CLEMSON — 1 p.m.: Clemson's strong finish has vaulted it into the top 10 of two major national recruiting services. Rivals.com rates the Tigers' class No.6 nationally, while ESPN ranks Clemson 10th. A third national service, Scout.com, ranks Clemson 11th nationally.
Four signees ( Stephone Anthony, Tony Steward, Mike Bellamy and Charone Peake) were either first or second-team USA Today All-Americans, the most in one class in school history. Three (Bellamy, Anthony, Lateek Townsend) were Parade All-Americans.
The Tigers had seven members of the ESPNU 150, second-most in school history (2008 saw 10 ESPNU 150 signees).
They signed three of the top 12 players in the nation according to 247 Sports ( Sammy Watkins, Steward and Anthony).
11:40 a.m.: Clemson kept rolling when Anson County, N.C., outside linebacker Stephone Anthony slipped on a Tiger paw hat and announced he’d sign with the Tigers. Anthony is considered the No.4 outside LB prospect by Rivals.com, No.2 by Scout.com and No.1 by ESPN. He had 123 tackles and four sacks as a senior, picking Clemson over Virginia Tech and North Carolina. He is rated as the No.24 overall prospect in America by Rivals.com.
“When I went down on my official visit, everything worked well,” Anthony told ESPN. “Coach (Kevin) Steele is a great coach and it fits me. It’s a great opportunity. …All I can say is it’s a great class. Clemson’s coming.”
Anthony is Clemson’s 28th signee.
11:10 a.m.: Clemson received another talented linebacker’s signature when Marlboro County linebacker Lateek Towsend sent in his letter of intent. Townsend was the subject of a strong recruiting battle between Clemson and South Carolina for his services. He is rated as the No.8 outside linebacker in America by Rivals.com and No.11 by Scout.com, and had 134 tackles and 11 sacks as a senior; Florida, LSU and Southern California were also interested in him.
In addition, the Tigers also picked up their third new commitment of the day, according to multiple outlets, when Rock Hill defensive end Roderick Byers decommited from Oregon. Byers is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No.49 strongside defensive end.
10:50 a.m.: The Tigers picked up their second new commitment of the day when Cullman, Ala., offensive guard Spencer Region announced that he’d sign with Clemson. Region, a 6-foot-6, 330-pound guard with a nasty streak, flipped between Alabama and Auburn over the past year, and also visited Louisville. He’s rated as the No.23 OG prospect nationally by Rivals.com and No.19 by Scout.com.
Clemson also received the signed letter of intent from Lamar linebacker B.J. Goodson, the latest in a line of Pee Dee ‘backers to pick the Tigers. Goodson is rated as the No.71 MLB prospect by Scout.com; he had 156 tackles as a senior and chose Clemson over LSU and Tennessee.
10:30 a.m.: Clemson got a key piece to its offense when North Carolina tight end Eric MacLain faxed in his letter of intent. Maclain is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No.6 tight end prospect and No.9 nationally by Scout.com, and has been a strong Clemson commit for some time. He picked Clemson over Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech among others.
10:10 a.m.: Clemson got the first big prize of national signing day when St. Augustine, Fla., middle linebacker Tony Steward announced that he would sign with Clemson.
Steward is a five-star prospect who is rated as the No.1 middle linebacker prospect by Rivals.com, No.1 by ESPN and No.3 by Scout.com. He is rated as the No.9 overall prospect by ESPN and No.13 by ESPN.
He had 81 tackles, five sacks and 10 total touchdowns playing both ways as a senior, and chose Clemson over Florida State, surprising some in the gymnasium at Pedro Menendez High School.
“It’s a different feel for me, somewhere where I can grow up, be close enough to come home anytime,” he told ESPN. “I feel like it was just the right place for me.”
Leaving home, he said, wasn’t easy.
“It’s tough because I’m still young,” he said. “I’m leaving behind a bunch of family and friends. It’s a new experience and it’s easier for me to grow into my own man.”
9:50 a.m.: Conyers, Ga., defensive tackle Grady Jarrett has signed with Clemson. The Rockdale County prospect is rated by Scout.com as the No.41 defensive tackle in America. He had 17 sacks and 30 tackles for loss as a senior.
9 a.m.: Blue Ridge, Va., offensive tackle Isaiah Battle has signed with Clemson. He is rated as the No.36 offensive tackle prospect in America by Rivals.com, but also had 67 tackles and eight sacks as a senior defensive end. He’s originally from New York City.
8:55 a.m.: Clemson’s 18th signee is Pawley’s Island defensive tackle Jerome Maybank. Maybank is considered the No.76 offensive tackle in America by Scout.com and rated as a three-star defensive tackle by Rivals.com. He picked Clemson over South Carolina, North Carolina and West Virginia and is listed at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds.
