The month of July might just be the worst month of the year for college football fans. You’re still a few weeks away from the beginning of camp and on top of that it’s a dead period in recruiting.
With the Tigers sitting atop the recruiting rankings currently, and much of the 2020 class already locked up, let’s take a look at the top remaining targets and the staffs chances at landing those targets.
Three guys remain in the picture here. EJ Williams, Xzavier Henderson, and Ajou Ajou. The plan has been to take two receivers this cycle. Williams and Henderson have been the top two targets since Julian Fleming committed to Ohio State. Ajou was a late offer, just picking one up back at camp during the first week of June. I
Right now, most have 4 star EJ Williams a lock. He’s expected to be at the All In Cookout, and will announce his decision in August. This one is very likely already a done deal. Williams is rated as the 105th player overall by the 247 Composite.
Ajou Ajou is a 3 star guy and is much more raw than Williams or Henderson. He’s not even in the top 500 players overall in the Composite rankings. However, he plays his high school ball in Canada, so it’s conceivable to think he’s underrated by the recruiting services. Ajou made an impression on coaches during camp and this staffs track record with players at this position speaks for itself. He’s scheduled to attend the Cookout and it won’t come as a surprise if he were to commit sometime during that weekend.
The 46th ranked player overall and 4 star Henderson has stated multiple times that he plans to wait until signing day to announce. His high school doesn’t give him the option of enrolling in college early so he’s going to take his time, visit a lot of schools, and go from there. If the Tigers already have commitments from two other receivers by then and they likely will, the question then becomes do they take a third. That might depend on how things play out with some other guys but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Florida has been selling him hard on the likelihood of early playing time and that has them very much in the mix with him as well.
Justin Flowe, the third best player overall and a 5 star LB from California is the kind of player that could thrive in Brent Venables defense. Right now the favorite to land him looks to be USC, with Alabama being a factor, but Flowe is expected at the Cookout and getting a kid on campus is always the first step for Clemson recruiting. Bryan Breese and DJ Uiagalelei have both been trying their best to lure Flowe to Tigertown and things have slowly started to trend in the Tigers direction. The staff likes where they are with him currently and really like their chances with the highly touted player if they do indeed get him on campus for the cookout. Far too early to say Clemson is a favorite, but things are certainly headed in the right direction.
The Tigers are still hot on the trail of 5 star DE Jordan Burch. The number one overall player in the country from Columbia SC is probably the biggest enigma of the 2020 cycle. Early talk had him a Clemson lean but as the spring progressed it has started to look like SC was gaining the momentum. Burch has spent a lot of time on campus at SC and attended their spring game. A recent visit to Tuscaloosa also has Bama in the mix, as is Georgia. How much in the mix or who leads for his services is anyone’s guess though. There’s just not much information at all coming out concerning his recruitment. He and his mother have played this thing very close to the vest so far. Whether or not Burch is in attendance at the Cookout should give us a sign about where the Tigers stand. Until then, it’s anyone’s guess.
After going into Tallahassee and plucking Sage Ennis right out of Florida State’s backyard, talk of the Tigers chances of landing 5 star TE Arik Gilbert died down, not that he was ever trending in Clemson’s direction. Ranked as the 12th best prospect overall, the fact that the staff went ahead and took Ennis speaks volumes about where they think they stand with Gilbert. He’s been talking about attending the cookout but right now, Gilbert is all but a lock to go to Georgia. Even if he were to attend, there would be a ton of ground to make up.