Even though it would seem like the SEC should have an advantage when it comes to recruiting 5-star defensive tackle and 247Sports No. 2 overall prospect Montravius Adams, I wouldn't count out the Clemson Tigers just yet.
It's no secret that the SEC tends to draw the biggest, fastest, strongest, and overall most elite college football prospects in the nation. The chance to play on the most electric stage in college football can be hard to pass up.
That and the elite competition, national spotlight, path to the NFL, and inside track to the National Championship.
It would seem, then, that for the most part, the Auburn Tigers should feel pretty good about being on top of Adams' interest list, according to 247Sports. Likewise, Alabama and Georgia should be feeling pretty confident with being three and four, respectively.
Clemson, Adams' No. 2 team, is in the far weaker ACC conference and just lost a huge in-conference game to the powerful Florida State Seminoles with Adams in attendance. It would seem as if this would give the SEC advantage.
Often times in life, though, things aren't as they seem.
Adams had some great things to say about Clemson after his visit to FSU to watch the Seminoles take on the Tigers, according to quotes via Ryan Bartow of TigerIllustrated.com:
"They are very family based," Adams said. "You can believe anything they say. They are going to be great in the future."
There is little doubt that Dabo Swinney and the Tigers will build something special at Clemson if they keep up the recruiting pace, and right now it all hinges on No. 1 overall prospect, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
He's the centerpiece of their class and will be a star of their team moving forward, and if Swinney can keep him committed to the Tigers, his presence alone will be able to draw in more elite prospects in the future.
According to Bartow's report, Nkemdiche does have a small impact in Adams' decision making process:
Clemson offered Adams first in the spring of 2011, over six months before anyone else. The Tigers already own a verbal commitment from the top recruit in Georgia, 5-star defensive end Robert Nkemdiche.
"We would be really good if we played together," Adams said. "That has a little bit of an influence on me but it really doesn't matter. We could help each other and we'd work well together. I wouldn't mind that."
This is the advantage Clemson holds over the SEC: The best recruit in the country.
While the SEC can offer a lot, nobody in the conference can offer the chance to play next to Nkemdiche. Right now, nobody else in the country can offer that.
As a defensive lineman, Adams knows how important having a solid rush off the edge is to his production. With Nkemdiche next to him on the line, the pocket will undoubtedly collapse or push up more often than not, and that will make life easier for Adams. Consequently, Adams' presence inside will make life easier for Nkemdiche. They would be a stellar one-two punch, and Clemson's defensive line would be the talk of the college football world for as long as the two 5-stars played together.
The SEC just can't offer that exact scenario unless Nkemdiche flips—mind you, i've been very vocal about that possibility—so until that happens, if it ever does, Clemson still has a huge recruiting point when it comes to bringing in Adams.
SEC schools don't have much to fear in terms of recruiting, but Alabama, Georgia, and especially Auburn should be very fearful that Clemson will use their trump card of Nkemdiche to get the talented 5-star tackle to commit to them.
Things aren't always as they seem, and right now, the deck is stacked in Clemson's favor.