Clemson’s class just keeps on getting better. On Thursday the Tigers picked up their 17th verbal commitment, from South Fort Myers safety Jayron Kearse. The 6’4’’ 200lb Kearse is technically being listed by some services as an athlete, but most schools are projecting him at safety. Kearse is a tremendous football player that can help a team in many ways. Kearse has the size, speed and skill set to be able to play wide receiver or safety for the Tigers. The standout safety has indicated that early playing time and a comfort level with the coaching staff were very important to him in deciding where to live and play for the next couple of years.
The 2013 class that is being assembled at Clemson is solid at worst. The class is headlined by all world defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, and the staff is trying to use that to their advantage. Their selling point is simple- if the best player in the country thinks Clemson is a good enough for him, it should be good enough for everyone else as well. Dorian O’Daniel is a fantastic outside linebacker from Maryland that could contribute early. Wide receivers Demarcus Robinson and Mike Williams are big and athletic targets for Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd. Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman are both thick running backs that can carry a load. At 6’6’’ 220lbs, Jordan Leggett fits the trendy model of tight ends these days that are emphasizing the basketball player bodies, and has the playmaking skills to match.
Kearse became the first safety commit for the Tigers, and only the third defensive back. The other two are cornerbacks David Kamara and Jadar Johnson, who are solid, but not considered standouts. This makes the pickup of Kearse invaluable to the Tigers. While Kearse has said this will end his recruitment and he won’t change his mind, it’s hard not to be somewhat skeptical that there’s a chance he could go somewhere else. After all, this is the same player who was committed to Auburn in late 2011, Miami in early 2012, and now Clemson in August. We are still months away before he will sign, and most schools aren’t going to just throw in the towel on such a talented prospect.
This collection of talent is becoming more common with Clemson. Ever since Dabo Swinney has taken command of the program, a new life has overcome the consistent level of mediocrity the program assumed towards the end of Tommy Bowden’s tenure. This was apparent with the class of 2011 that featured linebackers Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony, running back Mike Bellamy and receiver Sammy Watkins. That class was easily top 5 in the country, unheard of for Clemson. The program finally broke through last season with a berth to a BCS bowl, even though they suffered one of the worst losses in school history in that game.