1. The dog days of the summer are indeed here.
These are the days when Clemson tends to get some dogs – or really good prospects, as those of us too old to use such hip recruiting lingo should say.
The Dabo Swinney Camp used to mark the culmination of the Tigers’ summer recruiting efforts. But with the advent of the “All-In Cookout” in mid-July, the stretch of forthcoming weeks has shown the propensity to bring juicier fruit.
We recently published the list of camp commitments the last few years, and it wasn’t exactly an inspiring list.
Here’s the counter:
This is the breakdown of Clemson commitments by month since 2010, excluding the prospects who eventually decommitted:
The start of the calendar year is heavy because beyond closing the current class, that’s when Clemson usually scores a couple of early commitments to be the foundation for its next class.
The June numbers account for a bunch of camp commitments early in Swinney’s tenure.
Yet check out the quality of prospect the Tigers have netted at summer’s end the last three years.
Five-star receiver Tee Higgins pledged in early July last summer, while five-star corner A.J. Terrell and four-star defensive end Jordan Williams went public in August after attending the Cookout.
The year before, five-star linebacker Tre Lamar surprised everyone by popping at the Cookout. Four-star end Xavier Kelly announced a week later, and four-star defensive tackle Nyles Pinckney finally pulled the trigger in August.
In 2014, four-star end Austin Bryant made the call after the Cookout, and five-star receiver Ray-Ray McCloud held his televised decision in late July.
Clemson is involved with many more blue-chippers this class who could carry their decisions till the winter or even National Signing Day.
But there’s pretty strong precedent suggesting the Tigers have at least one more stud acquisition in them this summer.
2. As the aforementioned figures indicate, June isn’t too shabby a recruiting month either. And Clemson presumably capped it with its third Rivals100 acquisition this class.
Norcross (Ga.) Greater Atlanta Christian four-star defensive back Kyler McMichael announced his commitment Friday morning.
McMichael (6-1, 195), ranked No. 72 nationally by Rivals.com, legitimately picked the Tigers over Alabama, Georgia, Florida State, Tennessee and Auburn.
Many prospects create suspense for their decisions with subterfuge of varying degree to the media as well as their suitors. McMichael had his contenders guessing as much by silence and poker face.
Tennessee started off strong in his recruitment. Georgia felt it made a charge late. Alabama doesn’t lose out on many targets it wants as press corners.
We first saw McMichael at the Rivals Camp Series competition in Atlanta in April 2016, as initial offers had just trickled in from Virginia Tech, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Our information last summer indicated McMichael wanted a Clemson offer. He was supposed to make it for the Swinney Camp for further evaluation but did not.
Florida, Georgia and Tennessee were thought to be the frontrunners as his junior season approached its close.
Clemson had a contingency at the Georgia state championships – see five-star Trevor Lawrence – and signed off on its offer after his team’s 3A title defeat.
He subsequently went to the Tigers’ elite junior day in late January – one of four defensive backs in attendance – and then snuck in late for the spring game in April.
It’s obviously easy to say after the fact, but McMichael has always come across as a fit for the personality and character Clemson tends to appeal to.
We believe the needle had moved decidedly in the Tigers’ direction around that time, and his myriad of visits elsewhere this month were just to affirm he was ready to end his recruitment.
3. One final decision does linger on this month’s docket.
Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland County five-star running back Zamir White is set to declare his destination Tuesday evening in a ceremony at his school.