Tiger Tracker: All Clemson Recruitment Mail

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You have questions about recruitment and we have the answers.

Welcome to the All Clemson Recruiting Mail, where each week we’ll answer your recruiting questions. Or we will at least try to, because recruiting is a world with a lot of moving parts and an ever-changing landscape.

With that in mind, let’s dive into it.

Mailbag

Kevin: How many scholarships are there left for 2022 if the coaches wanted to enter an OL on the portal?

By my last count, the Tigers were at 84, leaving one spot open. Dabo Swinney made it clear in the spring that Clemson was looking for a transfer offensive lineman, an inside guy, who could come in and contribute right away, preferably a center. A graduate transfer with only one year of eligibility remaining, so as not to run away from any of the young players on the list.

However, after spring things changed somewhat. With Will Putnam’s performances throughout spring training, as well as Ryan Linthicum’s progress, it looks like the coaches would be content to stick with what they have. That’s not to say they couldn’t add a player yet, but they would have to meet a very specific set of criteria. They won’t just add a guy to fill a spot.

Jeff: What do you think are the realistic expectations for Clemson to land Sullivan Absher, OL out of North Carolina? I felt really good until his visit to Notre Dame last weekend.

Yeah, before this visit, I would have had Absher, except for a lock at Clemson. His visit to Notre Dame for their spring game was a real game-changer for his recruiting. Until the Tigers start developing and putting offensive linemen in the NFL, that’s something the program will have to deal with.

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That said, the longer it lasts, the better for Clemson. Due to a scheduling conflict, he won’t be on campus the first weekend in June when staff will host a number of priority targets on official visits, but the plan has always been to give an official to Tigers. We’ll just have to see how this one plays out, but for now the Fighting Irish seem to be in charge.

Mike: Which running backs are on the radar and how many will be taken this year? Are they also looking in the transfer portal for current running backs?

Clemson typically likes to carry five stock running backs. This spring they only had three and will have four when Keith Adams Jr. arrives on campus this summer. However, the staff have no plans to add feedback through the portal. They’re content to start the season with the four they have, plus the handful of extras on the roster, including Dominique Thomas, who we saw a lot of in the spring game.

The plan is to add a fifth in the recruiting class of 2023, but so far coaches have cast a very small net. Only three running backs from 2023 currently have offers, and Clemson isn’t the favorite to land any of the three.

The Tigers didn’t even make Richard Young’s list of finalists and didn’t gain much ground with Cedric Baxter Jr., the most recent running back to receive an offer. That leaves only Judge Haynes, and while he and his family love everything Clemson has to offer, he comes from Georgia and has a lot of ties to the defending national champion Bulldogs. Getting him out of this state is going to be extremely difficult.

Either way, at some point the staff will have to expand the board. It’s hard to imagine coaches risking repeating what happened in 2022, when they waited for Trevor Etienne to lose to Florida just weeks before National Signing Day in February.

Do you have recruitment questions to ask? If so, let us know. Email us at jp@clemsonmaven.io or send us a DM on Twitter.

The Tigers, who went 10-3 in 2021 and finished 14th in the latest Associated Press poll, are the fourth team on FanDuel Sportsbook’s list to win it all in 2022.

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