Although signing day is still months away, no college football program owns a hotter recruiting streak than Clemson.
Since the beginning of April, Dabo Swinney's staff has landed commitments from a quartet of 5-star prospects and one of the highest-rated 4-stars in the 2020 class. The Tigers have surged atop the rankings for the cycle, and they're not finished.
The evidence points to continued excellence in the near future. Several other 5-stars and top-ranked 4-stars hold offers from the ACC powerhouse and have Clemson atop their interest lists.
This could be the best recruiting class ever. And that's not hyperbole.
Urban Meyer currently owns the title, no matter which way you measure it. His 28-man 2010 class at Florida garnered a total score of 324.62, per the 247Sports composite rankings. On a per-player basis, the 2017 Ohio State haul stands atop the record books.
Thanks to this recent surge, Clemson is poised to challenge the latter.
Over a 28-day span from April 8 to May 5, the Tigers averaged one 5-star pledge per week―a pretty decent rate. Cornerback Fred Davis II kicked off the streak, followed by defensive lineman Bryan Bresee, running back Demarkcus Bowman and quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. Clemson also added RJ Mickens―the No. 1 safety in this cycle―two days before Davis' commitment.
As if that isn't impressive enough, a trio of top-10 talents reportedly have Clemson in their group of finalists.
Ranked fifth nationally, defensive end Jordan Burch is trending toward the Tigers. Wide receiver Julian Fleming, the No. 6 prospect, placed Clemson in his final six. Finally, Myles Murphy is scheduled to reveal his college choice May 17. As of this writing, all 13 predictions on 247Sports expect the No. 8 overall defensive end to pick Clemson.
According to the 247Sports class calculator, landing that trio would vault Clemson past a total score of 300. But even if only Burch and Murphy commit, the Tigers will remain in great position to make a run at 2017 Ohio State.
Clemson has a limited number of spots for this cycle because it took 29 players in 2019. Early indications are the Tigers have 20 to 22 scholarships available, and they'll fall short of 2010 Florida because of that lower volume.
Landing two 5-stars is essential to chasing down 2017 Ohio State.
The necessary asterisk is that the following information is based on the latest reports, and recruiting news changes every day. These are 17- and 18-year-olds who are being bombarded with praise and attention and opportunities to travel all over the country. Today's perception may be irrelevant next month.
At this moment, though, Clemson sits in a favorable position with running back Kobe Pryor, wide receiver E.J. Williams and safety Tyler Venables―the son of defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Those pledges would change the average prospect rating to .9501.
The final touches on the class hold the intrigue. Swinney and Co. would likely be eyeing some combination of a tight end, wide receiver and linebacker for the closing spots.
If the Tigers grab Fleming, he'll secure the record. If they land wideout Xzavier Henderson, it'll be a cozy finish.
Clemson is thin on top-rated targets at tight end―Diego LaMonica, ranked No. 1,307 nationally, is emerging as a top option―so a senior-year rating bump may provide the difference between surpassing Ohio State and falling short.
That applies to the entire class.
Each of the major recruiting services will tweak rankings after summer camps and again following the fall season. Some of these pledges will rise, while others may fall. Given that nobody has decommitted from Clemson since 2016―yes, for real―there shouldn't be much movement outside of adding to the group.
Provided the Tigers land two 5-stars, the most important changes will otherwise happen within the current commits. Earning a boost to their ratings can seal Clemson's place in history.
While high recruiting rankings are the best indicator of success, nothing is guaranteed. That should be understood in 2019.
Regardless of the result―whether the 2020 class tops Ohio State or not―the main takeaway is clear: Clemson has never recruited this effectively. After the Tigers' two national titles in the last three years, that should terrify the rest of college football.