Signing Day Countdown: Four freshmen join veteran secondary group for 2012

Travis Blanks already enrolled, with Marty Williams, Ronald Geohaghan, Codrea Tankersley on the way

Football recruiting - Marty Williams

Photo by Mark Crammer

Football recruiting - Marty Williams

The Clemson coaching staff has continued an inflow of talent at the secondary positions by adding four defensive backs among twenty 2012 commitments, including early-enrolling Travis Blanks, who is ranked as the nation’s No. 2 safety by ESPN.

Clemson will be able to cover its four starting positions, plus the nickel spot, with experienced players in 2012, despite the loss of starting corner Coty Sensabaugh, who played more snaps (nearly 1,000) than any Tiger last season.

Rising redshirt sophomore Bashaud Breeland should step into the corner spot vacated by Sensabaugh, with Xavier Brewer returning at the other corner position and Rashard Hall and Jonathan Meeks back at the safety spots.

Juniors Darius Robinson and Martin Jenkins combined to start nine games last season, and can play either corner or nickel, as can Breeland and Brewer.

Looking to play their way into the mix this spring will be sophomores Robert Smith and Garry Peters, who played primarily on special teams last season; redshirt freshman Cortez Davis; and Blanks.

In addition to Sensabaugh and wallk-on Kantrell Brown, the Tigers will also be without rising senior Carlton Lewis, who will transfer elsewhere to play his senior season after graduating from Clemson.

Returning Starters (4)

Rising senior Rashard Hall: 799 snaps, 89 tackles, 2 interceptions last season

Rising senior Xavier Brewer: 771 snaps, 60 tackles, 1 interception

Rising senior Jonathan Meeks: 744 snaps, 61 tackles, 3 interceptions

Rising RS sophomore Bashaud Breeland: 643 snaps, 53 tackles, 4 PBU

Other Experienced Players (4)

Rising junior Darius Robinson: 6 starts, 346 snaps, 18 tackles, 1 interception

Rising junior Martin Jenkins: started 3 of last 4 games, 304 snaps, 27 tackles, 6 PBU

Rising sophomore Robert Smith: 1 start, 59 snaps, 9 tackles, 1 interception

Rising sophomore Garry Peters: special teams regular, 12 snaps, 6 tackles

Players Lost (4)

Coty Sensabaugh: team-high 993-snaps, 40 tackles, 13 PBU, 1 INT, projected NFL draft pick

Kantrell Brown: original walk-on, special teams regular, 43 snaps, 10 tackles, 1 interception

Desmond Brown: Dismissed from team mid-season

Carlton Lewis: Rising fifth-year senior will transfer after graduation and play his final season elsewhere…143 snaps, 10 tackles

In The Pipeline (2)

Redshirt freshman Cortez Davis: 6-3, 195, Daytona Beach, FL…safety-sized, but was recruited as a corner

First-semester freshman Travis Blanks: 6-2, 195, North Florida Christian, Tallahassee, FL…graduated from high school in December and enrolled in January….he’s the highest-ranked player in Clemson’s 2012 class of commitments, ranked as the nation’s No. 2 safety and No. 12 player overall by ESPN.

2012 Commitments (3)

Ronald Geohaghan: 6-0, 185, Allendale-Fairfax, SC…he’s ranked as the nation’s No. 10 safety by Rivals

Cordrea Tankersley: 6-0, 190, Silver Bluff HS, Aiken, SC…a high school quarterback and safety, he’s ranked among the top 40 players national at both the safety and wide receiver positions.

Marty Williams: 6-1, 200, Fox Creek HS, North Augusta, SC…a big-yardage high school quarterback, he’s rated among the nation’s top 35 ‘athletes,’ and is projected as a safety by the Clemson coaching staff.

Remaining 2012 Target (1)

Ronald Darby: The 5-11, 180-pound speedster from Oxon Hill, MD is a five-star prospect ranked as the nation’s No. 1 cornerback by Scout. Formerly committed to Notre Dame, he recently re-opened his recruiting and has Clemson in the mix, along with Florida State, Auburn and LSU. He also stars in track, and had the nation’s fastest high school 60-meter dash time in 2010.

2013 Early Offers (2)

Nick Washington: 6-0, 180, Trinity Christian HS, Jacksonville, FL

Tramel Terry, 5-11, 170, Goose Creek, SC

2014 Early Offer (1)

Jalen Tabor: 6-1, 170, cornerback, Friedship Collegiate Academy, Washington, DC

Some 2013 Prospects To Watch…

South Carolina

Chocolate Wilson, 5-9, 165, Myrtle Beach

Nicholas Halmon, 5-10, 175, Bamberg-Ehrhardt

Darius Jones, 5-10, 175, Woodruff

Justin Bridges-Thompson, 6-0, 180, Spartanburg

Jadar Johnson, 6-1, 180, Orangeburg-Wilkinson

DeAndre Wilson, 5-11, 170, Myrtle Beach

North Carolina

Brian Walker, 5-11, 170, Charlotte-Mallard Creek

Dominick Johnson, 6-3, 180, Cary-Panther Creek

Desmond Lawrence, 6-0, 175, Charlotte Christian

Scott Miller, 5-11, 180, Statesville- South Iredell

Nolan Corpening, 5-10, 175, Charlotte-Vance

Breon Borders, 6-1, 180, Statesville

Khalil McCollom, 5-9, 160, Wake Forest


Vonn Bell, 6-2, 190, Rossville

Shaquille Wiggins, 5-11, 160, Tyrone

Darius Curry, 6-1, 180, Flowery Branch

Makail Grace, 6-2, 180, Rochelle


Steven Dekevich, 5-11, 170, Naples-Barron Collier

Tyler Serpo, 5-9, 170, Clearwater

Adekune Olusanya, 5-11, 195, Tampa-Sickles

Austin Logan, 6-1, 185, Tallahassee-Florida HS

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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