As recruiting timetable continues to accelerate, Clemson eyes strong 2014 finish

Tigers currently have 11 commitments, looking to add LB, WR, DE

Artavis Scott (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott,

Artavis Scott (Photo courtesy of Roy Philpott,

As recently as two years ago, Dabo Swinney's high school camp served as a centerpiece event for that year's recruiting effort.

Players attended camp, hoping to impress the coaches enough to receive scholarship offers, and June and July became the busiest months on the calendar in terms of new commitments.

Not any more.

The accelerated recruiting timetable continues to gather steam, and most of the business that went on this year during two sessions of Swinney's camp was focused on the 2015, 2016 and even 2017 recruiting cycles.

There was still plenty of important stuff that went on regarding a handful of remaining 2014 targets; but most of those players, with the exception of placekicker Alex Spence, who committed to the Tigers on Friday shortly after receiving a scholarship offer, previously held Clemson offers, some for months. Clemson now - more than seven months from signing day - has 11 commitments for what is projected as a smallish 15-man class.

All the same, the second week of Swinney's camp - 900 strong and the largest gathering in Clemson history - was a productive time as the Tiger coaching staff puts the finishing touches on a class that currently ranks among the top 10 in the nation.

Atop the list is Hinesville, Ga. five-star linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who stood out last week in a stellar field at his position. The 6-3, 235-pound McMillan, who is rated as the nation's No. 1 linebacker by both ESPN and Rivals, has Clemson in his lead group, perhaps currently second to Ohio State and ahead of a throng of SEC suitors.

Other 2014 defensive targets of high importance who attended camp last week included defensive ends Andrew Williams of McDonough, Ga., Rick Leonard of Middleton, Md., and Jalyn Holmes of Lake Taylor, Va.

Williams, 6-4, 240, is ranked as high as the nation's No. 10 weakside defensive end. The big-frame Leonard - 6-7, 250 - is a fast-rising prospect who is ranked 21st nationally at his position by Rivals. Holmes is one of the nation's top overall prospects, as he's ranked in the top five defensive ends nationally by both ESPN and 247Sports.

Wide receiver is another position in which the Tigers hope to nab another elite player for their 2014 class. Three high-priority candidates attended last week's camp - Trevion Thompson of Durham, N.C., Artavis Scott of Tarpon Springs, Fla., and Trey Quinn of Lake Charles, La.

Thompson is ranked No. 2 nationally among wide receivers by 247Sports and No. 4 by Scout. Quinn is ranked No. 15 among wide-outs by 247Sports, which ranks Scott No. 12 at the position.

The Tigers would also like to add one offensive lineman to its class. The top candidates are Donnell Stanley from Latta, S.C., who attended the first session of Swinney's camp last week, and Justin Falcinelli, a 6-4, 300 lineman who is a teammate of Leonard's at Middleton, Md. and attended the second session. Both have Clemson offers.

Numerous high profile 2015 targets attended camp last week, including Mitch Hyatt of Suwannee, Ga., who rated as the next class' No. 1 offensive tackle.

Receiving a Clemson offer this week after working out at camp was 2015 cornerback Mark Fields of Charlotte, N.C. Fields' dad, also Mark, is a linebacker who played nine seasons who played 10 seasons in the NFL between 1995 and 2004.

Others who've recently received Clemson offers include 2015 defensive back Ray Ray McCloud of Tampa, Fla., 2015 offensive/defensive lineman Josh Wariboko of Oklahoma City, Okla., and 2016 quarterback Jawon Pass of Kennesaw, Ga.

One 2014 target - linebacker Kendall Joseph of Belton-Honea Path (S.C.) High - is scheduled to make his college choice announcement on Monday. Joseph, who visited Clemson two weeks ago with his parents, is spending this weekend at Duke. The Blue Devils and Louisville are his other finalists.

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