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Old 08-16-2021, 07:35 PM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default The Insider Report

It is time for this week's edition of The Insider Report.

We hope everyone had a great weekend. We are just less than three weeks away from the biggest game of the season.

Latest on Five-star Travis Shaw

A longtime priority Clemson target is set to announce his commitment this coming weekend. Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley five-star defensive tackle Travis Shaw will reveal his college decision on Saturday.

Clemson, Georgia and North Carolina have been the top contenders for Shaw, who took official visits to UNC and UGA in June and visited Clemson for the Elite Retreat that month as well. Clemson got Shaw back on campus for the All In Cookout in late July before he headed back to UNC for its cookout the same week.

This has primarily been a fight between the Tigers and Tar Heels, and both teams have been recruiting him hard. Shaw keeps his recruitment close to the vest and rarely conducts interviews that aren’t in-person, but UNC has been trending with him of late and he has family that favors the local school.

While Dabo Swinney and the Tigers can never be discounted, if today was Shaw’s commitment date, we believe UNC would be the choice based on what we have gathered. Right now our forecast for this weekend is not sunny.

Five-star M'Pemba Update

TCI checked back in with the nation’s top-ranked athlete in the 2023 class, five-star Samuel M’Pemba, to get the latest on his recruitment and where Clemson currently stands.

M’Pemba is back at IMG Academy after spending the summer with family in Africa. He wasn’t able to make summer visits since he’s been out of the states but is planning to check out some schools during the season. Schools such as Alabama, Florida, Washington, Miami, Notre Dame, Georgia, Florida State, Southern Cal and Arizona State have been on his mind for potential gameday visits this fall.

Clemson is another school that M’Pemba told us he is still looking to visit this season as well. “I want to come down and see how the love is down there,” he said.

M’Pemba has been in contact with defensive coordinator Brent Venables in the past and believes the Tigers like him best on defense. The 6-foot-4, 230-pounder rising junior could end up lining up on either side of the ball at the next level at defensive end, outside linebacker, tight end or receiver.

Clemson has yet to offer M’Pemba, who understands how patient the Tigers are in the recruiting process and how selective they are with their offers. Although he has not had a chance to meet Clemson’s staff in person, the coaches have made a great impression on him from afar and he told us Clemson would be “one of the top contenders” in his recruitment with an offer.

M'Pemba is ranked as the No. 1 athlete and No. 14 overall prospect in the 2023 class per the 247Sports Composite.

Peyton Woodyard Update

One top prospect in the 2024 class for Clemson fans to keep an eye on is Peyton Woodyard, who hails from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), the same school that DJ Uiagalelei and Beaux Collins hail from.

Clemson of course doesn’t offer rising sophomores like Woodyard but he is certainly a future offer candidate for the Tigers. He has already collected more than a dozen offers including Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Southern Cal among others.

Woodyard is labeled as a safety but plays all over the secondary for St. John Bosco, and Clemson’s staff was able to watch him work out at cornerback and slot corner when he was on campus for the Swinney Camp in June. The Tigers like his size (6-2, 188) and speed and have told him he would have an offer from them already if he wasn’t a rising sophomore.

Woodyard also visited Alabama, Southern Cal, UCLA, Notre Dame and Ohio State this summer. He hopes to get back to Clemson next year, probably in the spring or summer.

The Tigers would be a major factor in Woodyard’s recruitment if they extend an offer later in the process. “I can see Clemson and Dabo playing a big role in my recruitment process,” he told us.

Four-star OL Update

Come Sept. 1, college coaches can begin directly contacting 2023 prospects in the junior class.

Orlando (Fla.) Dr. Phillips four-star offensive lineman Payton Kirkland believes an offer from Clemson may be coming his way, based on what he has heard from offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.

“Coach Caldwell told me to look for it September 1st, we got something for you,” he told TCI.

Caldwell has been Kirkland’s primary recruiter for the Tigers.

“It means a lot,” Kirkland said regarding Clemson’s patient recruiting approach. “The majority of programs offer you because someone else offers you, but I really like that they’ve been taking the time over these past -- it’s been over two years that I’ve been in contact with Clemson -- I feel like it’s finally about to take it to the next level pretty soon.”

Kirkland (6-5, 330) is ranked as the No. 9 offensive tackle in the country and the No. 123 overall prospect regardless of position in the 2023 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Coach Dishes on Top 50 In-state Prospect

Clemson is high on this Class of 2023 in-state defensive lineman, according to his defensive coordinator and position coach, Joey Hendrix, who recently caught up with TCI.

Camden (S.C.) High School four-star Xzavier McLeod is ranked as the No. 11 defensive linemen in the nation and the No. 47 overall prospect regardless of position in the 2023 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.

McLeod (6-4, 300) is also the No. 1 prospect in the Palmetto State.

“We went to camp there and the coaches at the camp there really liked what they saw,” Hendrix said. “They put him through some workouts and they talked to him about some things he could improve on and things that he does well...They liked what they saw.”

Hendrix knows that the one thing about Clemson is “they get to choose who they want.”

He reiterated that Clemson’s coaching staff was very impressed with what they saw out of McLeod, while he was on campus earlier this summer, but that the Tigers can also be selective and likely hand-pick which defensive linemen they want in the 2023 class.

“They gave him feedback and they told him that they want to see what he does after this year,” Hendrix said. “They want to see how he develops from, not just the raw talent that he is, but how he takes to the coaching.”

Hendrix added that he believes Clemson wants to also see how McLeod develops from a pass-rushing standpoint.

Please do not copy or paste this information to any other media outlets. As you know TCI is Free so if you know someone that wants the information simply send them to The Rock.
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Old 08-16-2021, 08:13 PM
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reynolds reynolds is offline
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Default Re: The Insider Report

Good Stuff Robert.
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