What do recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Louisville matchup?

What do recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Louisville matchup?


What do recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Louisville matchup?


The Clemson Insider thought it would be interesting to analyze the matchups on Clemson’s 2020 schedule from a recruiting standpoint by going back and looking at where the Tigers’ projected starters were ranked as recruits versus where the projected starters for their opponents were ranked.

In this article, we break down Clemson’s second game of the season against Louisville on Sept. 12. Below is a rundown of the projected starters for both teams, as it stands now, and their high school star ratings and prospect rankings according to the 247Sports Composite:

Clemson offense:

LT – Jackson Carman (5-star, No. 17 national, No. 2 OT)

LG – Matt Bockhorst (4-star, No. 240 national, No. 17 OG)

C – Cade Stewart (3-star, No. 2021 national, No. 163 OT)

RG – Will Putnam (4-star, No. 101 national, No. 5 OG)

RT – Jordan McFadden (3-star, No. 819 national, No. 66 OT)

TE – Braden Galloway (3-star, No. 858 national, No. 41 TE)

WR – Joseph Ngata (4-star, No. 52 national, No. 9 WR)

QB – Trevor Lawrence (5-star, No. 1 national, No. 1 QB)

RB – Travis Etienne (4-star, No. 213 national, No. 15 RB)

WR – Justyn Ross (4-star, No. 45 national, No. 7 WR)

WR – Amari Rodgers (4-star, No. 117 national, No. 16 WR)

Clemson defense:

DE – Justin Foster (4-star, No. 156 national, No. 11 WDE)

DT – Tyler Davis (4-star, No. 137 national, No. 12 DT)

DT – Nyles Pinckney (4-star, No. 327 national, No. 34 DT)

DE – Xavier Thomas (5-star, No. 3 national, No. 1 SDE)

SLB/NB – Mike Jones Jr. (4-star, No. 210 national, No. 15 OLB)

MLB – James Skalski (3-star, No. 680 national, No. 44 OLB)

WLB – Baylon Spector (3-star, No. 609 national, No. 45 S)

CB – Derion Kendrick (5-star, No. 26 national, No. 4 WR)

SS – Lannden Zanders (3-star, No. 781 national, No. 61 S)

FS – Nolan Turner (NR)

CB – Mario Goodrich (4-star, No. 114 national, No. 4 ATH)

Louisville offense:

QB – Micale Cunningham (3-star, No. 501 national, No. 33 ATH)

RB – Javian Hawkins (3-star, No. 1397 national, No. 26 APB)

LT – Adonis Boone (3-star, No. 1220 national, No. 114 OT)

LG – Caleb Chandler (3-star, No. 379 national, No. 39 OT)

C – Cole Bentley (3-star, No. 616 national, No. 29 OG)

RG – Robbie Bell (3-star, No. 1010 national, No. 50 OG)

RT – Renato Brown (3-star, No. 946 national, No. 50 OG)

WR – Justin Marshall (3-star, No. 419 national, No. 63 WR)

WR – Dez Fitzpatrick (4-star, No. 275 national, No. 53 WR)

WR – Tutu Atwell (3-star, No. 728 national, No. 57 ATH)

HB – Marshon Ford (NR)

Louisville defense:

DE – Dayna Kinnaird  (NR)

NT – Jared Goldwire (247Sports Composite JUCO: 3-star, No. 43 national, No. 10 DT)

DE – Tabarius Peterson (3-star, No. 1169 national, No. 72 WDE)

OLB – Yasir Abdullah (3-star, No. 813 national, No. 53 OLB)

WLB – C.J. Avery (4-star, No. 224 national, No. 20 S)

MLB – Dorian Etheridge (3-star, No. 866 national, No. 34 ILB)

OLB – Rodjay Burns (3-star, No. 769 national, No. 71 CB)

CB – Anthony Johnson (3-star, No. 1452 national, No. 154 CB)

SS – Isaiah Hayes (3-star, No. 758 national, No. 69 CB)

FS – Jack Fagot (NR)

CB – Chandler Jones (3-star, No. 385 national, No. 36 CB)

Notes: Louisville has one former four-star prospect in its projected starting lineup on each side of the ball in wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick and linebacker C.J. Avery. Those are the only players in Louisville’s starting lineups that were ranked as top-300 national recruits coming out of high school. It is in stark contrast with Clemson’s starting offense and defensive lineups that include a total of 11 former four-star prospects, four former five-star prospects and 10 former top-150 national prospects. Clearly, the recruiting rankings tell us that there is a big talent gap between the Tigers and Cardinals, and that figures to show up on the field when the two teams meet on Sept. 12 at Death Valley.

**All ratings/rankings according to the 247Sports Composite

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