Clemson Football Recruiting: Tigers' Best Signees from Last 10 Years

Zach Gilliland@@ZachGilliland93Featured ColumnistJune 6, 2014

Clemson Football Recruiting: Tigers' Best Signees from Last 10 Years

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    Credit: 247Sports

    While the Clemson Tigers are having success in the 2015 recruiting cycle, it's important to remember the top prospects who were signed and have either graduated or are still currently on the roster.

    It's very exciting when a program can land a 5-star top prospect who has been coveted by the best schools in the nation. All 13 of these guys brought excitement to Clemson fans when they pulled the trigger and committed to the Tigers.

    Before reading this, take note that this list isn't how well the prospects turned out. I looked at both Scout.com and ESPN.com and wrote down the overall ranking that was the higher of the two for each player.

    Then I put together a list that mirrored the highest-ranked players. I think some of you will be surprised at which players made it high on the list and which players came out toward the bottom.

Sammy Watkins, WR

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Hometown: Fort Myers, Florida

    Year: 2011

    Position Rank: 4

    Overall Rank: 39 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Sammy Watkins emerged on the scene as a true freshman and never looked back. He had 240 career receptions and 27 career receiving touchdowns at Clemson. He was one of the three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award last year, which goes to the nation's best receiver.

Kyle Parker, QB

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

    Year: 2008

    Position Rank: 4

    Overall Rank: 34 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Kyle Parker was a two-year starter for the Tigers. He totaled 32 career passing touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Stephone Anthony, LB

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hometown: Wadesboro, North Carolina

    Year: 2011

    Position Rank: 1

    Overall Rank: 32 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Stephone Anthony will be among the senior leaders on this year's Clemson squad and is among the top linebackers in the nation. He was third-team All-ACC last season and had a team-high 131 tackles.

Ricky Sapp, DE

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hometown: Bamberg, South Carolina

    Year: 2006

    Position Rank: 2

    Overall Rank: 31 (Scout)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Ricky Sapp had a good career at Clemson, totaling 16 sacks in his time there. He was a fifth-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles and now plays for the Houston Texans.

Tajh Boyd, QB

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hometown: Hampton, Virginia 

    Year: 2009

    Position Rank: 4

    Overall Rank: 23 (Scout)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Tajh Boyd was among the best quarterbacks in school history and threw for 107 career touchdowns. Last season, he led the Tigers to an Orange Bowl victory over Ohio State.

Deshaun Watson, QB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Hometown: Gainesville, Georgia

    Year: 2013

    Position Rank: 1

    Overall Rank: 16 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Deshaun Watson, a true freshman this fall, will likely serve as the team's second-string quarterback until Cole Stoudt graduates. There's no way of knowing yet if Watson was worth the hype, but he will certainly get his opportunity to prove his 5-star rating.

C.J. Spiller, RB

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    J. Meric/Getty Images

    Hometown: Lake Butler, Florida

    Year: 2006

    Position Rank: 4

    Overall Rank: 16 (Scout)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: C.J. Spiller was among the most popular players in school history because of the many different ways he was able to score. In his career with the Tigers, he had 32 rushing touchdowns, 11 receiving touchdowns and eight touchdowns by way of kick/punt returns.

Travis Blanks, S

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Hometown: Tallahassee, Florida

    Year: 2012

    Position Rank: 2

    Overall Rank: 15 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Travis Blanks, a rising junior, has 86 tackles and one interception in his career for Clemson. Blanks, who battled injury late in the season last year, will look to step up and become the star player he is capable of this season.

Charone Peake, WR

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    Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Hometown: Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Year: 2011

    Position Rank: 2

    Overall Rank: 14 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: It appeared as if Charone Peake wasn't going to live up to his 5-star hype, but it was evident last season versus Georgia that Chad Morris had big plans for him in the offense. After being granted a medical redshirt for last season, Peake will look to fill the shoes of Watkins and Martavis Bryant this season.

Jamie Harper, RB

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida

    Year: 2008

    Position Rank: 3

    Overall Rank: 12 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Tigers fans may view Jamie Harper as a bust ultimately, but the big-bodied back made it to the NFL, being a fourth-round selection. He was among the best running backs coming out of high school but never made a huge impact at Clemson. Harper totaled 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing in his career with the Tigers.

Tony Steward, LB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Hometown: Saint Augustine, Florida

    Year: 2011

    Position Rank: 1

    Overall Rank: 9 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Things haven't went as planned so far for Tony Steward due to injury. The former 5-star is listed as a starting linebacker for his upcoming senior season. Steward had 37 tackles in 2013 and has been a solid special teams player for the Tigers.

Mackensie Alexander, CB

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Hometown: Immokalee, Florida

    Year: 2013

    Position Rank: 2

    Overall Rank: 4 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Mackensie Alexander, the highly touted cornerback, redshirted in his first year and will be a freshman again this fall. He is listed as the starter at one of the cornerback positions going into summer practices.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Hometown: Bamberg, South Carolina

    Year: 2008

    Position Rank: 1

    Overall Rank: 1 (ESPN)

    How He Worked Out for the Tigers: Da'Quan Bowers had a great career at Clemson and was among the top players in college football his junior season. Bowers ended his time at Clemson with 19.5 sacks. He won both the Nagurski and Hendricks awards in 2010.