With the college spring evaluation period having concluded, Clemson247 and TheBigSpur present our tag-team list of the state’s best 30 prospects, putting them in order of where they averaged on our separate rankings.
We’ll be releasing them in installments of five throughout the week.
Today, we release Nos. 6-10:
10. Shaq Lawson
6-2, 240, Daniel H.S. (Central)
Position: Defensive end
Claimed offers: Clemson (committed), Tennessee, Maryland, N.C. State
Low: “Lawson is a lot like the other defensive linemen in the state. He will probably stay at defensive end but he could grow into a tackle. The thing to like here is his athleticism. He is a basketball player and shows that athleticism on the court. Lawson is still very raw though. He will need a few years to develop. I watched him during a one-on-one session not long ago and he was overmatched by Ryan Raley.”
Strelow’s take: “Lawson has largely flown under the radar because he’s been a Clemson lock for so long. He lacks the measurables to be a four-star type, but there’s a lot to like here. He’s athletic and agile – as evidenced by his hoops prowess – and just starting to harness his football abilities. But he’s more prospect than player at this point. He turns it on under the Friday night lights, but he needs to improve his practice work ethic and overall competitive drive.”
6-1, 205, Fox Creek (North Augusta)
Position: Safety, athlete
Claimed offers: Clemson, Florida, USC, Miami, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Arkansas
Fairfield Central corner Devontre Parnell is worthy of more significant offers than he currently carries, in our estimation.
Strelow: “Of all the potential convert-to-safety types in this instate class – Cordrea Tankersley, Ronald Geohaghan, maybe Jabril Solomon and T.J. Burrell – I think Williams has fewer question marks in terms of whether he athletically fits the mold. He’s very fluid, changes directions well and is just a sleek athlete. How he’s used against inferior 1A competition probably will not have prepared him to make an immediate impact at the position. But I think there’s less risk that his deficiencies will inhibit his ceiling or development.”
Low: “Williams is a prospect that has really seen his stock rise in my eyes. He plays quarterback and safety, though 15 yards off the line of scrimmage, for his team. I think he will definitely be a safety on the next level. He could even play some outside linebacker. I like the way he is built and I think that will transition to him being a physical player on the next level. I also think he is athletic enough to be fine in coverage responsibilities.”
5-11, 170, Fairfield Central H.S. (Winnsboro)
Claimed offers: Kentucky, N.C. State, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Illinois, ECU
Strelow: “Look, no one has stood up on the table longer and stomped their feet harder for Parnell than me and Josh. He may owe us royalties before this is over. In fact, I have him even higher in my rankings. That neither instate school has offered surely has hurt his regional profile, although both cases appear to be a matter of the schools preferring bigger corners. Clemson specifically has landed Top247 prospect Travis Blanks and is in the lead group for several others rated higher on its and our board. But someone is in line to get a steal. Parnell owns certified speed, is a playmaker and has impressed with his competitiveness and coverage skills at several camps.”
Low: “It is easy to see why Parnell is the state’s top corner. He is pure cover corner and there are not many of these anymore. He has good size. He has good speed. His ball skills are great. He is even a playmaker on special teams. He has everything you look for in a corner. If more schools were to watch this kid workout, then I think his offer list would double just like that.”
6-3, 180, Gaffney H.S.
Claimed offers: USC, Clemson, N.C. State, Wake Forest
Low: “Davis is not a flashy player. He is not going to do anything spectacular. But he will produce night in and night out. That is what I like most about this kid. He plays good competition and still puts up the numbers every game. To put it simple, he just gets the job done. Once he gets into college he is going to need to put on some weight. I would also like to see him so some more things after the catch.”
Strelow: “You thought we differed most on Patrick DeStefano. I’d say our biggest conflict might be with Davis. Several kids have been referred to as more prospects than players. Davis is the opposite. Plucks everything out of the air. Routinely delivers stellar performances in big games. Good route-runner. A contact who has closely monitored both calls Davis more advanced than Sidney Rice at this stage. One out-of-state ACC assistant considers him the best of the South Carolina receiver bunch, pointing to his production coming against superior competition to that of the others. Agree with most all of that. There’s something to be said for delivering on the big stage when the bull’s-eye is constantly on you. But I do have a question about his upside. Does he have the athleticism to separate from college corners and be more than a possession guy? To be fair, that can be of great value (see Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins). Yet odds favor that translating to a kid being just a guy a lot more often than being a difference-maker. Thus my reservations.”
6-1, 195, Silver Bluff H.S. (Aiken)
Position: Safety, athlete
Claimed offers: Clemson (committed), USC, Miami
“Strelow: “I refer to my comments about Geohaghan – Tankersley is a lot of elbows and legs flying around. There was sentiment Tankersley can play receiver or corner, but I think he’s firmly a safety. Actually, he should be classified as an intriguing athlete who blends superlative size, speed and range, but not quite the skill sets or flexibility to immediately thrive at those aforementioned positions. Combine that with his inherent physicality, and he’s one of the more toolsy prospects in the state, to steal baseball lingo.”
Low: “At first, Tankersley was just a great athlete that played quarterback in my eyes. Then I was able to watch him work out at safety in two different events and he was impressive. His speed is great. He is still a bit raw in his coverage abilities but I see that getting fixed pretty easy. He is able to change directions pretty well. He is also a pretty physical player. Nice pickup for the Tigers and I think he will be their future starting free safety.”
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