No surprise: Tigers ready to move on following Dalvin Cook's de-commitment

Clemson has offers out to at least 10 running backs for 2014, including four of Scout's top dozen

New 2014 Clemson commit and Easley running back C.J. Fuller escapes a tackle by 2013 Clemson commit and former T.L. Hanna linebacker Ben Boulware in the first quarter of a game last year. Fuller rushed for over 2,000 yards with 19 touchdowns his junior year.

New 2014 Clemson commit and Easley running back C.J. Fuller escapes a tackle by 2013 Clemson commit and former T.L. Hanna linebacker Ben Boulware in the first quarter of a game last year. Fuller rushed for over 2,000 yards with 19 touchdowns his junior year.

It was easy enough to see this one coming: Dalvin Cook had been making noises for months, talking about looking around, re-opening his recruiting, taking other visits - all the things that add up to a 'non-committed' player in Dabo Swinney's view.

So the south Florida speedster surprised no one when, following his second visit to Gainesville in two weeks, he flipped his commitment from Clemson to Florida over the weekend.

In recruiting, sometimes being first is a good thing. Other times, being first may be too early.

Clemson offered Cook after his sophomore season at Miami Central, when he played as a backup to classmate Joseph Yearby. Last fall, Cook emerged on equal footing with his teammate, led his team in rushing, and currently is ranked as high as the No. 2 running back in the nation.

Interestingly, Cook and Yearby are now both on their second commitments. Yearby flipped from Florida State to Miami earlier this spring, and has since then been recruiting Cook to the Hurricanes, just as he had previously to the Seminoles.

For now, Cook has his heart set on the Gators. But there's still nearly a year to go before signing day. Don't count Miami out yet.

In the meantime, look for Clemson to move on.

A strong sign that the Tigers' coaches lacked confidence in Cook's commitment can be seen in the fact that Clemson in recent weeks has continued, and in some cases ramped up, it's recruiting of 2014 running backs.

The Tigers figure to sign at least two running backs this cycle, and have one committed in Daniel High's Jae'lon Oglesby, who is underrated nationally, but has shown himself to be a prolific and durable workhorse back for one of S.C.'s top high school programs.

Over the past two recruiting cycles, Clemson has signed three backs - Zac Brooks in 2011, and Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman in 2012.

The Tigers continue to aim high in their pursuit of another back for the 2014 class.

Following is a brief look at prospects with offers from the Clemson coaching staff:

Racean Thomas, 5-11, 195, Oxford, Ala. - Thomas, who is ranked as the nation's No. 3 running back by Scout, also has offers from Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Oregon and Southern Cal.

Donte Williams, 5-11, 205, Hillside High, Durham, N.C. - The former teammate of 2013 Clemson defensive back signee Korrin Wiggins, Williams is a four-star prospect rated as one of North Carolina's top players.

Stanley Williams, 5-9, 185, Monroe, Ga. - An early commitment to Georgia, Williams reopened his recruiting during the fall and has already made several visits to Clemson. He also has offers from LSU, Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia Tech.

C.J. Fuller, 5-11, 200, Easley, S.C. - The local product has had a Clemson offer since well before Cook began to waver. He was a 2,000-yard rusher as a junior, who is also considered to be one of the top in-state prospects as a cornerback. He also has offers from UNC and N.C. State.

Joe Mixon, 6-2, 207, Oakley, Calif. - Ranked as the nation's No. 5 running back by Scout, Mixon has offers from coast-to-coast, including Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida, Oklahoma, Auburn, Ohio State and Southern California.

Jonathan Vickers, 6-0, 205, Tallahassee, Fla. - A former teammate of Clemson safety Travis Blanks at North Florida Christian, Vickers also has offers from Alabama, Florida State, Ole Miss and Louisville, among others.

Elijah Hood, 6-1, 215, Charlotte, N.C. - Ranked as the nation's No. 10 running back by Scout, the Charlotte Catholic star has Clemson in his lead group, along with Ohio State, Notre Dame, Michigan and North Carolina.

Derrell Scott, 5-11, 185, Havelock, N.C. - No. 12 on Scout's running backs list, Scott has offers from FSU, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, UNC, South Carolina and Ohio State, among others.

Miles Autry, 5-11, 170, Norcross, Ga. - The speedy running back has attracted national attention, with offers from Penn State, UCLA, Tennessee, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State and Nebraska.

