most different states in a Clemson class on record. That includes players from states such as California, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana and Alabama.
Clemson has also made an increased effort to recruit the Lone State State over the past several years, and it is going hard after one of the best the state has to offer for the Class of 2020.
Southlake (Texas) Carroll four-star defensive back R.J. Mickens, a national top-50 prospect, received an offer from Clemson a year ago. He made his first visit to Clemson over the summer and returned for the Louisville game in November.
A number of programs are trying to get Mickens on campus for their upcoming junior days, including the Tigers for their elite junior day at the end of this month. He is unsure of his visit plans right now but told TCI he intends to return to Clemson soon. Cornerbacks coach Mike Reed is heading his recruitment for the Tigers.
“There’s a pretty high chance I make it back up to Clemson sometime this spring,” Mickens said. “I don’t know if it will be this junior day, but for sure sometime this spring. I talk to Coach Reed like almost every week.”
Mickens cited Nebraska and Florida as a couple of the other schools that have sent him junior day invites, and named Florida and Michigan as a couple of the schools he wants to check out.
Mickens, the son of former Texas A&M and NFL safety Ray Mickens, has over two dozen total offers from the likes of Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford. He is in the process of narrowing down his list and plans to release his top group in the near future.
“I want to have a top list out there,” he said. “I’m currently working on one right now, but I still haven’t gotten it narrowed down enough to where I’d like it to be. I don’t want to post a top 15 or what not out there. I don’t want to be one of those people posting a lot of schools out there, so I’m going to try and narrow it down some more. I’m still probably going to take some visits, and then by spring ball, I definitely want to have a top list out there.”
Clemson appears virtually a lock to make the cut for Mickens.
“They do have a really good shot. They’re pretty much in there. I like Clemson a lot,” he said. “Something that stands out is they always have a really good defensive line, and that makes it really fun to play behind. They like to play a lot of man. They have a really good scheme and really good people up there.”
Mickens suffered a broken left shoulder during his junior season and was set to undergo surgery on it today. He expects to be fully recovered in about five months after rehab.
Mickens is ranked as high as the No. 37 overall prospect in the 2020 class according to Rivals.