Signing day: Breaking down Clemson’s class

February 6, 2014 

IMMEDIATE HELP

Artavis Scott: Clemson knew this day would come. Losing Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant a year early made it critical to rebuild at receiver. Scott, DeMarre Kitt and Kyrin Priester enrolled in January with quarterback DeShaun Watson fueling anticipation for spring practice. Arguably the No. 2 recruit in the class, Scott turned down the Florida’s “Big 3”, Georgia and Ohio State.

Adam Choice: Stockpiling running backs, Clemson landed Choice, an option quarterback with deep south Georgia bloodlines, who broke the school’s rushing records. “He’s as gifted a runner as we’ve had around here with the ball in his hands,” coach Dabo Swinney said.

Chris Register: A man-sized freshman, 6-foot-4 and 240 pound Register may begin at middle linebacker. As he grows, there’s no guess. “He’s going to be a low maintenance player and he’s going to be tough,” Swinney said. Register played at Dudley (N.C.) High, which produced Clemson great Jeff Davis, who may permit Register to wear No. 45.

STEAL

DeShaun Watson: Easily the best of the five recruits from Georgia, and universally considered one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, Watson committed to Clemson two years ago and deflected all overtures. His numbers as a passer and runner are eye popping, and Swinney said Watson is good enough to win a spirited competition to replace Tajh Boyd.

PROJECTS

J.D. Davis and Judah Davis: Identical twin sons of College Hall of Fame linebacker Jeff Davis, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound brothers were key components of Daniel High’s run to the state championship game.

SLEEPERS

RB Kurt Fleming: A former baseball player in the Atlanta Braves’ system, Fleming was a multi-sport star in Richmond, Va. Drafted in the eighth round in 2010, he hit .244 in three seasons of rookie and Single-A. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, he’ll start at running back “and we’ll see where it goes,” recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott said.

MISSES

Andrew Williams: A visit to Auburn late in the season helped this big defensive end from McDonough, Ga., to reach a decision to play for the SEC’s Tigers. Williams said he liked the opportunity to play early. Clemson did not lose anybody off last season’s defensive front.

BY POSITION

Linebacker: 7; Wide receiver: 4; Running back: 4; Tight end: 2; Offensive line: 2; Defensive back: 1; Defensive line: 1; Kicker: 1; Quarterback: 1

BY STATE

S.C. 9; Georgia 5; North Carolina 4; Florida 3; Maryland 1; Virginia 1.

Ed McGranahan

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