As the saying goes, but it’s appropriate and big-time college football, “the rich keep getting richer.” And this weekend, Clemson football had a “1 – 2 punch” in recruiting, including adding arguably the best high school player in the state of Florida, that has solidified them for years to come.
That was when the Tigers got the verbal commitment Friday of Lakeland High School running back Damarkcus Bowman to spurn the Gators and come to the defending National Champion Tigers. It particularly was a stunning blow to coach Dan Mullen and a Florida program, which has traditionally had a pipeline from Lakeland to Gainesville for great players.
Alas, Bowman picking the orange and purple of Clemson instead of the orange and blue of Florida, is just another indication of how powerful coach Dabo Swinney, his staff and Clemson football have become. And the verification has been the on field results, as the Tigers have dominated the ACC the last four years, played in the College Football Playoff title game three times and won it twice (see above).
Bowman is regarded as the #2 running back in the entire country and also picked Clemson over Georgia, Alabama, LSU and Miami among others. He rushed for an astounding 2,466 yards and 36 touchdowns last season for the Dreadnaughts.
Then, Clemson followed that up Sunday afternoon by getting the number one quarterback recruit in the country for next year in California’s D.J. Uiagalelei out of Bellflower High School (North of L.A.). Checkout this hype video of Uiagalelei making the announcement to Clemson official:
DJ Uiagalelei, ESPN's No. 1-ranked pocket passer, announces he has committed to Clemson.
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) May 5, 2019
Uiagalelei ended up choosing Clemson over Oregon and he is USA Today’s 2018 High School football player of the year, as only a junior. He will likely still be behind Taylor Lawrence, who led Clemson to the title last year, as Lawrence will only be a junior in 2020 and cannot go to the NFL, by then.
The recruiting experts at 247 Sports now have Clemson rated with the number one 2020 recruiting class in the nation bettering the likes Alabama Georgia Ohio State and others. That includes two other players besides Bowman and Uiagalelei, who are also five star recruits and some of the top 50 players in the country.
Yes, Mullen has done a great job in one year of turning Florida back into respectability. And, Alabama and Georgia have also scored huge recruits themselves over the last 2-3 years.
Still, it certainly makes the Clemson Tigers look like they will be a front-runner to be a national championship contender in the years to come with what they have already got, plus these guys coming in, too.
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