Caleb Kinlaw, 5-10, 180, Goose Creek, S.C. - A productive and versatile player for coach Chuck Reedy at Goose Creek, Kinlaw is also considering South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, North Carolina and Georgia Tech, among others.

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Comments » 7

rsb8931#286014 writes:

Recruiting is probaly the biggest challenge in any college program. Good players, generally speaking, equates to a good team. That does not always hold true.

At this time of year, with national signing day almost a year away, this is the time fans get all fired up and talk about who we got,who we gonna get and who we lost. This is almost like talking about preseason rankings. It's fun for the fans and gives us something to talk about but it is serious business to the coaches. The susccess of the football program lays with who we get and who we don't get. I never put too much emphasis on one player, no matter how high on someone's recruiting list he is or what their credentials are. There is more than 1 really good player at all the positions. If we miss out on one, we might get the other.I promise you this, we will have enough players to field a team!

lhaselden writes:

It think it is just as important to recruit athletic young men who want to succeed in academics as well as football. A 3 star who commits to excellence may be all conference or all american his senior year. A 5* who does neither may only last a season.

radtiger writes:

Thats a smart man and probably the best decision he can make if he want to go pro......Compare the number of players that goes pro from the ACC to the other conferences. You people can talk about academics all day long but in all actuality....regardless of what school, they are all there on an athletic scholarship....NOT ACADEMIC, so for you to think that any of these players are any smarter than the other is pathetic......I can assure you that none of Clemson football players will graduate with a degree in Chemistry,Engineering or any other program that requires alot of knowledge.

MyTwoSENSE writes:

in response to radtiger:

Thats a smart man and probably the best decision he can make if he want to go pro......Compare the number of players that goes pro from the ACC to the other conferences. You people can talk about academics all day long but in all actuality....regardless of what school, they are all there on an athletic scholarship....NOT ACADEMIC, so for you to think that any of these players are any smarter than the other is pathetic......I can assure you that none of Clemson football players will graduate with a degree in Chemistry,Engineering or any other program that requires alot of knowledge.

Actually, the ACC has had 184 players drafted in the past 5 years. That's second only to the SEC by 3 players and way ahead of third place Big10 (159). As far as degrees, Tyler Shatley is majoring in civil engineering.

TigerFan95 writes:

in response to radtiger:

Thats a smart man and probably the best decision he can make if he want to go pro......Compare the number of players that goes pro from the ACC to the other conferences. You people can talk about academics all day long but in all actuality....regardless of what school, they are all there on an athletic scholarship....NOT ACADEMIC, so for you to think that any of these players are any smarter than the other is pathetic......I can assure you that none of Clemson football players will graduate with a degree in Chemistry,Engineering or any other program that requires alot of knowledge.

Ummm, there are 10 engineering majors on Clemson's current roster including Tyler Shatley our starting RG. Stephone Anthony's major is Economics and Giff Timothy's Biological Sciences, two of Clemson's strongest academic areas. In 2011 the ACC was second among college conferences with 278 players in the NFL. The SEC was first with 308. That's not a big difference in my opinion.

radtiger writes:

in response to TigerFan95:

Ummm, there are 10 engineering majors on Clemson's current roster including Tyler Shatley our starting RG. Stephone Anthony's major is Economics and Giff Timothy's Biological Sciences, two of Clemson's strongest academic areas. In 2011 the ACC was second among college conferences with 278 players in the NFL. The SEC was first with 308. That's not a big difference in my opinion.

Really....10 out of 90 something players and just how many of them will actually stay in school and get that degree????? That still doesnt change the fact at how so many of you go all off the subject and want to talk about academics skills over athletic skills. At the end of the day, they come to college in hopes of "PLAYING FOOTBALL on SUNDAYS and no its not a big difference and thats my point. All of the players regardless of the team......are gifted athletically and thats all it take for them to make thier dreams come true.

cuGIZ82 writes:

in response to MyTwoSENSE:

Actually, the ACC has had 184 players drafted in the past 5 years. That's second only to the SEC by 3 players and way ahead of third place Big10 (159). As far as degrees, Tyler Shatley is majoring in civil engineering.

You are correct...the ACC places plenty of talent into the NFL each season. We all know the SEC rightfully gets the hype but ACC produces plenty of Pro Bowl players

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