Clemson currently has 15 commitments in its 2021 recruiting class, which is ranked as the No. 3 class in the country right now behind only Ohio State and Alabama, respectively, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.
Space is at a premium in Clemson’s class, and the Tigers have zeroed in on a select group of targets as they try to land more elite talent to fill their final available spots.
In this article, The Clemson Insider takes a look at who we see as the Tigers’ top five remaining targets for the 2021 class:
Tristan Leigh, 5-star OT, Fairfax, Va. (Robinson High School):
Leigh (pictured above) narrowed down his recruitment on July 23 when he released a top five of Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State and Oklahoma. Leigh visited Clemson for the Florida State game last October and then received an offer from the Tigers when he returned to campus for their elite junior day in January. Clemson has consistently been considered one of the frontrunners for Leigh, and LSU is arguably the biggest competition right now. Leigh would ideally like to take official visits later in the fall if the NCAA dead period is over and recruits are allowed to make visits again. Leigh spoke with TCI last month about why Clemson is one of his favorite schools.
“I think very highly of them,” he said. “Just what they’ve been able to do the last couple years, they’ve been very consistent. It’s something you don’t always see in college football, and they’re very consistent. They stand very high with me because there’s room for opportunity there as well because they have people who will be leaving in the draft and stuff like that. So, there’s going to be some open spots, and the class, they’re not really heavy on tackles in the ’21 or the ’20 class. So, that’s something I’ve noticed.”
Nolan Rucci, 5-star OT, Lititz, Pa. (Warwick High School):
This spring, Rucci announced a top nine comprised of Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Stanford and Wisconsin. Clemson hosted Rucci for the FSU game last season, and he came back for a more comprehensive multi-day visit in March. The Tigers have legitimately been in contention for Rucci and continue to recruit him hard, though many expect him to ultimately end up at either Penn State or Wisconsin. His father, Todd, was an offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions, while his brother, Hayden, is a redshirt freshman tight end for the Badgers. Like Leigh, Rucci is still hopeful to be able to take official visits in the fall.
Andrew Mukuba, 4-star S, Austin, Texas (Lyndon B. Johnson High School):
Mukuba named a top 12 this spring that included Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, TCU, Texas and UCLA. Clemson offered Mukuba in March and was slated to get him on campus a couple of months later before the pandemic and ensuing dead period wiped out recruiting visits. Clemson safeties coach Mickey Conn and defensive coordinator Brent Venables have been working in tandem to recruit Mukuba and have done a great job of building a relationship with him and putting the Tigers squarely in the mix for his services. LSU and Texas are the other main teams to watch here. It remains to be seen when prospects will be able to resume taking visits, but if Clemson can get Mukuba on campus, that would be a big deal and go a long way toward helping the Tigers land him.
Nyland Green, 4-star CB, Covington, Ga. (Newton High School):
The Tigers honed in on Green as their No. 1 cornerback target this spring and were believed to have a lot of momentum after they turned up the heat up on him. However, this recruitment has taken a few twists and turns already, with Georgia the latest team believed to be trending. Clemson, though, remains in the hunt. The Tigers are still communicating with him and will continue to pursue him until he makes a decision. We will have to wait and see whether Green waits out the dead period so he can visit some schools if possible, or if he will go ahead and pull the trigger on a commitment prior to his senior season. Auburn is another team heavily involved with Green besides UGA and Clemson.
Kamari Lassiter, 4-star CB, Tuscaloosa, Ala. (American Christian Academy):
Clemson’s first cornerback offer following Jordan Hancock’s decommitment last month went to Lassiter, who subsequently inserted the Tigers into his top group which also includes Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech and LSU. The Tigers got a visit from Lassiter last September when he attended the Texas A&M game. Lassiter is a native of Savannah, Ga., and the Bulldogs may be the team to beat as he nears the end of his recruitment, though this one isn’t over yet. He has been planning to commit before the start of his senior season later this month.
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