CLEMSON– “Nobody does it better” by Carly Simon reached No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Tracks in 1977.
That song, while 40 years old, may become the anthem for the way that the Clemson football program is currently recruiting, because, at least so far into the 2018 class, nobody is doing it better than the Clemson Tigers.
“The biggest thing for us is every year we want to go get the best guys that fit our program,” recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter said. “No matter what we got the year before we’re going to get the best guy in ’18. We’re going to get the best guy in ’19, the best guy in ’20, if they’re a good fit.”
And getting the best guys is exactly what the Tigers have been doing.
In fact, the Tigers are on the verge of making recruiting history with the upcoming class–having the opportunity to become the first school in the history of recruiting rankings to sign both the nation’s No.1 and No.2 players
First came the No. 2 overall ranked player in the country, and the No. 1 ranked quarterback, Trevor Lawrence–who committed to the Tigers Dec. 15. Then, in what was a surprise to many around the country, came the commitment of defensive end Xavier Thomas, the nation’s No. 1 overall ranked player.
Along with the nation’s top two players, the Tigers have also garnered commitments from the state of South Carolina’s top two players in four-star wide receiver Derion Kendrick and four-star defensive tackle Josh Belk, and also have received commitments from four-star defenders Justin Mascoll (South Gwinnett) and Mike Jones Jr. (IMG Academy).
The Tigers also have two three-star commitments in Jake Venables, son of defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and Braden Galloway, a tight end from nearby Seneca High School.
With only eight commitments thus far in the recruiting cycle, the Tigers are poised to break last year’s signing class average ranking of .9209 in a big way with a composite average ranking by 247sports.com of .9399.
And the Tigers are looking for more, with the nation’s No. 3 overall player, running back Zamir White, having already been on campus for the annual Orange and White game, the No. 7 overall player, offensive lineman Jackson Carmen, having put the Tigers on top of his list of prospective schools, and the No. 22 overall recruit, wide receiver Justyn Ross, tweeting that his visit to Clemson was, “one of the best visits I’ve ever been on. 100% #ALLIN.”
According to recruiting coordinator there are several factors that have gone into the recruiting success that the Tigers have seen in the last couple of years–some of it has to do with winning and some of it has to do with the culture that head coach Dabo Swinney has built.
“Our people, our culture, winning, Deshaun Watson–that helps,” Streeter said. “Getting that notoriety and going to the national championship game and going to the Heisman two years in a row and just showing how successful he’s been I think attracts people. When we get them here on campus we can sell it even more.
“It comes down to people. When they get here and their parent are around us and they feel the family atmosphere and it’s sincere and it’s not fake. Then you get around Coach Swinney and you know about his stability here–that’s very important for them to hear.”