The Clemson 2021 recruiting class just added two five-star players into the fold. Well, kind of.
247 Sports just released their final Top 247 rankings for the 2021 recruiting class and both Barrett Carter and Tristan Leigh were bumped up tp five-star status.
Leigh is ranked No. 15 overall and as the No. 4 offensive tackle in the class. His presence should provide an immediate boost to an offensive line group that had its share of struggles throughout the 2020 season. However, he is not enrolling until June so he will have a lot to learn during fall camp.
He is Clemson’s first five-star offensive linemen signee since the 2018 class when Clemson landed Jackson Carman.
Has left tackle length and high-level athleticism to be elite guard. Wide shoulders will allow for added upper body mass and muscle development. Can bend at knees and win leverage battle in run game. Fires off well and his strong with initial punch. Consistent with inside hand placement. Engages and turns defender. Drives legs well. Possesses a nasty streak. Has to improve his balance. Leans sometimes and sometimes bends at the waist. Has to continue to develop pass pro technique since high school did not throw much. Has to continue to add strength through his frame. Should play early in career. Potential first-round draft pick247Sports’ Brian Dohn
Carter is ranked No. 17 overall and No. 1 among outside linebackers. However, while he has been listed as a linebacker by the recruiting services, the Tigers are listing him as a safety and head coach Dabo Swinney has gone on record saying that fans can expect to see Carter used in a multitude of ways.
“We’re gonna use him in a versatile way,” Swinney said on ESD. “He’s not a guy you can kind of put in a box there. He absolutely can play linebacker, no question about that but we think he can play either safety, we think he could play Nickel/SAM, I mean he’s as dynamic a guy as we’ve signed.”
Owns the requisite size of a traditional off-ball linebacker or a larger linebacker/safety hybrid. Frame space to add a bit more mass if desired. Impressive play speed backed by posting 40 times in the 4.5 range at college camps. Has faced outstanding competition relative to the high school level. Capable of playing forward or in space with ample snaps rushing the passer and dropping into coverage. Flashes great pursuit speed and the requisite lateral range and fluidity to hold his own in coverage.
Also shows good timing, explosion, and pass-rushing feel off the edge. Natural striker with pop behind his pads. Added significant offensive reps to profile in senior year and showed impressive functional athleticism as a ball-carrier. Defensive production is good but not quite what’s expected of an elite prospect. At this point better in space and turned loose as a blitzer than reading and reacting to the in-the-box run game. One of the nation’s top second-level defensive prospects in the 2021 class. Projects to the high-major level as a multi-year impact starter with early-round NFL Draft potential.247 Sports
The Tigers currently have 19 signees in the 2021 recruiting class and are not expected to sign anyone else. The class is ranked No. 4 overall in the 247 Composite.