Door of opportunity swings open for early-enrolling WRs Kitt, Scott, Priester

Tigers will be looking for new playmakers this spring after departure of Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant

Artavis Scott (East Lake High School photo)

Artavis Scott (East Lake High School photo)

It's always an exciting time in the WestZone when freshmen arrive on campus.

This January, however, there is an added sense of urgency.

In the aftermath of Sunday's news that Martavis Bryant is leaving school to enter the NFL draft, and confirmation of Sammy Watkins' intentions, top-rated quarterback signee Deshaun Watson is no longer the most of critical of Clemson's five mid-year additions.

Artavis Scott, Demarre Kitt and Kyrin Priester arrive not only with sky-high expectations, but come into the program with an open door of opportunity.

The Tigers should be good to go at quarterback next season whoever wins the starting job.

At the wide receiver positions, they need to spend the spring answering questions and developing a reliable rotation of playmakers.

Adam Humphries returns as the Tigers' senior statesman, with former Dorman High Charone Peake - who opened the 2013 season as a starter - set to assume a go-to role after working his back from ACL surgery.

Mike Williams and Germone Hopper are up-and-coming talents - Williams in the Bryant mode, and Hopper perhaps as a successor to Watkins. T.J. Green got his feet wet this season, as well, and gives the Tigers a big, athletic body similar to Jaron Brown.

The three freshmen will be counted to provide depth, for certain, but will also have the opportunity to crack the starting rotation.

All bring impressive high school credentials to the Clemson program.

Scott, from East Lake High in Tarpon Springs, Fla., is a 5-11, 180-pound speedster with skills both as a receiver and a runner. He's ranked as the No. 10 and 11 receiver in the nation by ESPN and Rivals, respectively, and is a member of both service's top 100 nationally.

After hauling in 54 passes for nearly 1,200 yards as a junior, Scott rushed for 750 yards, caught 37 passes for 542 yards and returned four kicks for touchdowns as a senior. He was named Pinellas County player of the year, and he caught one pass in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl over the weekend.

Kitt, from Sandy Creek High in Tyrone, Ga., was one of the East's standouts in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl with a 51-yard reception. The 6-1, 195-pound Kitt is ranked as the nation's top eight wide receiver and No. 68 player overall by Rivals, and No. 12 among wideouts and No. 99 overall by ESPN.

Kitt burst on the recruiting scene as a sophomore, when he caught 42 passes for 651 yards and 10 touchdowns. As a junior, he caught 74 passes for 1,235 yards and 11 scores, and then followed up during his senior year with 48 catches for 861 yards, 11 touchdowns and a career-best 17.94 per-catch average.

Priester, who originally signed with the Tigers last February, spent the fall semester at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.

Rated the No. 20 wide receiver in the 2013 recruiting class by ESPN, the 6-2, 190-pound Priester caught 56 passes for more than 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior at Brookwood High in Lilburn, Ga. As a sophomore, he had 31 catches for 565 yards and five scores.

Last summer, Clemson recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott said he considered Priester to be the most college-ready of the Tigers' incoming freshman class, which included Williams and Green.

"Kyrin is a guy with really good ball skills and a really mature personality," Scott said. "He comes from a good program."

Joining Priester, Scott, Kitt and Watson as early enrollees this week is Greensboro, N.C. linebacker Chris Register.

Also joining the program as a preferred walk-on is Kurt Fleming, a 6-0, 225-pound running back from Richmond, Va., who originally signed with Army out of high school in 2010, but then opted for a pro baseball career after being drafted in the eighth round of the Major League draft by the Atlanta Braves.

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