Clemson may not have won the national championship, but it can still win something else before the 2020 season begins—the battle on the recruiting trail.
The Tigers lost to LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, ending their season with a 14-1 record. Now, they'll continue to look to add talented high school recruits to help them maintain their high level of success as a program.
With national signing day approaching on Feb. 5, Clemson currently has the No. 1 2020 recruiting class in the country, per the 247Sports Composite rankings. The Tigers already signed the No. 1 player (defensive tackle Bryan Bresee) and the No. 3 player (defensive end Myles Murphy) in the class during the Early Signing Period.
Clemson wasn't the only program busy during December's early signing period, as many of the top recruits in the 2020 class have already made their commitments official and are preparing to enroll at their new school. But there are also still some talented players available for schools to try to persuade.
Now that the 2019 college football season is over, here's a look a few recruits to keep an eye on as national signing day approaches.
Zachary Evans, RB, North Shore High School, Houston, Texas
It seemed Zachary Evans was going to be off the board at this point, but he was recently released from his national letter of intent by Georgia. That sends him back to the recruiting trail, and he'll still be allowed to join a different school and play immediately in 2020.
Evans will still likely be going to an SEC school, with 247Sports' Chris Hummer reporting the 5-star running back is zeroing in on LSU and Texas A&M. It would be a natural fit for him to join the Tigers, who will lose starting running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire due to graduation and don't have a running back in their 2020 recruiting class.
The No. 1 running back in the 2020 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings, Evans was named MVP of the Under Armour All-America Game earlier in January. He's the No. 14 player in the 2020 class overall.
While Evans could decide to stay close to home by signing with Texas A&M, the temptation to join LSU, the recently crowned national champions, will be too much to overcome.
Broderick Jones, OT, Lithonia High School, Lithonia, Ga.
Broderick Jones has been committed to Georgia since April 2018. He remains committed to the Bulldogs, and he's expressed his interest in playing for them. Yet, he didn't sign during the early signing period and appears to be waiting until national signing day to make it official.
In the meantime, he is continuing to take official visits to other schools. He has trips planned for Arkansas (Friday), Tennessee (Saturday) and Auburn (Jan. 31) while also taking an official visit to Georgia on Jan. 25.
Jones' visit to Arkansas will be particularly interesting because the Razorbacks' new head coach is Sam Pittman, who previously recruited him when he was the offensive line coach at Georgia. And Jones visited Auburn several times during the season, so perhaps the Tigers are still a top team in the race to land the 5-star offensive lineman.
However, none of these visits are going to change where Jones currently stands. Expect him to stay loyal to Georgia and make it official by joining the Bulldogs on national signing day.
Avantae Williams, S, Deland High School, Deland, Fla.
After being committed to Oregon for nearly a year, Avantae Williams decommitted from the Ducks on Dec. 11. Now, it appears he's most likely going to one of three schools, none of which are too far from home: Florida, Georgia and Miami.
It may come down to how his final official visits go. He's scheduled to visit Miami on Friday, which is followed by a trip to Florida on Jan. 24. He was also previously committed to the Hurricanes at one point during his recruitment, but he decommitted in May 2018.
Williams is the No. 2 safety in the 2020 class per the 247Sports Composite rankings, and he's going to quickly provide a boost to the secondary at whichever school he chooses. And at this point, it seems to be a fairly open race.
However, the 4-star recruit will decide to sign with Florida, a school known for traditionally having strong players in its secondary and is coming off a strong 2019 season.