Recruiting for the class of 2021 is about to crank up. Beginning Sept. 1, college football coaches can start actively reaching out to and communicating with junior prospects.
Clemson has already begun to build the groundwork with and establish itself as a player for numerous recruits in the 2021 class. Here are some of the top names on the defensive side of the ball to keep an eye on in the next cycle as it relates to the Tigers (in alphabetical order):
Reid Carrico, LB, Ironton, Ohio (Ironton):
Carrico received an offer from Clemson in June, visited campus a month later and had a great experience. The Tigers present the biggest competition to Ohio State. Carrico has said he wants to return to Clemson for a game this season before advancing toward a decision.
Corey Collier, CB, Miami, Fla. (Palmetto):
The No. 1 corner and No. 9 overall prospect in the 2021 class per Rivals, Collier was offered by Clemson while on campus in early June. Collier reaffirmed to The Clemson Insider recently that the Tigers are still the leader in his recruitment. The five-star recruit is looking to narrow things down after his junior season.
Derrick Davis, S, Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway):
Davis visited Clemson in June after netting an offer from the Tigers in May. The No. 2 safety in the 2021 class according to the 247Sports Composite, Davis told TCI that he will likely attend the Clemson vs. Texas A&M game at Death Valley on Sept. 7, while he also wants to see games at Penn State, Ohio State, Syracuse and Notre Dame this season.
Cade Denhoff, DE, Lakeland, Fla. (Lakeland Christian School):
Denhoff was a standout performer at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June and subsequently picked up an offer from the Tigers in July. Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan and Florida are other teams in the hunt. Denhoff told us he would like to attend another game at Clemson this season.
Power Echols, LB, Charlotte, N.C. (Vance):
Like Denhoff, Echols earned an offer from Clemson after camping this summer. He is expected to visit Death Valley for the game vs. A&M. He is also giving schools such as North Carolina and Virginia Tech a good look but told us recently that the Tigers are at the top of his list. Echols is the son of former Michigan State defensive back Brian Echols.
Tony Grimes, CB, Virginia Beach, Va. (Princess Anne):
Grimes is ranked the No. 1 corner and No. 10 overall prospect in the 2020 class by the 247Sports Composite. Clemson has made a strong early impression on the five-star prospect, who is still a ways away from making his decision. Ohio State, Texas A&M, Texas, Virginia Tech and UNC are among his other offers.
Korey Foreman, DE, Corona, Calif. (Centennial):
The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2021 class according to the 247 Composite, Foreman visited Clemson, Georgia and Alabama on a Southeastern swing in late July. After leaving Clemson, Foreman told us it was the best visit he had been on to that point. Southern Cal is working to try and keep Foreman close to home.
TreVeyon Henderson, ATH, Hopewell, Va. (Hopewell):
Henderson visited Clemson for the first time at the end of July after being offered by the Tigers earlier in the month. He came away very impressed by his experience on campus and plans to return for the A&M game. Clemson is in a great spot, with schools such as Virginia Tech, Penn State, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma also in contention. The Tigers view Henderson as a versatile defensive back that can play corner, safety or nickel.
Ga’Quincy McKinstry, CB, Pinson, Ala. (Pinson Valley):
Alabama, Auburn and Clemson appear to be the frontrunners right now for McKinstry, the No. 2 corner and No. 20 overall prospect in the 2021 class (247Sports Composite). A two-sport athlete who also has several offers to play college basketball, McKinstry added a football offer from Clemson in May after attending the Orange & White spring game in April.
Smael Mondon, LB, Dallas, Ga. (Paulding County):
Mondon, a top-50 national prospect, visited Clemson in late June and left campus with an offer. The Tigers joined Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and others on his offer list.
Payton Page, DT, Greensboro, N.C. (Dudley):
Clemson most recently got Page, the No. 1 defensive tackle in the country, on campus in late April. He also visited last December. Page isn’t expected to commit any time soon, but Clemson is in strong shape early on along with Alabama.
Xavian Sorey, ATH, Graceville, Fla. (Graceville):
Sorey, one of the top-ranked athletes in the next cycle, was offered by Brent Venables as a linebacker after camping this summer. In addition to linebacker, Sorey has seen time at running back, defensive end, safety and even quarterback for his high school team. Florida State is another school squarely in the mix.
There are a number of other prospects in the 2021 class we’re continuing to track. Some of those are Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy defensive tackle KaTron Evans; Opa Locka (Fla.) Western safety James Williams; Miami (Fla.) Northwestern linebacker Terrence Lewis; Miami (Fla.) Palmetto cornerback Jason Marshall; Philadelphia (Pa.) St. Joseph’s linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr.; Norfolk (Va.) Lake Taylor linebacker Malik Newton; Covington (Ga.) Newton cornerback Nyland Green; Carrollton (Ga.) linebacker Chaz Chambliss; Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy linebacker Aaron Willis; and Willis’ cornerback teammate, Clinton Burton Jr.
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