CLEMSON, S.C. – In less than two weeks, college football programs across the nation will trumpet their 2014 recruiting classes.
Every head coach will say receiving signed national letters of intent is like opening presents on Christmas morning, and they’ll all say that the class was the best they’ve ever signed and that it met all of their needs.
Truth is, a class is impossible to judge properly on national signing day. It takes several years of development and reflection to figure out which players turn into program stalwarts and future NFL stars and which 5-star talents flame out before making a significant impact.
Clemson is no different. Over the last 17 years, the Tigers have signed their share of talented prospects who never made an impact as well as less-heralded players who turned into key performers.
Here is a look at the Tigers’ top five recruiting classes of the BCS era, with room for reflection and comparison built in. They’re ranked in descending order, from No. 5 to No.1.