It's recruiting season, and the Tigers are hot - on more than one front.
While Dabo Swinney and company put the finishing touches on their 2014 recruiting class, Jack Leggett and recruiting assistants Bradley LeCroy and Dan Pepicelli are doing the same. Two players have added their names to Clemson's baseball commitment list over the past week - Drew Wharton, an outfielder from Peachtree Ridge High in Suwanee, Ga., and Austin DeCarr, a righthanded pitcher from Foxboro, Mass.
Wharton and DeCarr are the seventh and eighth commitments to Clemson's 2014 class, joining Charlie Barnes, a lefthanded pitcher from Sumter, S.C., Chase Pinder, an outfielder from Poquoson, Va., Katon Harwood, a righthanded pitcher from Asheville, N.C., Dalton Ewing, an outfielder from Milton High in Alpharetta, Ga., Michael Chavis, a third baseman from Sprayberry, Ga., and Adam Renwick, an infielder from Dorman High in Spartanburg, S.C.
The players can sign with the Tigers during baseball's November recruiting period.
DeCarr's situation is unusual in that he graduated from Xaverian High last month and would be eligible to enroll at Clemson for the fall. Instead, he plans to spend a post-grad year at the Salisbury School in Salisbury, Conn.
DeCarr, who as a sophomore was considered one of the top prospects in the New England area, has had two injury-plagued seasons, but has regained his form recently, including a strong performance at the regional Area Code Games, where he threw in the 90-93 MPH range and demonstrated an outstanding curve ball, as well.
"It feels great, obviously with the injuries over the last year, with a lot of setbacks and stuff like that, it's definitely a great feeling," DeCarr told ESPN of his commitment to Clemson.
DeCarr visited North Carolina, Louisiana State and Vanderbilt before the start of his junior season, and he has held varying degrees of interest from Louisville, Tulane, Ole Miss, Florida and a number of ACC, Big East and Big Ten schools over the years.
"Clemson was the better fit between the offer they gave me, the coaching staff down there, and the passion down there is crazy," DeCarr said. "They wanted me to come this fall, but I'm going to shut it down a little bit - I've been going from football right into baseball for the last four years, I need some down time. They think I'm polished. I'm much better than I was during high school season. I've got more consistent mechanics, driving the ball down by my knees. They think my velocity is good enough as it is. Hopefully, I'm sitting at the 94-95 range (next year). My curve is probably my best pitch at this point."
The 6-3, 185-pound Wharton batted .316 as the starting center fielder at Peachtree Ridge, and earned all-region honors after batting .351 against region competition. He also pitched in relief and had a 2.74 ERA.
Following are some notes from Perfect Game's profile of Wharton: 'Strong build with a lot of projection, very athletic and agile, going to get stronger. Ran a 7.21 60 yard. Good arm strength, 85 mph from the outfield, on-line and consistently accurate, solid actions. Right-handed hitter, high hands set, shows good strength in his hands, consistent hard line drive contact, gets good leverage, hard pull side contact, flashes power potential to pull side, deep drive in game action, balanced hitter with hit tool that should continue to develop. Also pitches, projects better as position player. Good student.'