Clemson Football Recruiting: Five Players to Watch in High School All-Star Games

Greg WallaceFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2013

Clemson Football Recruiting: Five Players to Watch in High School All-Star Games

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    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and his staff will be paying attention to high school all-star games while they prepare for the Orange Bowl this week.
    Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and his staff will be paying attention to high school all-star games while they prepare for the Orange Bowl this week.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Clemson, ranked No. 12, is in South Florida making final preparations for Jan. 3’s Orange Bowl showdown with No. 7 Ohio State, but that isn’t the only bowl game that Tiger fans should be paying attention to.

    Elite recruits across the nation are taking part in high school all-star games, which serve as talent showcases and a final opportunity for players to show their skills in front of fans and college coaches recruiting them.

    The best two games are the Under Armour All-America Game and the U.S. Army All-America Bowl. The Under Armour game is set for Jan. 2 and the Army game for Jan. 4. Players with Clemson recruiting ties are involved in both games. Here’s a look at the Clemson commitments and targets involved, and why you should pay attention.

QB DeShaun Watson

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    Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson is a cornerstone of the Tigers' 2014 class.
    Clemson commitment Deshaun Watson is a cornerstone of the Tigers' 2014 class.Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

    QB DeShaun Watson, 6’3”, 200 pounds, Gainesville HS, Gainesville, Ga.

     

    Game: Under Armour All-America Game

    Watson was Clemson’s first 2014 commitment, pledging to the Tigers on national signing day 2012. He is the highest-rated member of Clemson’s class, rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and No. 45 overall recruit.

    He enjoyed a stellar senior season, leading Gainesville to the Georgia AAAAA semifinals before falling to Tucker. He passed for 4,431 yards with 57 touchdowns and five interceptions, adding 1,057 rushing yards and 14 rushing scores.

    Watson is a polished product who can pass or run with ease. Clemson senior Tajh Boyd has said that he sees Watson as a younger version of himself.

    Watson already calls and changes his own plays at the line of scrimmage and has an accurate arm with a fast release.

    He'll enroll in Clemson in January and will go through spring practice with the Tigers, taking part in a three-way battle against rising senior Cole Stoudt and rising sophomore Chad Kelly to replace Boyd.

    Though he was selected, he will not play in the Under Armour game due to a sprained medial collateral ligament. The injury will not require surgery, just 4-6 weeks of rest and rehab.

DE Lorenzo Featherston

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    Defensive end recruit Lorenzo Featherston would be an impressive addition to Clemson's defensive line.
    Defensive end recruit Lorenzo Featherston would be an impressive addition to Clemson's defensive line.247Sports

    DE Lorenzo Featherston, 6’7”, 270 pounds, Page H.S., Greensboro, N.C.

     

    Game: Under Armour All-America Game

    Clemson has a need for defensive end depth. Breakout star Vic Beasley, a junior, is considering a jump to the NFL as a potential first-round pick, and Corey Crawford and Tavaris Barnes are rising seniors. That leaves freshman All-American selection Shaq Lawson, redshirting freshman Ebenezer Ogundeko and room for another.

    Featherston would be an excellent fit in the Tigers’ pass rush rotation. He has a solid build, long arms and a large wingspan, which gives him great tools to rush any passer.

    He is considering Clemson, Florida and Florida State.

WR Artavis Scott

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    Wide receiver Artavis Scott has excellent playmaking potential.
    Wide receiver Artavis Scott has excellent playmaking potential.247Sports

    WR Artavis Scott, 5’10”, 175 pounds, East Lake H.S., Tarpon Springs, Fla.

     

    Game: U.S. Army All-America Bowl

    Scott has already signed his financial aid agreement with Clemson and will enroll in January, going through spring practice with his new teammates. He’ll get a chance to impact what could be a depleted wide receiver corps with juniors Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant pondering NFL jumps; fellow junior Charone Peake will unlikely be ready to return from an ACL tear that prematurely ended his 2013 season.

    As a senior, Scott had 37 receptions for 542 yards and five touchdowns, and 64 receptions for 995 yards and 10 scores as a junior. He is rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 10 wide receiver prospect.

    Scott is a threat to score at any moment and possesses excellent speed, working as an outside or slot receiver. He has issues with consistency but is known for making big plays. Scott could also play collegiately as a cornerback, but figures as a wide receiver at Clemson.

    He’ll have a chance to make a few more jaw-dropping plays in the Army All-America game.

WR Demarre Kitt

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    Demarre Kitt has the potential for early action as a Clemson wide receiver.
    Demarre Kitt has the potential for early action as a Clemson wide receiver.247Sports

    WR Demarre Kitt, 6’1”, 182 pounds, Sandy Creek H.S., Tyrone, Ga.

     

    Game: U.S. Army All-America Bowl

    Like Scott, Kitt has already signed his Clemson financial aid papers and will enroll in January to go through spring practice. He had a solid senior season with 861 yards and seven scores in a run-first offense. As a junior, he had 1,151 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 26 wide receiver prospect.

    Kitt is a versatile pass-catcher who is a threat deep but can also turn a short gain into a big play, much like Sammy Watkins. That makes him an excellent fit for Chad Morris’ hurry-up, no-huddle offense, which uses multiple screens, short passes and bubble screens at or near the line of scrimmage.

    He has an excellent frame and can catch passes over the middle. Kitt is also a polished route-runner and a good blocker, which should help him see the field early in Morris’ system. He’ll have one more chance to show off his skills alongside Scott in the Army All-American game.

LB Korie Rogers

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    Korie Rogers has the potential to play early for Clemson's defense.
    Korie Rogers has the potential to play early for Clemson's defense.247Sports

    LB Korie Rogers, 6’1”, 210 pounds, Buford H.S., Buford, Ga.

     

    Game: U.S. Army All-America Bowl

    Rogers, rated by 247Sports as the nation’s No. 9 outside linebacker prospect, has a chance to make a real impact in his final high school game.

    He is an aggressive player who is always around the football. He's a smart, disciplined player who plays best going north to south as opposed to sideline to sideline.

    Rogers is an excellent tackler who knows how to wrap up, get his man to the ground quickly and hits hard. He projects as a middle or “Sam” (strongside) linebacker at Clemson. With seniors Quandon Christian and Spencer Shuey playing their final collegiate games and junior middle linebacker Stephone Anthony pondering an NFL jump, there will be opportunity for early playing time on the Tigers’ defense.

    This will be a chance for Rogers to show coaches and fans what he can do.