Countdown to Signing Day: Tigers strengthen secondary with Green, Edmond

Clemson adds Seth Ryan as walk-on, Zach Riggs as greyshirt during productive recruiting weekend

J.L. Mann tight end Zach Riggs (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

J.L. Mann tight end Zach Riggs (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott, CUTigers.com)

It was a productive recruiting weekend for Dabo Swinney and his Clemson coaching staff.

Now there's little left to do except wait.

The addition of defensive backs Marcus Edmond and T.J. Green has shored up the defensive secondary, taking advantage of attrition that last week took cornerback Cortez Davis and linebacker Lateek Townsend out of the Tigers' defensive equation.

The Tigers have yet another high-level fall-back option in the secondary in Ryan Carter of Grayson High in Loganville, Ga., who made an official visit last weekend with Edmond and Green, but left Clemson without a firm offer.

Clemson remains in the running for one of the nation's top-rated cornerbacks in Mackensie Alexander of Immokalee, Fla. Alexander has at one time mentioned at least five schools as his leader, including Clemson. He visited Auburn last weekend with his brother Mackenro, a safety who also has an Auburn offer. Previously, the brothers visited Mississippi State. Texas A&M and Rutgers are also thought to still be in the picture.

In gaining commitments from Edmond and Green, Clemson took players off the recruiting lists of N.C. State and UAB. Edmond, the reigning South Carolina 400-meter dash champion, is ranked as high as No. 12 among in-state high school seniors. He was recruited for the Wolfpack by new Clemson defensive backs coach Mike Reed, and is the second N.C. State commitment to flip to Clemson since Reed arrived on the job.

Green, at 6-3, 200, is a big, athletic safety who starred on both sides of the ball at Sylacauga High in Alabama. He had offers from California and Kentucky before committing to UAB in November, and he picked up an offer from Auburn on Friday - the day he traveled to Clemson for his official visit.

Green told his local newspaper, the Daily Home, that he feels comfortable with everything about his decision.

“I just had a feeling that is where I needed to be to put myself in position to not only win on a high level, but come in and contribute early,” Green told the Daily Home.

"I pretty much knew Clemson was the place for me. Auburn offered on the same day that I went to Clemson, but I pretty much knew, after taking to the coaches, that Clemson was the place for me.”

Carter is the teammate of Clemson running back commitment Wayne Gallman, and he made several visits to Clemson during the fall. The 5-11, 180-pound Carter currently has offers from East Carolina, Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Tulane and Arkansas State.

Clemson's weekend also included commitments from tight end Zach Riggs and safety-receiver Seth Ryan to join the program - Riggs as a greyshirt and Ryan as a preferred walk-on.

Both players bring rich football backgrounds into the program. Riggs, from J.L. Mann High, is the son of two-time All-ACC Clemson tight end Jim Riggs. He's a big-target tight end with good hands who also has the size potential to develop into an offensive tackle at the college level.

Ryan is the son of New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who visited Clemson over the weekend with his parents and committed before leaving. Ryan, who at Summit High in New Jersey, had also considered walk-on offers at Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Clemson will wait until signing day for the decision of several of the nation's top-rated players, all of whom visited campus earlier this month for official visits.

They include Montravius Adams, the nation's top-ranked defensive tackle, who visited Georgia last weekend; Carl Lawson, the nation's No. 2 defensive end, who remains committed to Auburn but took an official visit to North Carolina; four-star quarterback Asiantii Woulard, who took his final visit to UCLA and is expected to choose between the Tigers and the Bruins; offensive guard Tyrone Crowder, who is rated as high as top-five in the nation at his position and who is choosing between Clemson and Georgia; four-star wide receiver James Clark of New Smyrna Beach, Fla., who took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend and will make an unofficial visit to Florida this week; and defensive back Adrian Baker, a former Florida State commitment, who is expected to choose either Clemson or Oklahoma.

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