Clemson’s recruiting reach stretched from coast to coast in the 2019 cycle, as for the first time in quite some time, the Tigers nabbed a prospect from California in four-star wide receiver Joseph Ngata from Folsom, Calif.
When he enrolled in January, Ngata became the first signee from the state of California to come to Clemson since 1991 when Bobby Forbes signed with the Tigers. In 1995, Dave Coggin signed with Clemson from Covina, Calif., but never came to school, instead opting to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Clemson looks to continue its momentum in the Golden State by getting another standout player in the 2020 class. Here are some of the top 2020 prospects from California to watch as it pertains to the Tigers:
D.J. Uiagalelei, 5-star QB, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.):
Uiagalelei is ranked by Rivals as the No. 1 overall player in the 2020 class. As a junior in 2018, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound signal caller completed nearly 70 percent of his passes for 3,366 yards, 48 touchdowns and seven interceptions while also rushing for six scores en route to USA Today ALL-USA Offensive Player of the Year honors.
In late December, Uiagalelei released his top group of schools that included Clemson, Oklahoma, LSU, Oregon, Alabama and Georgia. Uiagalelei earned an offer from Clemson at the Dabo Swinney Camp last summer, then returned to Clemson for the South Carolina game in November with his father, who left campus very impressed by the Tigers. Uiagalelei loves Clemson as well and is expected to return for the spring game in April. Prior to visiting Clemson last season, Uiagalelei went to Oregon in September and Auburn in November. He is planning to make his decision before the start of his senior season.
Elias Ricks, 5-star CB, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.):
Ricks (6-2, 180) has a list of more than 30 offers comprised of many of the nation’s top programs, but told The Clemson Insider after receiving an offer from the Tigers two weeks ago that the offer is “one of the biggest for sure.” Ricks committed to LSU on Christmas Day but intends to make all five of his allotted official visits. He told TCI recently that he was planning to take one of those official visits to Clemson as well as Ohio State, Southern Cal, LSU and Alabama. Ricks also told us that he is a big fan of Swinney. “I love Dabo as a coach, his energy,” said Ricks, the top-ranked corner in the country for the class of 2020 by both ESPN and Rivals.
Justin Flowe, 5-star LB, Upland (Upland, Calif.):
Flowe (6-2, 225), tabbed by multiple services as the top-ranked linebacker in the 2020 class, received an offer from Clemson last June. He called it a “dream” offer at the time and has consistently said that he wants to visit Clemson. Flowe went to UCLA for his latest unofficial visit last week, while Southern Cal, Washington, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas and Alabama are among other schools in the mix. Expect Flowe to stay busy checking out schools this spring and summer.
Clark Phillips III, 4-star CB, La Habra (La Habra, Calif.):
Clemson extended an offer to Phillips (5-11, 180) in early February, a week after he announced a top 12 of Cal, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Texas A&M, Utah, Vanderbilt, Washington, Arizona State, Penn State, Tennessee and LSU in no particular order. South Carolina, Georgia and Michigan have also offered in the days since Phillips released his favorites, bringing his offer total to over 30. Phillips is looking to visit Cal, Notre Dame and Ohio State this spring. The Clemson offer got his attention, so look for the Tigers to try to get him on campus as well. He is the No. 4 corner in the 2020 class according to both Rivals and 247Sports.
Other names to keep an eye on: Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan 5-star RB Kendall Milton; Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei 4-star CB Darion Green-Warren (Oklahoma commit); Folsom (Calif.) 4-star RB Daniyel Ngata
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