Clemson Football Recruiting

Clemson racks up 10-stars in three days as Uiagalelei, Bowman commit

May 6, 2019
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Clemson’s 2020 recruiting class already ranked among its best before this past weekend, but things have gotten a lot sweeter for Clemson fans in the past few days.

Things got started on Friday when the Tigers landed 5-star running back Demarkcus Bowman‍ (Lakeland, FL) and then Sunday, perhaps the gem of the class, D.J. Uiagalelei‍, the nation’s top-rated quarterback announced that he was, “All in.”

Both 5-star prospects have succeeded at their respective high schools. Uiagalelei’s high school, St. John Bosco, came up one game short of a state championship in 2018 and finished with a 13-1 record while Bowman’s high school, Lakeland defeated St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida’s 7A state championship game.

This 2020 class has the potential to serve as Dabo Swinney’s most decorated at Clemson, but they could legitimately rank as the highest-rated class ever.

This group already has four 5-star prospects when you add defensive studs Fred Davis‍ and Bryan Bresee‍ into the mix. While we don’t rate Mitchell Mayes‍ as a 5-star, ESPN does, giving Clemson essentially five elite level players with potentially more to come.

May 17 remains the next big opportunity for the Tigers as 5-star defensive end Myles Murphy‍ will make his commitment known. Wideout Julian Fleming‍ continues to be a top target as well.

Clemson’s class is now ranked No. 1 according to 247Sports and Rivals. And while ESPN keeps the Tigers at No. 2, the defending national champs have put themselves in position to finish at the top of ESPN’s rankings for the first time in the ESPN 300 era.

Ten years ago, Clemson signed 12 players, the “Dandy Dozen”. That group was the smallest recorded class in Tiger history and had the fewest prospects among BCS schools.

5-star quarterback Tajh Boyd led the group that ended up ranked No. 36 by Rivals and No. 42 according to Scout. While not spectacular, Swinney noted at the time that the Tigers did secure their highest average stars per recruit in the evaluation era. 

Yet, that group was a part of Clemson’s 6-7 season in 2010-- who would have seen this coming?

When you think about the success the Tigers have had on the field and in recruiting over the past several years, you can point to that class as one of the important steps to building this program.

During Swinney’s first three seasons the Tigers were 19-15. Since that time, Clemson hasn’t won less than ten games in any season with an incredible 97-15.

Seasons Results Overall Record
2008-2010 4-3 (2008), 9-5 (2009), 6-7 (2010) 19-15
2011-2018 10-4 (2011), 11-2 (2012), 11-2 (2013), 10-3 (2014), 14-1 (2015), 14-1 (2016), 12-2 (2017), 15-0 (2018). 97-15

Clemson’s brand has grown significantly since that time with two national championships over the last three years. The pitch to come to play in Death Valley has as also gotten easier thanks to the type of players Clemson is bringing in. The phrase “peer recruiter” has become commonplace around Tiger Town. 

“Our staff does an unbelievable of going out on the road and articulating who we are. What our core values are, what we’re all about as a program, what the expectations are,” Swinney said on Signing Day 2019.

If you’ve been on campus recently, you know how much Clemson has grown and continues to grow. The academics are top-notch, facilities for students are going up left and right. The interest in the university is at an all-time high. It certainly helps that the football program has been in the College Football Playoff the last four years.

Mix in Swinney’s newly inked 93-million dollar contract and the future looks extremely bright for one of the top two programs in college football.

 
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