Clemson Football: Ranking the Tigers' Top 10 Recruiting Targets for 2015
National signing day may have just ended, but it's never too soon to start looking ahead to next year's recruiting class.
The Clemson Tigers just signed the 18th-ranked recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports (subscription required). With major departures on the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers needed a solid infusion of young talent.
While the class of 2014 was good, the class of 2015 could be even better. Clemson is currently ranked as No. 11 in the country by 247Sports with eight verbal commitments.
Mitch Hyatt, a 6'5", 271-pound offensive tackle from Suwanee, Ga., is the nation's top-ranked offensive tackle and a Clemson pledge. The Tigers hope to add several other talented offensive line prospects in next year's class, too.
Head coach Dabo Swinney hopes he found Tajh Boyd's replacement at quarterback with the signing of Deshaun Watson, the top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the class of 2014. Therefore, the class of 2015 looks to be balanced on both sides of the ball.
Here is an early look at Clemson's top 10 recruiting targets for 2015.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.
10. Zack Bailey
Zack Bailey (6'5", 307), offensive tackle, Summerville, S.C.
A 4-star prospect, Bailey is a mammoth offensive lineman that will likely choose between the Tigers and South Carolina in the end. 247Sports' Crystal Ball currently has the Tigers at 83 percent trending for Bailey.
He attended two Clemson games last fall and is very familiar with the coaching staff. If the Tigers could land Bailey, they'd have signed arguably the best pair of offensive tackles in all of the class of 2015.
There's a long ways to go, but Clemson is in a good position with Bailey.
9. Jahvoni Simmons
Jahvoni Simmons (6'1", 225), Linebacker, Virginia Beach, Va.
Stud linebackers from the "757" don't often leave the state of Virginia. With Simmons, that trend could begin to change.
Simmons is a very good athlete, but his instincts are what set him apart from most high school linebackers. If Simmons lacked athleticism—which he doesn't—he'd still be a terrific prospect because of his ability to diagnose plays as soon as the ball is snapped.
Simmons will be a multi-year starter for whatever college he chooses. The Tigers hope they're the pick and are currently in a good position to land him.
247Sports has Clemson in Simmons' top three at the moment.
8. Martez Ivey
Martez Ivey (6'6", 280), Offensive Tackle, Apopka, FL.
Ivey is an elite talent and one of the top offensive line prospects in the class of 2015. He looks ready to play in college right now. Ivey moves like a tight end and should continue to add size to his frame over the next year.
Ivey would be higher on Clemson's target list; however, 247Sports currently has him either choosing Florida or Alabama at this point. The Tigers will surely still recruit Ivey and he will remain a target.
Is it possible Clemson could sign two 5-star offensive tackles in one class?
Don't count them out just yet.
7. Kaleb Chalmers
Kaleb Chalmers (5'11", 171), Cornerback, Greenwood, S.C.
The Tigers need to add a top cornerback to the class of 2015, and they'd prefer that player to be Chalmers.
Chalmers has good size for a high school corner and is extremely fast. And, as evidenced in the video above, has terrific ball skills.
Clemson needs to add some DBs next year. Chalmers is as close to a must-have for the Tigers as anyone in this class. It appears to be a battle with South Carolina to keep Chalmers in the Palmetto State.
6. Garrett Williams
Garrett Williams (6'4", 220), Tight End, Orlando, FL.
In today's era of big, athletic tight ends, every team wants and needs one. That's why the Tigers are high on Williams.
While Williams will need to add weight—and he will once he gets in a college weight room—his size, hands and nose for the end zone make him a must for Swinney in 2015.
This will be a battle to the end with FSU for Williams' signature.
5. Jake Fruhmorgen
Jake Fruhmorgen (6'5", 280), Offensive Tackle, Tampa, FL.
The Tigers are clearly loading up on offensive tackles in the class of 2015. Fruhmorgen would be a nice complement to Hyatt and looks like an ideal fit on the right side if he chooses Clemson.
However, Swinney will have to battle Notre Dame and Alabama for Fruhmorgen, but the Tigers are very much in the picture. The problem with Alabama is that Fruhmorgen's father, John, played on the offensive line for 'Bama in the 80s.
That doesn't make Fruhmorgen an automatic pledge to the Crimson Tide, though, per Michael Burns of the Greenville News:
I’m not going to say I don’t like them, but I’d like to check out some places besides Bama and Florida,” Jake Fruhmorgen said. “I’m pretty wide open. The chances are the same with every school, but I do like the coaches at Clemson.
That's good news for Tiger fans.
4. Jalen Dalton
Jalen Dalton (6'5", 220), Defensive End, Clemmons, N.C.
The Tigers have rich history of tall, athletic, pass-rushing defensive ends over the past decade. Gaines Adams, Da'Quan Bowers and Andre Branch all had outstanding careers at Clemson that each parlayed into a high selection in the NFL draft.
Will Dalton follow in those footsteps? He has a similar build to each of these players, at least when they arrived on campus, and has the frame to add considerable muscle without sacrificing athleticism.
The Tigers will battle UNC for Dalton.
3. Ricky DeBerry
Ricky DeBerry (6'2.5", 245), Outside Linebacker, Richmond, Va.
No, DeBerry isn't actually a Tiger—yet.
However, DeBerry looks primed to leave the state of Virginia, and the Tigers are among the teams DeBerry is high on.
DeBerry's combination of size and speed is rare. Most high school linebackers don't have the bulk of DeBerry. He can rush the passer or drop into coverage with ease. He would be a nice replacement for Stephone Anthony in 2015.
Clemson is among several schools that DeBerry is currently high on.
2. Shy Tuttle
Shy Tuttle (6'3", 316), Defensive Tackle, Lexington, N.C.
Tuttle is a man among boys in high school. While he possesses tremendous size, Tuttle is also a terrific athlete. He could make an impact as a true freshman for the Tigers if he chooses to come to Death Valley.
A good interior pass-rusher, Tuttle, as expected, also dominates opposing run games. The Tigers are competing with home-state North Carolina and Alabama for Tuttle's services.
1. George Campbell
George Campbell (6'3", 184), Wide Receiver, Safety, Tarpon Springs, FL.
The Tigers pulled Sammy Watkins and C.J. Spiller out of Florida; could Campbell be the next great Tiger from the Sunshine State?
A terrific two-way player, Campbell looks like a natural receiver in college. With Clemson's recent success at the position, coming to Clemson and playing for Chad Morris would be a wise decision for Campbell.
Clemson will have to battle FSU and Florida for his services, and it will likely go down to the wire.
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