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 quarterbacks:
After signing five-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei in the 2020 class, Clemson is looking to add another signal-caller in the current cycle.
Only three QBs in the 2021 class have reported an offer from the Tigers to date, and two of them are currently committed elsewhere: four-star Drake Maye (Alabama) and four-star Eli Stowers (Texas A&M).
That leaves Washington (D.C.) Gonzaga five-star Caleb Williams (pictured above), Clemson’s lone uncommitted quarterback offer. The 6-foot-2, 207-pound rising senior is ranked as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB by multiple recruiting services.
Williams visited Clemson for the Texas A&M game last September, then received his offer from the Tigers in October after quarterback coach Brandon Streeter watched him play in a game in D.C.
“I’ve been rooting for Clemson since (Deshaun) Watson, so I’ve always liked Clemson and wanted the offer and finally got it,” Williams told TCI after adding the offer. “So, it was exciting being able to get that call from Coach (Dabo) Swinney.”
Clemson got Williams back on campus for its elite junior day on Jan. 25 and solidified itself as a contender in his recruitment. The presence of Uiagalelei may ultimately be a factor in his decision, but the Tigers are legitimately in the conversation right now.
LSU was viewed as the team to beat for Williams before its former passing game coordinator, Joe Brady, got hired to be the new offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Now, Oklahoma is trending as the favorite to land Williams, and he is slated to visit Norman again in March. LSU is still squarely in the mix, though, along with Clemson and schools such as Penn State and Oregon.
Williams is looking to make a decision before his senior season.
Another quarterback on Clemson’s radar is four-star Christian Veilleux of Potomac (Md.) Bullis School. Rivals considers him the No. 10 pro-style QB in the 2021 class.
Veilleux (6-4, 200) made an unofficial visit to Clemson in January and has also recently visited Penn State and Tennessee. He has offers from the Volunteers and Nittany Lions to go with offers from West Virginia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and others.
Clemson has also shown interest in Westerville (Ohio) Central three-star Judah Holtzclaw. He participated in the Dabo Swinney Camp last June and has visited Clemson a couple of other times, most recently in November for the Wake Forest game.
Holtzclaw also visited LSU, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Ohio and Bowling Green last season, while Penn State, Purdue, Maryland and Iowa State are some other schools that have expressed interest.
A few of the other quarterbacks in the 2021 class we’re keeping an eye on are Dacula (Ga.) Hebron Christian Academy three-star Colten Gauthier, Alpharetta (Ga.) Denmark four-star Aaron McLaughlin and Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf three-star Walter Simmons III.
Gauthier visited Clemson for the Texas A&M and Florida State games last season, while both McLaughlin and Simmons camped with the Tigers last summer.
McLaughlin had been committed to Auburn since last July before reopening his recruitment earlier this month.
TCI’s previous Looking Ahead articles:
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