Clemson has already secured the commitment of Bryan Breese, a Damascus, Md., defensive tackle who ranks as the No. 2 player in the Class of 2020 on the 247Sports Composite rankings and the No. 1 player in 247Sports‘ own rankings. Now they’ve got the No. 1 quarterback in the Class of 2020.
As expected, DJ Uiagalelei committed to Clemson on Sunday, picking the Tigers over Oregon and, bizarrely, Mount San Antonio College, where Uiagaleli’s uncles played.
The Bellflower, Calif., prospect picks Clemson despite an open depth chart at Oregon. Justin Herbert will be in the NFL by the time Uiagalelei graduates from St. John Bosco High School, but Trevor Lawrence will be entrenched as the Tigers’ junior starting quarterback.
Still, that’s a small concession for Uiagalelei to make. The reigning national champions now have Lawrence’s heir apparent, as well as a key cog in what is shaping up to be perhaps the most star-studded recruiting class of all time. Dabo Swinney‘s team already had the nation’s No. 1 class before Sunday, and now the 14-man class has piled on its fourth 5-star to its 10 4-stars. Uiagalelei will pair with Demarkcus Bowman, a 5-star and the No. 1 player in Florida, in future Clemson backfields. Recruiting experts also expect Clemson to land Columbia, S.C., defensive end Jordan Burch, the No. 5 player in 2020, along with Powder Springs, Ga., defensive end Myles Murphy, the No. 8 player in the class.
Don’t be surprised if the Tigers land Justin Flowe or Sa’vell Smalls, a pair of West Coast linebackers who stand at Nos. 3 and 4 in the 247Sports Composite rankings. (Uiagalelei is a lowly 13th nationally.)
“My faith is important to me, and the first time I went out there was in June (2018) and that’s what sold me, knowing they’re all big Christians,” Uiagalelei told ESPN. “I didn’t commit when I was out there, but that’s when I told myself that’s where I wanted to be.”
With 14 names on the board, Clemson is now nearly 20 points ahead of No. 2 LSU in the class rankings, with a player average nearly two points ahead of the purple-and-yellow striped Tigers. Clemson’s player average of 95.72 points would be a modern day record if it holds.
While Clemson has performed at a level rivaled by Alabama in the past four years — 55-4, four ACC titles, four College Football Playoff appearances, two national championships — the Tigers haven’t exactly recruited at an uber-elite level, at least in the eyes of the experts. Since 2016, the year after Clemson made its first of three (and counting) CFP title game trips under Dabo Swinney, Clemson’s recruiting classes have ranked Nos. 11, 16, 7, and 10. That’s Maybe if everything breaks right we can make the Orange Bowl level recruiting, not Keeping Nick Saban up at night level recruiting.
The question now is: What happens when Clemson’s recruiting matches up with its development?
Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott is actually underselling it above. These days, every day is a great day to be a Clemson Tiger.