The week of July 4th fireworks we hinted at earlier this week finally exploded on Friday night. And what a boom it created.
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Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson four-star defenseman Peter Woods announced his signing to Clemson. Woods had been a projection to Clemson Tigerillustrated.com.
Woods (6-2, 265), ranked 57th nationally rivals. com, selected the Tigers over stated finalists Alabama, Florida and Jackson State. UGA, Ohio State, Auburn, Texas, Oklahoma, LSU and many others also courted him.
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But the home tide has also left the team to beat, and Alabama by and large tends to get the state prospects it craves.
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Make no mistake, Woods was at the top of everyone’s wish list — making this recruiting win arguably the biggest statement yet in favor of Clemson, who still boasts the cachet many media outlets and observers claimed was after last season and in the midst lost to the changing landscape of college football.
Clemson stole five-star Alabama wide receiver Justyn Ross with the 2018 class, and that triumph is perhaps as important, if not surpassing.
Woods was publicly tied to the Tide as a foregone conclusion for most of his enlistment.
His high school’s other notable prospects — Taulia Tagovailoa and last year’s shared Clemson target, Jeremiah Alexander — have all enrolled in Alabama. Additionally, Woods is known for growing up surrounded by a Pro-Tide family as a Bama fan and visiting their campus countless times.
But when we searched for subscribers last month, Clemson has a real chance if faith and family are a priority in a recruit.
“Clemson is so family-oriented,” Woods told Tigerillustrated.com earlier this year. “Family is such a big thing. The culture around the program – you know, some people will tell you what they’re going to do when you go on these visits. Clemson, they do a really good job of showing it and just letting you see a day in the life there. This is something I think I could really like through my college experience.
Two years ago, the Tigers lured Woods and his parents to the Dabo Swinney Camp to begin their potential courtship. As we’ve written frequently, we viewed Clemson as Bama’s greatest threat to Woods in terms of culture and relationships.
death Bates played a big part in getting the Tigers into the competition. Then the lead recruiter’s torch passed to the new defensive tackles coach Nick Esonwho had already chased Woods to Auburn.
Eason’s presence breathed new life into Clemson’s chances, while Swinney was also personally heavily involved in this pursuit.
Woods headlined the Tigers’ big official visit weekend in June, and our intelligence showed that from Clemson’s perspective, the weekend couldn’t have gone better.
But a month is a long time when someone shows up with Bama’s muscles and a shadow over their shoulder.
Woods did not show up for his official visit to Florida and ended up not arranging one with Bates and Oklahoma.
Then, on the last weekend of June, Woods traveled to Tuscaloosa, but a recruitment visit with Tide trainers involved did not materialize, another telling sign.
We informed readers a few weeks ago that Bama had figured out the heightened threat that Clemson posed.
The Tigers simply needed Woods to remain determined and not change anything. It didn’t, and TigerIllustrated.com revealed Clemson’s projection for Woods this morning.
Woods becomes the 17th member of Clemson’s recruiting class, joining Odessa (TX) four-star offensive lineman Harris Sewell, Austin (TX) four-star offensive lineman Ian Reed, McDonough (Ga.) four-star offensive lineman Zechariah Owens, Rom (Ga.) Four-Star Defenseman Stephiylan Green, College Park (Ga.) Four-Star Defenseman AJ Hoffler, Alpharetta (Ga.) Four-Star Linebacker Dee Crayton, Warner Robins (Ga.) Four -Star Defenseman Vic Burley, Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian Four-Star Quarterback Christopher Vizzina, Atlanta (Ga.) St. Christopher Four-Star Corner Branden Strozier, Warminster (Pa.) Tight End Markus Dixon, Riverview ( Fla.) Sumner four-star safety Kylen Webb, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake four-star corner Avieon Terrell, Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek four-star linebacker Jamal Anderson, Rockwall (Texas) four-star receiver Noble Johnson, Wash. (DC) St. John’s College four star David Ojiegbe and Naples (Fla.) tight end Olsen Henry.
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