8:50 a.m.: A pair of Dorman High School receivers have joined Clemson’s Class of 2011. Dorman receivers Adam Humphries and Charone Peake have officially signed. Humphries is most often compared to former Tiger standout Tyler Grisham. Peake is considered one of the nation’s top WR prospects, rated No.9 nationally by Scout.com and No.11 by Rivals.com. He picked Clemson over Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss and USC, among others; ESPN national recruiting director Tom Luginbill compares him to former Georgia standout A.J. Green, but says Peake must show more consistency.
8:30 a.m.: Riverside defensive tackle Kevin Dodd has officially signed with Clemson. Dodd, a 6-5, 270-pound prospect, chose Clemson over Maryland, among others. He is rated by Rivals.com as the No.60 defensive tackle prospect in America, and must improve his SAT score to enroll at Clemson this fall.
8:15 a.m.: Daniel defensive tackle DeShaun Williams has now signed with Clemson. Williams is considered a three-star prospect and was rated as the No.83 DT prospect nationally by Scout.com. He had 106 tackles (19 for loss) and seven sacks as a Daniel senior, choosing Clemson over North Carolina.
8:10 a.m.: Charleston Porter-Gaud receiver Stanton Seckinger has signed with Clemson.
Seckinger had 1,833 yards and 26 touchdowns as a senior and chose Clemson over offers from N.C. State and Memphis. He could also “grayshirt,” or delay his enrollment, depending on the class’s numbers. He is Clemson’s 13th signee.
Clemson looked to put the finishing touches on its Class of 2011 as national letters of intent began rolling in early this morning.
Before the clock even hit 7:30 a.m., 10 signees were in the fold.
Quarterbacks Tony McNeal of Chester and Cole Stoudt of Dublin, Oh., were already on campus and enrolled. So were Lake Waccamaw, N.C., defensive end Joe Gore and Columbus, Ga., defensive end Corey Crawford, a prized prospect who enrolled following a semester at Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy.
Clemson also received letters of intent from two signees who have not yet enrolled, but are expected to do so this May. T.L. Hanna wide receiver Martavis Bryant signed with the Tigers; he narrowly missed qualifying academically last fall and went to Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy to qualify. He has met NCAA and Clemson standards and will enroll in May. He is rated by Rivals.com as the No.1 prep school prospect in America.
Woodland safety Robert Smith also signed. Smith is rated as the No.72 safety in America by Rivals.com; he played quarterback as a senior, passing for 3,160 yards and accounting for 42 total touchdowns. He picked Clemson over Florida State, Georgia and Georgia Tech, among others.
At 7:12 a.m., Clemson announced its first signee of the day; Charlotte linebacker Colton Walls. Walls is the son of former NFL All-Pro tight end Wesley Walls.
Three minutes later, Mauldin center Ryan Norton, considered the No.11 center prospect nationally by Rivals.com, followed.
And at 7:18 a.m., Alpharetta, Ga., kicker Ammon Lakip followed. Lakip picked Clemson over Georgia Tech and is considered among the top kicker prospects nationally.
At 7:23 a.m., one of the most coveted letters came in; Punta Gorda, Fla., tailback Mike Bellamy. Bellamy is considered one of the class’s biggest prizes; he is rated by Rivals.com as the No.5 tailback prospect nationally and has been compared to C.J. Spiller and Andre Ellington for his home-run hitting speed. He had 2,400 yards and 40 touchdowns as a senior.
Two minutes later, Daytona Beach, Fla., safety Cortez Davis officially signed with the Tigers. Davis was rated as the No.13 safety nationally by Rivals.com and had flip-flopped between Clemson and Florida State. There were questions about his commitment when Clemson ceased recruiting of his teammate Marlin Lane, a tailback, as well as when recruiter Chris Rumph left for Alabama. But despite a visit to Miami, Davis stayed firm.
At 7:27, Charlotte quarterback Morgan Roberts faxed in his letter. Roberts, who had 2,700 yards and 24 touchdowns of total offense as a senior, is expected to “grayshirt,” or delay his enrollment a semester.
13 minutes later, another highly-touted class member officially joined. South Fort Myers, Fla., wide receiver Sammy Watkins signed his letter. Watkins is rated by Rivals.com as the nation’s No.3 WR and No.5 by Scout.com; he had 1,287 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior and chose Clemson over Florida, Florida State and Miami, among others.
At 7:42, Wren offensive tackle Shaq Anthony joined the fold. Anthony is a Clemson legacy; his father, Vernie, was a Clemson lineman, and Anthony has been attending Tiger games since he was a baby. Rivals.com rates him as the No.27 offensive tackle prospect in America.
Check back often as I update this blog with the latest recruiting news.