Clemson owns nine commitments in its 2021 recruiting class, which currently ranks No. 2 nationally behind only Ohio State, and the Tigers have their sights set on landing a lot more top talent.
In this feature, The Clemson Insider takes a look at who we believe to be Clemson’s most-wanted prospects on the defensive side of the ball in the 2021 class (in no particular order):
Payton Page, 5-star DT, Greensboro, N.C. (Dudley):
The only defensive tackle in the 2021 class that Clemson is currently pursuing, Page returned to campus for the Tigers’ elite junior day in January after attending the Texas A&M and Wake Forest games at Death Valley last season. In January, Page dropped a top five of Clemson, LSU, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee. Clemson is the frontrunner right now, with UNC the biggest competition. Page visited UNC for its junior day on Feb. 1. He wants to make a decision by the start of his senior season, if not earlier.
Tony Grimes, 5-star CB, Virginia Beach, Va. (Princess Anne):
Grimes has visited Clemson a few times, most recently for the Texas A&M game last season, and has gone on record saying that the Tigers will get one of his official visits in the fall. He has set a commitment date of Dec. 1. Penn State, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama are some of the other top contenders for the nation’s top-ranked corner (247Sports Composite).
Ga’Quincy McKinstry, 5-star CB, Pinson, Ala. (Pinson Valley):
Like Grimes, McKinstry (pictured above) most recently visited Clemson for the Texas A&M game last season, and he was also on campus for the spring game last year. The Tigers are squarely in the mix for McKinstry along with schools such as Alabama and Auburn. McKinstry is also a star on the basketball court and could play both sports at the next level, so that is factor in his recruitment to keep a close eye on. He is currently in no rush to render a decision.
Derrick Davis, 4-star S, Monroeville, Pa. (Gateway):
Davis received an offer from Clemson last May, visited campus a month later and is expected to return on April 6. Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Georgia, LSU and Alabama are some of the other teams involved with Davis, the No. 2 safety in the country according to the 247Sports Composite. He will likely wait until after his senior season to decide on a school.
Corey Collier, 5-star CB, Miami, Fla. (Palmetto):
Collier picked up an offer from Clemson while on campus last summer, and the Tigers could get him back on campus next month. In late December, he released a top 10 that included the Tigers along with Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State and Syracuse. Like Davis, Collier is looking to commit after his senior season.
Barrett Carter, 4-star LB, Suwanee, Ga. (North Gwinnett):
Carter received an offer from Clemson while on campus for the Florida State game last October, and he is expected to return to campus for the program’s junior day on March 7. Earlier this month, Carter released a top 12 that included Clemson along with Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Georgia is considered the frontrunner for Carter, who wants to make his decision sometime before his senior season.
Xavian Sorey, 4-star ATH, Graceville, Fla. (Graceville):
Clemson offered Sorey as a linebacker at the Dabo Swinney Camp last June. The Tigers are chasing hard after Sorey, as are schools like Florida, Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Auburn. Sorey wants to narrow things down in the spring.
Honorable Mention: Opa Locka (Fla.) Western safety James Williams, Hopewell (Va.) athlete TreVeyon Henderson, Atlanta (Ga.) Woodward Academy safety Khari Gee, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett cornerback Jordan Hancock, Winter Park (Fla.) safety Dakota Mitchell, Lafayette (La.) Christian Academy athlete Sage Ryan, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake cornerback Nathaniel Wiggins
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