With Chosen 25 linebacker Justin Flowe’s inclusion of Clemson in his top four schools, the Tigers have a shot at getting yet another five-star recruit in the 2020 recruiting class.
Clemson already has six players ranked five-star on the 247Sports Composite Rankings and the football season hasn’t even started yet.
Since 2002 – 247Sports Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said the site’s data up to that point was “pretty incomplete” – Georgia’s 2018 recruiting class is the only group to get seven prospects listed on as five-star recruits.
Recruiting: 5-star LB Justin Flowe releases top 4 schools
Only six programs have gotten six of them: Florida State (2002 and 2012), Florida (2003), USC (2004-2007), Alabama (2013-15, 2017), Georgia (2018) and now Clemson (2020).
With so much time left in the cycle, could Clemson get to seven? Could it eclipse that mark?
To go even broader – could Clemson’s 2020 recruiting class be the highest-rated ever?
The 247Sports site measures recruiting classes using two systems. One is a formula that weighs players’ ratings based on where they rank within the program’s recruiting class. A total of 300 points is outstanding for a class. The other is an average of player rankings on a 0-1.0000 scale, which doesn’t factor into the points formula.
As of Friday morning, Clemson had an average of 94.08 and total of 299.53.
To get both the 300 points and 94.00 benchmarks is a rare occurrence. The top team frequently reaches 300 points – there have only been three years since 2002 that haven’t had at least one program with at least 300 points – but achieving both puts a team on an exclusive list.
Only 2019 Alabama, 2018 Georgia and Ohio State and 2017 Ohio State have done that. The 2010 Florida class, which had the highest point total of any (324.62) and achieved an average of 93.99, can also be included.
“I think we’re seeing perfect storm in a sense with Clemson being able to take a full class, coming off a national championship,” Simmons said. “And staff continuity to the point where they really are hitting their stride and so there really is, the possibility that this becomes a pretty historic run.”
There’s another factor in this: Four of the five classes have come over the last three years.
Simmons thinks the amount of access to players film – no more VHS tapes! – has helped recruiting sites and collegiate programs find out more about more players.
“As we have more exposure to players and have more information at hand, we are inclined to develop some belief and conviction in players that maybe we might not have had in the past,” Simmons said.
He also thinks coaches have reached a “golden era” of recruiting. Many head coaches’ rises have corresponded with their success on the recruiting trail.
“I think that has been a coaching trait that’s valued more and more,” Simmons said. “A lot of the successful coaches that get hired are coaches with a really strong recruiting background.”
More and more resources are being thrown at recruiting, and no football program has more resources than these powerhouses who consistently dominate the cycles.
The importance placed on it combined with the increase in access, available information and number of camps stars can attend has aligned to give huge programs a benefit.
Then, recruiting classes can build upon themselves as the players communicate within.
Clemson still has an entire season to beef up its class. As of Friday morning, the Tigers had 19 commitments. The six five-star players are DT Bryan Bresee, SDE Myles Murphy, QB DJ Uiagalelei, RB Demarkcus Bowman, DT Demonte Capehart and WR Fred Davis II.
Of course, other programs can rise. Alabama has 16 four-star athletes as part of its 22-man recruiting class. The Crimson Tide, LSU and Ohio State (all with 22 commits) currently have more than 290 points.
But with Clemson at six five-star commits, it’s not unrealistic to imagine them becoming part of the great classes of the century. Maybe even the best.