Clemson has a head start on its 2018 signing class.
The school on Thursday announced that it has received financial aid agreements from seven prospects. The seven are expected to enroll at Clemson in January.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Ga., and defensive lineman Xavier Thomas of Florence are five-star prospects who are among the early Clemson signees. Lawrence and Thomas are the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 recruits, respectively, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings that factor in all networks.
Thomas, who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., confirmed via Twitter that he’ll wear No. 3 in his freshman season with the Tigers.
Clemson has 11 commitments for the class.
NCAA rules allow high school seniors who are midyear college enrollees “to sign scholarship papers six months before the letter-of-intent signing period opens in February,” ESPN wrote. “Universities must verify that the prospect is on track to graduate at midyear before providing the agreement. Once signed, the agreement obligates the university to honor the scholarship.”
The other five early signees are:
▪ defensive tackle Josh Belk of Fort Lawn, S.C. and Lewisville High School;
▪ tight end Braden Galloway of Anderson, S.C. and Seneca High School;
▪ defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies of Covington, Ga., and Newton High School;
▪ linebacker Mike Jones, Jr. of Nashville, Tenn. who attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.; and
▪ receiver Derion Kendrick of Rock Hill, S.C. and South Pointe High School.
More on financial aid agreements
According to ESPN:
“It doesn’t obligate the prospect to attend the school with which he signs the financial-aid agreement. It doesn’t create a recruiting ban on other programs from pursuing the prospect after he signs the agreement.
And it doesn’t replace the letter of intent, which remains the standard document by which universities are bound to prospects, notably for the majority of prospects who graduate at the end of an academic year.”