Clemson Football: Why Clemson's Recruiting Class Puts Them Back Into ACC Race

Colby Lanham@Colby1226Correspondent IJanuary 7, 2011

Dabo's recruting class is among the best in the nation
Dabo's recruting class is among the best in the nationStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

For the past two weeks, the offseason for the Clemson Tigers have been quite busy as of late, with the biggest news being the terminations of offensive coordinator Billy Napier and running backs/special teams coach Andre Powell.

The departure of defensive line coach Chris Rumph to Alabama has left Dabo three vacant spots on the coaching staff to fill.

With all of the coaching staff flurries, teams have jumped to contact commitments of Clemson's 2011 recruiting class in attempts to hopefully change their minds and get the recruits to join their teams. Fans may not be aware, but other coaches know what Clemson's current recruiting class is capable of: this class is capable of vaulting Clemson back into the upper echelon of the ACC.

How can this class put Clemson back on top?

First off, Clemson's 2011 class is ranked among the top 10 in the nation. The class contains some of the most talented prospects in the nation.

Clemson sorely lacked at offensive skill positions, such as wide receiver and running back. They addressed wide receiver by obtaining some of the best wide receivers in the nation in Charone Peake out of South Carolina, Sammy Watkins out of Florida, the addition of Martavis Bryant in the spring and two other modest prospects in Adam Humphries and Stanton Secklinger.

Clemson also nabbed five and four prospect running backs in Mike Bellamy and Marlin Lane, respectively. These two will likely have an immediate impact and make moves for the third- and even second-string running back spots behind Andre Ellington.

What Clemson lacked on offense besides an inconsistent quarterback was lack of a deep threat at wide receiver and a reliable slot receiver. The additions of three immediate contributors in Bryant, Watkins and Peake no longer make this position a liability, but an asset.

The 2011 class has tremendous potential and upside for Clemson for the 2011 season and beyond. This is Dabo's opportunity to claim control of the Atlantic once again, and he can do so with the help of this year's recruiting class