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

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


What do recruiting rankings tell us about the Clemson-Virginia 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 game against Virginia on Sept. 26. 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)

Virginia offense:

WR – Terrell Jana (3-star, No. 1151 national, No. 157 WR)

LT – Bobby Haskins (3-star, No. 1251 national, No. 55 TE)

LG – Ryan Nelson (3-star, No. 526 national, No. 56 OT)

C – Olusegun Oluwatimi (2-star, No. 3300 national, No. 160 OG)

RG – Chris Glaser (3-star, No. 1025 national, No. 91 OT)

RT – Dillon Reinkensmeyer (3-star, No. 1640 national, No. 136 OT) or Ryan Swoboda (3-star, No. 1204 national, No. 110 OT)

TE – Grant Misch (3-star, No. 1173 national, No. 79 OLB)

QB – Brennan Armstrong (3-star, No. 619 national, No. 20 DUAL)

SB – Wayne Taulapapa (3-star, No. 1816 national, No. 127 RB)

BB – Jamari Peacock (3-star, No. 941 national, No. 52 RB) or Mike Hollins (3-star, No. 829 national, No. 51 RB)

H – Billy Kemp IV (3-star, No. 1940 national, No. 285 WR) or Tavares Kelly Jr. (3-star, No. 1146 national, No. 171 WR)

WR – Dorien Goddard (3-star, No. 1503 national, No. 176 WR)

Virginia defense:

LE – Aaron Faumui (3-star, No. 1692 national, No. 116 DT) or Tommy Christ (3-star, No. 943 national, No. 64 DT)

NT – Jowon Briggs (4-star, No. 75 national, No. 7 DT)

RE – Mandy Alonso (3-star, No. 1470 national, No. 89 DT)

SLB – Charles Snowden (3-star, No. 1508 national, No. 100 OLB)

MLB – Nick Jackson (3-star, No. 551 national, No. 35 OLB)

BLB – Zane Zandier (3-star, No. 594 national, No. 40 OLB)

WLB – Noah Taylor (3-star, No. 599 national, No. 40 OLB) or Matt Gahm (3-star, No. 1329 national, No. 59 ILB)

FC – Nick Grant (3-star, No. 1632 national, No. 155 CB)

SABRE – De’Vante Cross (3-star, No. 1610 national, No. 113 ATH)

FS – Joey Blount (3-star, No. 1866 national, No. 127 ATH)

BC – Heskin Smith (3-star, No. 595 national, No. 42 ATH)

Notes: While six of Clemson’s projected starters for the 2020 season were ranked as top-100 national recruits coming out of high school, Virginia only has one former top-100 prospect in its projected starting lineup: Rising sophomore nose tackle Jowon Briggs, the No. 7 defensive tackle and No. 75 overall prospect in the 2019 class. He is the only former four-star recruit among Virginia’s projected starters (11 of Clemson’s projected starters are former four-stars). No other UVA player listed above was even ranked among the top 500 prospects nationally in their respective classes, while 18 of them were ranked outside of the top 1,000. Former Cavaliers star quarterback Bryce Perkins has graduated and is expected to be replaced by redshirt sophomore Brennan Armstrong, the No. 20 dual-threat QB in the 2018 class. Clemson is clearly the far more talented team, and if the recruiting rankings are any indication, its matchup at home against UVA on Sept. 26 could look a lot like its 62-17 stomping of the Cavaliers in the ACC Championship Game last season.

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

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