Recruiting Updates from the Opening Charlotte
A number of Clemson commits, targets and future prospects were among the abundance of top talent that competed at The Opening Regional in Charlotte on Sunday.
The Clemson Insider was on hand for the camp. Here are some news and notes as it relates to the Tigers:
— As expected, Clemson five-star quarterback commit Trevor Lawrence landed one of the three Elite 11 invitations that were handed out. He was also named the camp’s QB MVP. Clemson 2018 defensive end target K.J. Henry (Clemmons, N.C.-West Forsyth) and 2019 linebacker Owen Pappoe (Loganville, Ga.-Grayson) are a couple of the 12 prospects that earned invites to The Opening Finals, which will take place this summer at the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore.
— Asked who he is recruiting for Clemson’s 2018 class, Lawrence listed a star-studded group of Jordyn Adams, Jackson Carman, Trey Hill, Justyn Ross and Jamaree Salyer. “We’ve got a chance to have one of the best classes ever,” Lawrence said, “so hopefully we can keep building that up and have a good four years while we’re there.”
— Adams told us that his commitment decision could come anytime between now and his birthday, Oct. 18. He said he will pull the trigger whenever he feels ready. Adams, of course, is considered a heavy North Carolina lean, but the Tigers continue to make him a priority at wide receiver. He named Alabama, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina and Ohio State his top five schools in April.
— One of The Opening Finals snubs was Clemson’s own Derion Kendrick, who put on an outstanding performance. The four-star receiver from Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe impressed onlookers all day with his route running, ball skills and overall athletic ability. A quiet guy off the field, Kendrick’s play on it today was anything but that.
— Clemson commits Braden Galloway and Jake Venables had planned to compete at the camp, but minor injuries kept both out of action. Galloway has a pulled hamstring, while Venables has a strained back. Both could have participated, but aren’t quite 100 percent and opted not to.
— The aforementioned Henry had plenty of positive things to say about Clemson. There is a long way to go in his recruitment, but it is clear the Tigers will be in it until the end. He is friends with Lawrence and Xavier Thomas, and knows Thomas especially well, while he also has a good relationship with Clemson’s staff. He plans to cut his top 10 schools down to five this summer, take his official visits to those schools and then make a decision during his senior season before January enrollment. We ran a story on Henry earlier and will have more on him this week.
— Sanford (N.C.) Lee County’s Jahmir Smith, one of the more impressive running backs at the event, expects Clemson running backs coach Tony Elliott to stop by his school this Thursday. He is one of a handful of running backs Elliott is looking at during the spring evaluation period for a potential offer. Smith visited Clemson for the spring game on April 8.
— The aforementioned Pappoe, one of the most coveted prospects in the 2019 class with close to 40 offers, said on Twitter last month that he would be releasing his top 10 schools in May. He planned to drop the list today, but told us that a delay with the edit he is going to post has pushed the announcement to next Sunday. Clemson will make the cut and continues to recruit Pappoe hard. Mickey Conn and Robbie Caldwell stopped by his school on Saturday.
— Perhaps the most intriguing future prospect that competed was Sanford (N.C.) Lee County 2020 defensive end Desmond Evans. The 6-foot-5, 196-pounder possesses a lengthy frame, is quick and plays with a tireless motor. He has early offers from Charlotte, East Carolina, Kentucky, North Carolina and N.C. State, with Clemson among others expressing interest. He attended the spring game last month.
We will have much more on these prospects and others throughout the week, so stay tuned to TCI.
Clemson football recruiting, Feature, Recruiting