National Signing Day 2011: Come to Clemson If You Want to Pass Rush on Sundays

Colby LanhamCorrespondent IJanuary 28, 2011

Daquan Bowers is a first round draft pick, one of several excellent defensive linemen that Clemson consistently sends to the NFL.
Daquan Bowers is a first round draft pick, one of several excellent defensive linemen that Clemson consistently sends to the NFL.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The last week leading up to National Signing Day has been a pretty active one, as teams scramble to pick up those last few players that are still up for grabs, while simultaneously holding on to their own commitments and even grabbing the attention of another school's commitments for their 2011 recruiting classes.

The same can be said for the Clemson football program, which currently possesses one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and his staff have excelled at recruiting the last few years and have hit other teams hard in the offseason by picking up top-tier recruits on offense and defense.

Clemson's 2011 recruiting has seen some interesting changes unfold in its commitments, the most recent of which has been the recent decommittment of highly-touted defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan, who is now a hot commodity on the open market for a couple of SEC teams.

Defensive end Ray Drew's interest in Georgia over Clemson also raises plenty of questions from all who bleed Clemson orange. Jadeveon Clowney is also still trying to decide where he will begin his collegiate career.

These defensive ends should ask one question:

Would you like to get drafted high by the big boys to make millions on Sundays to crush quarterbacks?

Then come to Clemson University.

There's an established track record of high-level defensive ends and defensive linemen at Clemson, including the crushing, dominating forces of William "Refrigerator" Perry and Michael Dean Perry in the late 1980s. Both were high first and second round draft picks, respectively, and the last name "Perry" has been known ever since in the NFL.

Go back four years to the 2007 draft, when Gaines Adams, the First-Team All American defensive end, was drafted fourth overall. He engraved his name in Clemson football history, surpassing the great sack machines Michael Dean Perry and William Perry.

In 2010, defensive end Ricky Sapp was drafted by the Eagles after a standout career at Clemson. The Eagles loved his pass rushing ability, and now he plays with the big boys on Sundays.

Fast-forward to the present, and now the disruptive force known as Da'Quan Bowers has entered the 2011 draft as the No. 2 prospect overall and is a sure-fire first round draft pick on all levels. He leaves Clemson in three years as the best defensive end in the nation.

Clemson has a knack for developing the most talented, top-tier defensive linemen, and they have a history of succeeding in the NFL. Bowers is living proof; he was the No. 1 prospect in the nation coming out of high school, and he chose Clemson.

Now, defensive coordinator Kevin Steele runs a system perfect for pass rushers like Clowney, Drew and Pagan. Steele is a proven coordinator at molding defensive linemen into top-tier players that get drafted into the NFL. In an aggressive system like Steele's, if you can rush the passer, two things will happen: You will play, and you will gain the capability to play on Sunday. Clemson's defense is among the best in the nation.

History has ways of repeating itself, and it has done so with the Perry Brothers, Gaines Adams and now Da'Quan Bowers. It's only taken four years for Clemson to produce yet another first round pick defensive end.

Do Drew, Clowney or Pagan want to play on Sunday in four years? Come to Clemson University.