Recruiting Trail: Bama moves on Deshaun Watson; Milan Richard top-of-the-list TE target for Tigers

Clemson still pursuing 2014 running backs, makes new offers for 2015, 2016

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris talks with Clemson football quarterback prospect Deshaun Watson during the Tigers' game against Miami.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris talks with Clemson football quarterback prospect Deshaun Watson during the Tigers' game against Miami.

Urban Meyer has apparently moved on.

Nick Saban is just getting started.

And Deshaun Watson probably, until he signs next February, won't hear the end of it.

Committed to Clemson since February of 2012, the nation's top-rated 2014 quarterback temporarily wavered under pressure to visit elsewhere, and then emphatically reaffirmed his commitment to Clemson.

Meyer, after pushing hard for Watson to visit Ohio State, has in the past two weeks extended offers to three other 2014 quarterbacks.

Alabama, meanwhile, extended an offer to Watson on Thursday.

For now, Clemson is in the driver's seat. But an offer from Alabama can't be brushed aside as insignificant.

Stay tuned.

Milan Richard No 'Fall-Back' For Tigers: From the start, Clemson allocated two of its limited number of 2014 scholarships to the tight end position - it's top three targets being Cannon Smith, Jeb Blazevich and Milan Richard, all rated by one recruiting network or another among the top seven in the nation.

Smith fell Clemson's way early, and he's remained solid despite an offer from Alabama. Blazevich looked like the next best bet, based on family connections (his older brother is a Clemson student). The same was true for Richard in regard to Georgia, where his uncle, Herschel Walker starred.

The recruiting trail took a twist recently when Blazevich picked Georgia over Clemson. At that point, the Clemson coaching staff zeroed in on Richard, with Jeff Scott, Danny Pearman, Chad Morris and Dabo Swinney all pitching a player they believe is a complete tight end, and a downfield threat in the Dwayne Allen mode.

Richard, who just last week declared June 4 as his decision date, decided to end the recruiting process on Wednesday, when he committed to Clemson over offers from South Carolina and Ole Miss.

He's rated as the nation's No. 2 tight end by ESPN, and is considered to be one of this year's best all-around players at his position, combining a big body (6-3, 230 and growing) with the pass-catching skills of a wide receiver.

Looking down the road, the combination of Jordan Leggett, Jay Jay McCullough, Richard and Smith will give Chad Morris all the weapons he needs to make the tight end, or three-back, position something special.

On The Run: Clemson continues to pursue running backs for its 2014 class, with the expectation of signing two, and possibly three.

Since the de-commitment of Dalvin Cook, the Tigers currently have one player committed - Jae'lon Oglesby of nearby Daniel High - and may be close to getting a commitment from C.J. Fuller of Easley, S.C.

Also high on the Tigers' list are Stanley Williams, a former Georgia commitment from Bethlehem, Ga., and Adam Choice of Thomasville, Ga.

Others to watch include Donte Williams of Hillside High in Durham, N.C.; Jonathan Vickers of North Florida Christian High in Tallahassee, Fla.; Racean Thomas of Oxford, Ala.; Joe Mixon of Oakley, Calif.; Myles Autry of Norcross, Ga.; and Caleb Kinlaw of Goose Creek, S.C.

Recent Offers: While the immediate recruiting emphasis may be on rising senior prospects who are thinking about making summer commitments, Clemson's coaches have been busy offering down-the-road prospects for the classes of 2015 and 2016.

2015

Chuma Edgoda, OT, Powder Springs, Ga.

Mike Hughes, CB, New Bern, N.C.

Kareem Ali, CB, Sicklerville, N.J.

Mekhi Brown, DE, Columbus, Ga.

Dexter Neal, WR, Stone Mountain, Ga.

Arrington Farrar, LB, College Park, Ga.

Mason Veal, OL, Charlotte, N.C.

2016

Ben Cleveland, OL, Toccoa, Ga.

Chad Clay, WR/DB, Marietta, Ga.

Nate Craig, WR/DB, Dade City, Fla.

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Comments » 2

wlduke418 writes:

Pretty sure Deshaun is enrolling early, isn't he? So he would be signing up in December instead of February?

TigerFan95 writes:

in response to wlduke418:

Pretty sure Deshaun is enrolling early, isn't he? So he would be signing up in December instead of February?

He plans to enroll in school in December but he can’t sign his LOI until February per NCAA rules. However, if he enrolls and attends class at Clemson it’s a virtual lock he will sign his LOI to Clemson because from my understanding he would have to sit out a year if he later enrolls at another school.

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