With the 2020 recruiting cycle in the books, Clemson and other schools across the country can now turn more of their attention to prospects in the class of 2021.
In our Looking Ahead series, The Clemson Insider takes a position-by-position look at the Tigers’ top targets in the 2021 class. In this article, we focus on offensive linemen:
The Tigers are prioritizing offensive tackles at this point, and high on their board at the position is Fairfax (Va.) Robinson four-star Tristan Leigh.
Leigh received an offer from Clemson while on campus for its elite junior day on Jan. 25. Afterward, he told TCI that he had an “amazing” visit and the Tigers are “definitely up there” on his list of well over two dozen offers. Leigh also visited Clemson to attend the Florida State game at Death Valley last October.
LSU, Penn State and Notre Dame are a few of the top contenders for Leigh, along with Clemson. It remains to be seen if he will wrap up his recruitment before his senior season or wait until after he takes official visits in the fall.
The only other O-lineman that attended Clemson’s elite junior day last month was Cordova (Tenn.) Evangelical Christian tackle Dietrick Pennington.
Pennington picked up an offer from Clemson last summer after participating in the Dabo Swinney Camp, then returned to campus for the Texas A&M game last season.
Along with Clemson, Pennington has collected offers from schools such as Georgia, LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss and South Carolina. Pennington has yet to narrow down his recruitment to a top group of schools and isn’t in a hurry to make his commitment.
Another tackle at the top of Clemson’s board is Lititz (Pa.) Warwick five-star Nolan Rucci (pictured above). He visited Death Valley for the FSU game last season, and the Tigers are expected to get him back on campus this spring.
Penn State is viewed as the frontrunner for Rucci, and for obvious reason – his father, Todd Rucci, was an offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions. Nolan’s older brother is a freshman tight end at Wisconsin, and the Badgers are in the hunt for Nolan along with Penn State, Clemson and schools such as Notre Dame, Ohio State and Michigan.
Rucci hopes to have his recruitment wrapped up by the end of the spring or early in the summer.
Some of the other offensive linemen in the 2021 class we’re keeping an eye on are Kingsland (Ga.) Camden County four-star tackle Micah Morris, Lexington (Ky.) Frederick Douglass four-star guard Jager Burton, Cochran (Ga.) Bleckley County five-star tackle Amarius Mims and Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth three-star guard Jared Wilson.
On Dec. 10, Morris announced that he had added Clemson to his list of top schools comprised of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Auburn. Since that time, he has visited Florida, South Carolina, Florida State and Georgia.
Burton, meanwhile, named Clemson one of his top seven schools in December along with Texas, Oregon, Kentucky, Penn State, Ohio State and Alabama. He is a former teammate of Clemson OL signee Walker Parks, and the two are good friends.
As for Mims, he named Clemson one of his top 12 schools earlier this month. He is considered a strong Georgia lean and it may be only a matter of time before he commits to the Bulldogs, but the Tigers figure to continue recruiting him until they know it’s over.
Wilson netted an offer from Clemson last summer before visiting for the Texas A&M game in September. He then committed to Georgia in November before reopening his recruitment earlier this month.
Clemson has also been involved with Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal five-star tackle Tommy Brockermeyer. However, the Tigers appear to be a long shot now after they would not commit to offering Tommy’s brother, four-star center James Brockermeyer. The twins want to play together in college.
TCI’s previous Looking Ahead articles:
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