Clemson recruiting: What fans need to know about National Signing Day
There’s something in these hills, and Clemson is on the prowl to reclaim its spot atop the college football world. Check here every Monday-Friday to stay on top of the latest news and find every previous edition of the daily recruiting notebooks here.
Midnight almost upon us
It’s here. By this time on Wednesday, National Signing Day will be underway, and all the national letters of intent that weren’t signed in December during the early signing period will be faxed in one after another to fill out the final spots in the 2018 recruiting cycle.
Clemson, though, has done nearly all of its work already. The Tigers signed 15 recruits in that early window from Dec. 20-22; they haven’t received a commitment since then, so any other members of their class will come on Wednesday.
With that said, here is what Clemson fans need to know about everything that will go down on National Signing Day:
Clemson is in the running for six guys: wide receiver Justyn Ross, tackle Richard Gouraige, cornerbacks Patrick Surtain Jr. and Mario Goodrich, linebacker Dax Hollifield and safety Trevon Flowers. Here is (roughly) when each will announce his decision Wednesday and where you can see it if televised.
Ross: 1:15 p.m. ET, ESPN — choosing from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn
Gouraige: 2:30 p.m. — choosing from Clemson, Florida
Surtain Jr: 10 a.m. on ESPNU — choosing from Clemson, LSU, Alabama, Miami
Goodrich: 8:30 a.m. — choosing from Clemson, Georgia, LSU
Hollifield: 11 a.m. — choosing from Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Stanford
Flowers: 9:30 a.m. — choosing from Clemson, Tennessee, Kentucky
Hot or Not?
Clemson’s coaching staff has been full speed ahead — as has every other coaching staff across the country — in an effort to secure the guys it feels best fit the remaining spots in its class. Some are trending toward becoming Tigers, while some aren’t. Which is which?
That is not to say Clemson is out of the running for the best receiver in Alabama — quite the opposite — but it is an indication of how things have changed during Ross’ recruitment. Clemson was seen as the leader dating back to at least the beginning of the season, but the Crimson Tide have made up major ground in the last few months … to the point where it is basically a toss-up.
Gouraige committed to Florida over Clemson in October, and he has stayed with the Gators despite Dan Mullen taking over for Jim McElwain after a tumultuous season in Gainesville. Clemson crept back into it since the early signing period, but it is tough to see Gouraige flipping.
Surtain Jr.: Not
The highest-ranked uncommitted prospect in the country is about to finally bring his recruitment to a close. LSU leads with Surtain, primarily thanks to his relationship with the coaching staff there and his family ties to Louisiana. Dabo Swinney did his best to sell Surtain on the winning culture at Clemson, but the draw to the Bayou is likely too great.
A relatively late offer in the cycle, Goodrich officially visited Clemson on Jan. 26 and canceled his scheduled trip to Oregon afterward (perhaps giving an indication of where his head is at). Clemson has only one corner in the fold in Kyler McMichael, and Goodrich appears likely to be the second.
There really isn’t any other choice to put here for Hollifield. Clemson has been ratcheting up the intensity on Hollifield in the last week so much that the Tigers get labeled hot by default. They were convinced they couldn’t even offer him a spot in the class, let alone try to sign him, less than a month ago. Whether they have done enough to convince him to join his friend K.J. Henry at Clemson, though, is up in the air.
The former Kentucky baseball signee kicked his recruitment into high gear in the last week. Clemson offered him on the last day of January and had him in for an official visit the same day. Flowers visited Tennessee last weekend. The Tigers are Flowers’ only 247 Crystal Ball prediction.
Miss a previous edition? Find every Clemson DieHards daily recruiting notebook right here.