Most years Clemson usually has at least half of its recruiting class locked up by the time the summer rolls around. That will not be the case with the 2022 class.
With a dead period in place for more than a year, the Clemson coaching staff has chosen to take a slower than normal approach this cycle and its showing in the recruiting rankings.
ESPN released its first set of 2022 team rankings on Wednesday and the Tigers sit at No. 22. Clemson has just four commitments to date, but all four are ESPN 300 players.
“The Tigers are strong on quality as usual in the 2022 cycle, led by in-state ESPN 300 wins in Collin Sadler and WR Adam Randall. Dabo Swinney and staff went to the Lone Star State for a signal caller, winning out for dual-threat Cade Klubnik, who led Westlake High School to the Texas 6A title. Joining Sadler on the offensive line in the class is ESPN 300 OT Blake Miller out of Ohio.”Craig Haubert/ESPN
Ohio State is currently No. 1 in the rankings with commitments from 9 ESPN 300 prospects. Georgia (9), LSU (8), Notre Dame (7) and Penn State (7) round out the top-five.
Since it was originally put in place in March of 2020, the dead period has been extended eight times by the NCAA. The current one is set to end on May 31, and multiple reports suggest it will not be extended again.
While every other program across the country has faced the same situation regarding recruiting over the past year, the dead period has especially affected how Clemson likes to recruit.
Dabo Swinney and his staff rely heavily on getting potential recruits on campus. Not being able to host high school prospects, nor host any camps, has made it difficult on the Tigers.
The campus, which sells itself, is one of the biggest weapons in the Clemson arsenal. Getting kids on campus is a key component for the Tigers.
Another big one is the culture inside of the program. It’s something recruits can’t see or touch, but they can absolutely feel it, meaning they have to be on campus, not communicating through a zoom call or text message.
Clemson sitting at No. 22 in ESPN’s first set of recruiting rankings is not something fans are used to seeing of late. However, with the dead period set to expire, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
This coaching staff is already planning visits and summer camps, including the All In Cookout. Where Clemson sits right now doesn’t mean a whole lot, let’s see where the Tigers are after the summer is over.