Finishing the season 10-4 was no less than mediocre for the classy Clemson Tigers.
The Tigers faced the adverse reactions of their fans in 2007, after ending their win streak with a loss to Georgia Tech.
This was followed by losses to Virginia Tech, Boston College, and Auburn in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl later in the season. The Tigers ended with yet another winning season with Tommy Bowden.
But a simple dropped pass by Aaron Kelly ended another season without a conference championship bid.
The 2008 season now serves as one of the finest dinners in the Nation. On February 6, national recruiting day kicked off with a stunning commitment; The number-three tight end in the nation, Dwayne Allen, dropped his 4 month commitment to the Georgia Bulldogs, and announced his decision to sign with the Clemson Tigers. Allen came back to Oconee County for one last visit, liked what he saw, and decided to sign with Clemson.
Clemson also landed the second-highest recruited player on signing day; Five-star running back Jamie Harper. Harper, at 6'0" and 205 lb, runs a 4.35 40-yard dash. Ranked the number-three RB in the nation and the eleventh-overall player in Florida, Harper compiled 1200 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns, along with four receiving touchdowns.
Joining Harper in the backfield will be fellow RB Andre Ellington. Ranked sixth nationally, Ellington earned numerous awards in South Carolina, amassing 1822 rush yards and 28 touchdowns as a senior. Ellington finished his high school career with 2519 all-purpose yards.
--No. 3 TE Dwayne Allen. No. 89 in the ESPN 150. 68 catches for 1257 yards in his career. Great for a TE.
--No. 5 overall player in South Carolina. No. 36 WR Jaron Brown. Played in three state championships, winning two in the last two years. 31 catches for 516 yards and 16 TD's as a senior. Doubles as a Safety, earning 100 tackles and four interceptions in 2007
--No. 6 OT Antoine McClain.
--No. 7 OL Kenneth Page, holds 22+ state and national awards, No. 9 overall player in South Carolina
--No. 13 OL Dalton Freeman, No. 8 overall player in South Carolina. Finalist for Mr. Football in SC. Holds 15+ awards. 67 knockdowns and 37 pancakes as a senior, 16 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks.
--No. 15 OLB Tarik Rollins, No. 149 on ESPN 150
--No. 16 OL Matt Sanders
--No. 25 player in South Carolina. Kicker Spencer Benton. Kicked 22-37 field goals, 99-113 extra points in three seasons.
--No. 34 in ESPN 150, No. 4 ranked QB Kyle Parker, threw 1850 yards and 15 TD's, over 1000 rushing yard as a senior. Also playing baseball for Clemson, and could have been drafted to the MLB if he did not choose Clemson.
--Georgia Head Coach Mark Richts son Jon Richt, top 70 QB's in Nation. Holds numerous school records. Completions (181) Passing Yards (2468) Touchdowns (26)
--No. 44 on ESPN 150, No. 6 ranked RB Andre Ellington. No. 10 overall player in South Carolina.
--No. 44 OL Matt Skinner
--No. 55 WR Branden Ford. As a Senior, 76 receptions for 1702 yards, 22 TD's. Ranked third in Nation in reception yards.
--No. 70 in ESPN 150, No. 37 ranked WR Marquan Jones, 1047 yards for 15 TD's in his senior year alone. As a Junior he caught 21 TD's for 1551 yards. No. 12 player overall in South Carolina.
--No. 1 in ESPN 150, No. 1 in Everything, five-star DE Da'Quan Bowers. His high school career amassed 267 tackles, 90 for loss with 37 sacks. 97 tackles, 33 for loss, 14 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries as a senior. 2040 yards rushing his junior and senior years.
--No. 2 Punter Dawson Zimmerman, holds 74 yard punt record
--No. 24 S Carlton Lewis
--No. 27 DE Jarrett Crittenton
--No. 34 LB Jonathan Willard
--No. 38 S, No. 7 overall in South Carolina Stanley Hunter, as a senior, 102 tackles, 41 for loss, and 20 sacks. 160 tackles, 38 for loss, 16 sacks as a Junior.
--No. 39 in ESPN 150, No. 3 DT Brandon Thompson, No. 4 overall player in Georgia
--No. 40 in ESPN 150, No. 3 S Spencer Adams, 145 tackles as a senior, 101 as a junior with four interceptions.
--No. 46 S Rashard Hall
--No. 65 in ESPN 150, No. 7 ranked CB Xavier Brewer, father played for Denver Broncos, brother plays WR for San Francisco 49'ers
--No. 107 S Daniel Andrews. No. 64 overall player in Florida. 59 tackles, one sack, three tackles for loss, two interceptions, a caused a recovered fumble. 88 tackles with two interceptions as a Junior.
With only Miami brining in a more prestigious recruiting class, the 2008 season will be extremely interesting. I am looking forward to watching the Clemson Tigers shine.