The Clemson Tigers are hitting the 2022 recruiting trail hard on the defensive side of the ball. Of the 55 scholarship offers, 37 have been to shore up the defense.
The Tigers are young on the defensive line but have handed out 9 offers for the defensive end positions. Of the 9 offered, only one has committed elsewhere, that being Malik Sylia to Texas A&M. The highest rated of the group is Shemar Steward, reportedly an LSU lean. Another top prospect the Tigers are after is 5-star DE Enai White out of Philadelphia, PA. Last year, Clemson was able to sign one of the top players in the country from the same area. Could they make it two years in a row? Look for Kenyatta Jackson to decide between Clemson and Ohio State. The 6-5 231 DE out of Hollywood, Florida is currently listed as the #6 DE in the country. The most recent offer went out to Samuel Okunlola out of Braintree, Massachusetts. Since they offered, several big time programs have thrown their hat in the ring. Makes you wonder if some of these schools don’t do their own legwork.
On the defensive tackle front, the Tigers have offered six players from six different states, the furthest being Alex VanSumeren. He, however, being from Michigan is a heavy lean towards…you guessed it, Michigan. The top two on the Tiger list are Walter Nolen (6-4 300) out of Cordova, Tennessee, and Travis Shaw (6-5 310) from Greensboro, NC. Shaw is a strong lean to the Tigers while Nolen, the #1 player in the nation in the 2022 class is still up in the air.
Caden Curry (6-5 250) is more than likely staying in the midwest. Home state Indiana would love to keep him instate, but is a huge target for Ohio State.
In the 2021 class, the Tigers picked up two studs at the linebacker position in Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter, Jr. Brent Venables is looking to add to that group this year, offering four linebackers in the 2022 class. The most likely get right now is Jalon Walker out of Salisbury, NC. He is scheduled to announce March 28th and the destination is most likely Clemson. The top linebacker in this class is Shawn Murphy out of Manassas, Virginia. The Tigers made his top 8 list, released in January. He narrowed that list from 45 offers.
The secondary saw the most offers from this Tiger team. Clemson offered 10 cornerbacks so far in this class, three have committed elsewhere, so the Tigers are still recruiting seven others heavily to shore up the secondary. Derion Kendrick has transferred, and Nolan Turner will be departing at safety. 4-star Jeadyn Lukus out of nearby Mauldin, SC, is the top player in the state of SC and looks to be leaning heavily towards the Tigers. Lukus, 6-1 175, is ranked as the #6 cornerback in this class and would be a very welcome addition. Another CB high on the Tigers list is Toriano Pride out of St. Louis, Missouri. He is reportedly leaning towards the Tigers as well.
Although the Tigers have handed out four offers, none seem to be leaning towards the Tigers at this time. This doesn’t mean there isn’t action behind the scenes. One of the prospects, Alfonzo Allen out of Hallandale, Florida, has already committed to Arizona State.
Several athletes are still in play with the Tigers. Clemson just recently offered 5-star Malaki Starks out of Jefferson, Georgia. While Starks was the starting quarterback for his high school,
he is being considered a cornerback at the next level, very similar path taken by former Clemson player Derion Kendrick. Keon Sabb played for IMG Academy this past season and is sorting through 30+ offers, including his latest offer from Alabama. The Tigers offered him back in July and is high on his list. Sabb is considered the #1 athlete in the 2022 class. Sabb played for Glassboro High School in New Jersey before transferring to IMG.
Clemson is after some top-notch players in the 2022 class. The inability to bring kids on campus has hurt the prospects this year, delaying a lot of decisions till later in the year. Look for Clemson to have another great recruiting class when it’s all said and done.