Tigers' solid class lacks big names

Clemson's class ranks in the top 25, but the Tigers seek more elite players

(Charleston) Post and CourierFebruary 3, 2010 

Phoebus High quarterback Tajh Boyd announces he will attend Clemson University during a press conference in Hampton, Va., Tuesday, January 27, 2009.

ROB OSTERMAIER/NEWPORT NEWS DAILY PRESS/MCT

CLEMSON - The Tigers landed prized quarterback Tajh Boyd a week before signing day last year, bolstering a dozen-member class that had been eroded following Clemson's coaching turnover.

On National Signing Day today, Clemson is hoping to make a similar splash by signing five-star Greensboro safety/receiver Keenan Allen. Allen is rated as the fifth overall prospect in the country by Rivals.com and 33rd by ESPN.

Clemson is listed among Allen's finalists along with California, Penn State and Alabama, where he originally committed. However, Clemson might be a long shot in the Allen sweepstakes as four out of five national Rivals.com analysts projected Tuesday that Allen will sign with California. Allen visited Cal last weekend.

The Tigers also are in the mix for Beaufort High linebacker Justin Parker, rated 13th in the country at his position. According to Scout.com, his commitment to the Tigers is "likely." Parker, 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, has the ideal size and speed to play inside linebacker in Clemson's defensive scheme.

Even without Allen or Parker, the class Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has produced with his first full recruiting year enters the day ranked No. 16 in the country by Rivals.com and No. 25 by Scout.com.

Clemson's standing is in large part based on its volume - 21 commitments - of solid prospects. However, Clemson enters the day lacking star power.

The Tigers are without a single five-star commitment and only receiver Martavis Bryant is among the top 100 national prospects, according to Rivals.com and ESPN.

Highlighting the Tigers' commitments are a number of quality defensive backs.

Clemson graduates both of its starting corners in Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler, but Clemson will be able to rebuild depth at the position with consensus top-20 cornerback DeAndre Hopkins and fellow four-star defensive back commitments Darius Robinson and Garry Peters.

Clemson also continues to do well in North Florida with four-star defensive Tavaris Barnes (Jacksonville, Fla.) choosing Clemson over Florida and Florida State.

The Tigers do not have a quarterback among its commitments, a position that could become precariously thin if Kyle Parker elects to exclusively play pro baseball this summer.

The commitments will become binding today when letters of intent are faxed to the Clemson coaching offices.

Swinney will meet with the media at 3:30 p.m. today to discuss the class for the first time. Coaches are not permitted to comment on recruits.

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