Tigers gear up DE recruiting for 2015 after losing another prospect to FSU

Clemson still in the running for 2014 target Andrew Williams of McDonough, Ga.

Andrew Williams (GoVolsXtra.com Photo)

Andrew Williams (GoVolsXtra.com Photo)

With Corey Crawford, Tavaris Barnes, Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd and Martin Aiken returning, and with Ebenzer Ogundeko joining the competition this spring, defensive end is hardly an area of immediate urgent need for the Clemson coaching staff - even if Vic Beasley leaves early for the NFL.

Nevertheless, the Tigers have targeted numerous top-level prospects during the 2014 recruiting cycle, trying to sign at least one at the position.

So far, they've come up empty-handed.

Greensboro (N.C.) Page standout Lorenzo Featherston is the latest targeted player to go in another direction, as over the weekend he announced for Florida State.

The national champions have now won two head-to-head battles with Clemson for 2014 defensive end prospects, as last summer Middletown, Md.'s Rick Leonard picked the Seminoles over the Tigers.

Other Clemson targets who've gone elsewhere include Da'Shawn Hand of Richmond, Va. (Alabama), Jayln Holmes of Norfolk, Va. (Ohio State), Kentavious Street of Greenville, N.C. (N.C. State), Corey Thomas of McCalla, Ala. (Tennessee), Jesse Aniebonam of Olney, Md. (Maryland), Kalan Ritchie of Goose Creek, S.C. (South Carolina), Deondre Clark of Oklahoma City, Okla. (LSU), and Harold Landry of Fayetteville, N.C. (Boston College).

Clemson remains in the hunt for a pair of highly-rated defensive end prospects from Georgia: 6-4, 245-pound Andrew Williams of Eagles Landing Academy in McDonough, and longshot 6-3, 235-pound Lorenzo Carter of Norcross.

Williams, who is ranked as high as No. 12 in the country at his position, is considering a group of finalists that includes Clemson, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina and Notre Dame.

Carter, who is ranked No. 1 at his position by Rivals, announced a list of five finalists back in August that trimmed Clemson and Ohio State, and included Georgia, Notre Dame, Oregon, FSU and LSU.

The Clemson coaching staff has already extended several offers to defensive ends for the 2015 recruiting cycle. They include Albert Huggins of Orangeburg, S.C.; Cece Jefferson of Glen. St. Mary, Fla.; Byron Cowart of Seffner, Fla.; Jalen Dalton of Clemmons, N.C.; D'Andre Walker of Fairburn, Ga.; Darian Roseboro of Lincolnton, N.C.; Clelin Ferrell of Richmond, Va.; Brenden Fehoko of Honolulu, Hawaii; Rasool Clemons of Aiken, S.C.; Austin Bryant of Thomasville, Ga.; Josh Sweat of Chesapeake, Va.; Scott Patchan of Tampa, Fla.; Kyle Phillips of Nashville, Tenn.; Trevon Hill of Virginia Beach, Va.; and Christian Wilkins of Suffield, Conn.

Watson, Rogers Claim State MVP Honors: Gainesville High quarterback Deshaun Watson and Buford High linebacker Korie Rogers have been named Georgia state MVPs in their respective classifications.

The nationally top-ranked Watson, who will begin classes at Clemson this week, was named Class 5A offensive player of the year. He finished his senior season with 3,775 yards passing, more than a thousand yards rushing and 61 total touchdowns. During his career, he had more than 13,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing.

Rogers was named Class 3A defensive player of the year for the second straight season.

Watson was chosen to play in the Under Armour All-America Game, while Rogers played in the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.

Recruiting Notes: Former Clemson commitments Dalvin Cook and Dylan Sumner-Gardner have each changed schools for the second time, with Cook flipping from Florida to Florida State, and Sumner-Gardner from Texas A&M to Boise State...Defensive back target D.J. Smith of Marietta, Ga. plans to announce on Jan. 13 from among Clemson, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.

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