Tigers' next generation of receivers shaping up to be as good as the last

Clemson is the only school with more than one of ESPN's top 25 wideouts for 2014

Artavis Scott (Studentsports.com photo)

Artavis Scott (Studentsports.com photo)

Special players like Sammy Watkins only come around so often, but there are plenty of signs that the next generation of Clemson receivers will be every bit as good as the last.

Watkins was part of a top-rated receiver class that also included Martavis Bryant, Charone Peake, Adam Humphries and Stanton Seckinger.

As the Tigers begin moving toward preparations for 2014, Peake (a rising junior) and Humphries (a rising senior) remain, while Seckinger is the projected co-starter at tight end.

Mike Williams, T.J. Green and Germone Hopper (all rising sophomores) lead the next wave, with first-semester freshmen Artavis Scott, Demarre Kitt and Kyrin Priester on campus now, and fellow four-star commitment Trevion Thompson set to arrive this summer.

From a numbers standpoint, Thompson became a key pick-up for the Tigers over the weekend when he committed at the end of his official visit.

The Clemson coaching staff has been pursuing the 6-2, 190-pound Thompson for more than two years, after he burst on the recruiting with a spectacular sophomore season at Hillside High in Durham, N.C., where he was a teammate of Tiger freshman safety Korrin Wiggins.

In addition to being one of the nation's top-rated wideouts, Thompson represents another North Carolina recruiting coup for the Tigers, who have reestablished themselves as a major player in pursuit of the state's top prospects.

Thompson will join Greensboro linebacker Chris Register, Hope Mills defensive back Jefferie Gibson, and Leland defensive tackle Jabril Robinson in this year's recruiting class, following in the footsteps of Wiggins, Tyrone Crowder, Dane Rogers, Carlos Watkins, Bradley Pinion, D.J. Reader and Hopper, all of whom signed with the Tigers in the previous two recruiting cycles.

Thompson, a consensus four-star prospect, has seen his personal ranking bounce about over the past two years. He was ranked as high as the No. 2 receiver in the nation coming out of his sophomore season, then slipped during a junior year in which his team struggled to get him the ball, and then bounced back with a strong senior year.

He was one of the standouts of the 2013 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, as he snared five passes and showed his ability both as a deep threat and as a possession receiver.

Like Clemson's 2011 wide receiver class, the 2014 group is shaping up as the nation's deepest group. Clemson is the only school with commitments from more than one of ESPN's top 25-rated wide receivers, and the Tigers have three in Scott, Kitt and Thompson. Priester, originally a member of Clemson 2013 recruiting class, was ranked No. 20 nationally last year.

The addition of Thompson boosts Clemson's total of enrollees and commitments to 19, and pushed the Tigers to No. 13 nationally on Rivals' team recruiting list. The Tigers' group is currently ranked third in the ACC behind No. 4 Florida State and No. 9 Miami. Clemson is 14th on ESPN's list, and also third in the ACC behind No. 3 FSU and No. 8 Miami.

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Comments » 3

es_tiger writes:

Love having talented wideouts, but I'm ready to get a feature running back to add balance to the attack

clemvol writes:

Where's the Beef?

Xander5000 writes:

Feature running backs are fading out unfortunately but understandable. You want to save your running backs from constant wear and tear. So thats why you will see more of 2 to 4 running backs during a game. As far as the wideouts are concerned, I imagine this football is going to be flying around like a pinball laser or something to every receiver we got. That will keep defenses off-balance, for sure. But nothing will work if we keep coming up short on quality beef.

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