Headed into signing day, Tigers focused on adding recruited walk-ons

RB Kurt Fleming already enrolled, Daniel PK Christian Groomes commits, WR Hunter Renfrow's decision coming soon

D.W. Daniel's Christian Groomes kicks the game-winning field goal against Chapman in the Upper State Finals on Friday. The Lions won 29-27 and will play for the state title next week in Columbia.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

D.W. Daniel's Christian Groomes kicks the game-winning field goal against Chapman in the Upper State Finals on Friday. The Lions won 29-27 and will play for the state title next week in Columbia.

In wrapping up the 2014 recruiting cycle, Clemson's coaches are looking to add a handful of recruited walk-ons to the Tiger roster.

Already enrolled for the spring semester is 21-year-old Kurt Fleming, a 6-0, 225-pound running back who spent the past three seasons playing professional baseball in the Atlanta Braves and Seattle Mariners systems. Fleming, who orginally signed a football scholarship with Army out of St. Christopher's High in Richmond, Va., was a thousand-yard rusher as a high school junior before missing his senior season with an ACL injury. He opted for baseball after being drafted in the eighth round in 2010 by the Braves.

Over the weekend, the Tigers picked up a commitment from left-footed placekicker Christian Groomes from Daniel High in Central, S.C. Groomes committed after making an official visit. He was 14-of-22 on field goal attempts last season, including a 47-yarder, after going 7-of-13 as a junior. He finished his career 79-of-84 on PATs.

Clemson is expecting a decision this week from preferred walk-on wide receiver prospect Hunter Renfrow of Socastee, S.C. Renfrow, whose older brother and sister are Clemson students, is choosing between a walk-on offer from Clemson and a scholarship opportunity at Appalachian State. He also has scholarship offers from Wofford, Presbyterian, Gardner-Webb and Charleston Southern.

Renfrow, who is being recruited by Jeff Scott and Danny Pearman, was selected for the 2014 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas after rushing for nearly 1,500 yards and passing for 800 as a senior quarterback. He accounted for 26 touchdowns.

If Renfrow chooses to come to Clemson, he'll join scholarship placekicker Alex Spence of West Florence, S.C., in competition with Ammon Lakip and Bradley Pinion. Spence, the S.C. 4-A specialist of the year, was recently chosen to play for the U.S. in the Under 19 International Bowl against Team Canada.

Recruited walk-ons have played a significant part in Clemson's success over the past three years. All-ACC kicker Chandler Catanzaro was an original walk-on, as were running back C.J. Davidson, long-snappers Michael Sobeski and Phillip Fajgenbaum, holder Corbin Jenkins, wide receivers Matt Porter and Daniel Rodriguez, and defensive backs Taylor Watson and C.J. Jones, among others.

Daniel product Adrien Dunn, freshman wide receiver, was recently honored as one of Clemson's scout team players of the year. Other walk-ons of note include quarterback Nick Schuessler of Grayson High in Loganville, Ga., who was originally a scholarship signee at Mississippi State, and wideout Seth Ryan, the son of New York Jets' head coach Rex Ryan.

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Comments » 2

tigerrob44#291802 writes:

Catanzaro was either nowhere near as good as a high school senior as he wound up being or a lot of schools missed out on one of the best placed kickers to come along in the last 10 years. He was accurate and a great clutch field goal kicker. He didn't miss but about 3 FG in his entire career. He was money in the bank when he got on the field. I do remember him missing that 27 yarder this year right in front of the goal post. I also remember the kick that beat LSU in the Peach Bowl. That split the uprights as if a plum bob was dropped to get the exact middle and his kick wasn't 3 inches off center line of splitting the uprights.

brookesdad729 writes:

in response to tigerrob44#291802:

Catanzaro was either nowhere near as good as a high school senior as he wound up being or a lot of schools missed out on one of the best placed kickers to come along in the last 10 years. He was accurate and a great clutch field goal kicker. He didn't miss but about 3 FG in his entire career. He was money in the bank when he got on the field. I do remember him missing that 27 yarder this year right in front of the goal post. I also remember the kick that beat LSU in the Peach Bowl. That split the uprights as if a plum bob was dropped to get the exact middle and his kick wasn't 3 inches off center line of splitting the uprights.

"Catman" was as accurate as they come! Pressure didn't bother him one bit! He will be very difficult to replace for sure!

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