As the 2011 campaign comes to a close with preparation for the Orange Bowl, Clemson coaches will be as busy as ever. The end of the college football season inevitably gives way to the south's second most popular sport, college football recruiting.
Dabo Swinney and company have already put together a second straight top 10 recruiting class and are looking for the finishing touches to solidify a top five group of elite athletes.
The class of 2012 already consists of 20 commits, including impressive recruiting depth on the lines. Highly touted QB Chad Kelly, safety Travis Blanks and WR Germone Hopper in tow, coaches will look to go after big prizes and shore up areas of need.
Here's a look at the top five recruits Clemson remains on the prowl for.
DT Eddie Goldman 6'4'' 310
Clemson is by no means leading for Goldman, but they aren't out of the running completely. The Tigers still have an outside shot at a recruit that would solidify the interior defensive line for this recruiting class and is generally considered an immediate impact player.
Getting in Goldman's top seven is no easy accomplishment, considering nearly every college in the country has taken a shot at him. This pickup would be a major coup for the Tigers.
OT Nick Davidson 6'6'' 280
The class of 2012 already has good depth along the offensive line, but the coaches are looking to over sign for depth due to academic concerns. At least one offensive line recruit is in serious trouble of being unable to attend Clemson because of academics.
Nick Davidson would be a high quality signing to add depth. Clemson appears to be in his final four.
DE Jonathan Bullard 6'3'' 255
Clemson has done well in recent years at the defensive end position with players like Ricky Sapp DaQuan Bowers, and Andre Branch and the class of 2012 is no different. With two highly-rated recruits already committed, defensive end is not a position of need in this class.
Having said that, a guy with the skills Bullard has can pretty much punch his own ticket and if he wants to come to Clemson, there will always be room on the roster. Bullard is expected to announce his decision between Clemson, Carolina, and Florida next Wednesday.
(Update: Bullard has delayed his decision until early January.)
RB Mike Davis 5'10'' 190
Last week, Clemson lost out to Georgia for the services of RB Keith Marshall. Enter Mike Davis and Florida. Davis was solidly committed to Florida with the coach's word that they were done looking for running backs. Florida tried to play the field and went after Keith Marshall at the last minute.
Big mistake when Mike Davis decommitted, and they whiffed on Marshall anyway.
Now Clemson has offered Davis and is thought to be a serious contender. Clemson's greatest need remaining is at running back and have an inside track with Mike, whose older brother James was a four-year starter for the Tigers.
RB Todd Gurley 6'0'' 195
The benefits to Keith Marshall's recruitment don't end with Mike Davis. Running back Todd Gurley has narrowed his list to Clemson, Georgia, N.C. State, and UNC.
With Georgia picking up Keith Marshall, Gurley is thought to be leaning toward Clemson due to the lack of depth and opportunity for early playing time.
Gurley, coming off a 242 yard and four touchdown performance in the NC state championship would be an excellent pickup for Clemson.