Welcome our newest contributor Marty Coleman. You might recognize him from his superb work over the years at Seldom Used Reserve, the Sluggo Podcast, Orange and White, and Kollege Sports. From time to time Marty will be providing readers with his knowledgeable and unique perspective on Clemson Athletics.
Clemson has dabbled in the plentiful Texas recruiting market in recent years, pulling J.C. Chalk from the Lone Star state in 2016 and following that up with defensive backs R.J. Mickens in 2020 and Andrew Mukuba in the 2021 cycle.
It hasn’t been seamless as the Tigers have missed on a few Texans, too, but as the 2022 cycle begins to come into focus, things are looking up for Dabo Swinney and the Clemson coaching staff.
While he may not have been the staff’s first choice, Austin Westlake quarterback Cade Klubnik not only provides Clemson with a much needed Top-100, 4-star quarterback, but he is also assisting the Tigers in recruiting fellow Texan superstar wideout Brenen Thompson, who hails from the town of Spearman.
The stars may be aligning for the Tigers with the end of the dead period on June 1, allowing Thompson to lay eyes on the Clemson campus and engage with the staff and players, if he so chooses.
While Thompson has played quarterback at times, his future lies in the slot and it’s easy to see why with the short area quickness and speed (reported 4.37 40 and 10.3 100 meters) displayed on film.
At 5’11, 165 pounds, Thompson’s size doesn’t fit the general mold of Clemson’s current wide receiver corps. Then again, if you recall Hunter Renfrow’s freshman season the size is almost identical.
The two are different players, though, with Renfrow being the consummate route runner with incredible hands and sneaky athleticism. Thompson shows lightning quick moves in traffic and the ability to separate from defenders.
Thompson’s recruitment is just getting started for all intents and purposes and there’s other major players that have been involved longer than Clemson. Spearman is in the Texas panhandle, so naturally Oklahoma is thought of as a possibility and there’s a visit set for Oklahoma State in early June. You can bet the new staff in Austin is interested and Texas A&M has been on Thompson for a while.
Some have suggested Klubnik’s commitment signaled Clemson becoming a regular factor in Texas. At the time I thought this was less of a possibility, given the distance and established competition, and saw it as more of a unique set of circumstances that left Klubnik available and the Tigers with a matching need.
That said, if the Tigers land Thompson that means 2 of the top 10 players in the state of Texas’ class of 2022 have decided to become Clemson Tigers and it may be time to rethink that position.