The Clemson Tigers welcome one of the nation's best recruiting classes on Signing Day, having already landed nine consensus four-star prospects well in advance of recruiting's biggest day. Five of those top recruits enrolled early, including top quarterback prospect Deshaun Watson, inside linebacker Chris Register, and a trio of wideouts: Artavis Scott, Demarre Kitt, and Kyrin Priester.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, a former receivers coach, went hard at his old position this season by landing four receiver commits. Joining the three early enrollees is Trevion Thompson, a four-star receiver out of Durham, N.C. The Hillside High School prospect chose Clemson over N.C. State, Ohio State, Florida, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and 12 other offers. Thompson's recruitment extended into mid-January, but as SB Nation's Bud Elliott wrote before his commitment, Clemson had always been the frontrunner. He might not outrun defenders, but Thompson's size will pose problems for defenders:
Thompson is a big, long receiver target. He catches the ball well with his strong hands, and fights for yards after the catch. He looks to have good body control to make catches, and finds the ball well, even when it is thrown poorly. Thompson is able to leap for the football over smaller defenders and should be a good threat in the red zone.
Thompson does not have elite speed or agility, and he does not accelerate very well out of cuts. He'll need to use his size and length when running routes over the middle, as he may not be able to separate all that well. Thompson has the frame to play north of 200 pounds, and will need to play with better strength to become a top receiver at the college level.
Clemson's entire class skews toward the offensive side of the ball: Of the Tigers' 19 commitments, just seven are slated to play defense. At the skill positions, Clemson welcomes two running backs, four-star Georgia prospect Adam Choice and three-star all-purpose back Jae'lon Oglesby, and tight end Milan Richard. On the line, the Tigers add a trio of freshmen: Four-star tackle Cannon Smith and three-star linemen Justin Falcinelli and Taylor Hearn.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Tigers' class is highlighted by outside linebacker Korie Rogers. The four-star recruit comes to Death Valley from Buford, Ga., as the nation's No. 9-rated outside linebacker prospect. He picked Clemson over the in-state Bulldogs, and also held offers from Auburn, Florida, Wisconsin, Penn State, Nebraska, and a handful of other top programs. While Rogers is just 6'1 and 210 pounds, Bud Elliott writes that overlooking him would be a mistake:
First, Rogers is very strong for his size, and he plays low with good leverage, meaning that he gets the most out of his size. He is not the fastest player, but once he diagnoses the play, he quickly gets to the ball carrier. He picks through traffic and deals with opposing blockers better than I would expect for a player of his size and length.
He is a sure tackler who strikes, wraps up, and brings his legs to immediately stop the progress of the ball carrier.
The Tigers also secured the commitments of three-star inside linebacker Kendall Joseph, safety Jeff Gibson, cornerback C.J. Fuller, outside linebacker Jalen Williams, and defensive tackle Jabril Robinson. Kicker Alex Spence, a product of Florence, S.C.'s West Florence High, rounds out the Tigers' class.
Clemson is still pursuing four-star pass rusher Andrew Williams. The 6'4, 247-pound defensive end out of Mcdonough, Ga.'s Eagle's Landing Christian High has reportedly narrowed his whopping 42 scholarship offers down to Clemson, Auburn, and Ole Miss. He is ranked as the No. 12 weakside defensive end nationally and No. 17 prospect in the state of Georgia. Bud Elliott predicts Williams ends up at Auburn.