on July 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Only two from Clemson signing class not on campus

With the exception of two athletes – Jarrett Crittendon and Xavier Brewer – just about all of Clemson’s talented 2008 football signing class is on campus to take part in voluntary summer workouts and of course the second session of summer school, which begins Wednesday.

Crittendon, a 6-foot-5, 268-pound defensive end, is enrolling at Memphis this fall after learning Clemson would not admit him due to a D on his transcript from this past spring.

Clemson coaches expect to have Brewer on campus later this summer when camp opens in August. Currently, the Bartram Trail defensive back – the same school the produced quarterback and baseball standout Kyle Parker – is having to take a summer school course in order to enroll in the fall.

In all, 24 of the 26 athletes Clemson signed this past February are enrolled in school. Sixteen of the last 18 reported this past Sunday with the final two reporting Monday. They all join the six who enrolled last January.

Clemson’s 2008 recruiting class ranked among the best in the country with several top-10 rankings, including a No. 2 overall ranking by ESPN.com, which also listed Bamberg native Da’Quan Bowers as the nation’s highest rated prospect.

Also in the class was running back Jamie Harper of Jacksonville, Fla., who is one of the 18 now on campus. Harper was ranked as the 12th best player in the nation and the No. 3 running back by ESPN.com.

The 6-foot, 227-pound back rushed for 1,437 yards and 19 touchdowns as a senior, while in his junior season, he compiled 1,200 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns, along with four receiving touchdowns.

During the spring, Clemson coach Tommy Bowden indicated maybe six to seven players from the new freshmen class will help the Tigers this coming fall. Besides Bowers and Harper, fans could see offensive tackle Antoine McClain, running back Andre Ellington, safety Spencer Adams, wide receiver Marquan Jones and linebacker Stanley Hunter touch the playing field.

Fall practice opens Aug. 1 for Clemson as it begins preparations for its season opener on Aug. 30 in the Chick-fil-A College Kickoff against Alabama in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

Preseason honors. Six Clemson football players are listed as candidates for two awards announced Monday by the Maxwell Football Club Monday.

The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding college football player since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. Tiny Maxwell. The Bednarik Award has been presented since 1995 and goes to the top defensive player in college football. Both awards will be presented at the Home Depot College Football Awards show in December in Orlando, Fla.

Four Clemson offensive players are on the list of 75 candidates for the Maxwell. The group of Tigers includes running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller, wide receiver Aaron Kelly and quarterback Cullen Harper. Clemson, Oklahoma and Southern California were the only schools nationally to have four candidates on the list.

Clemson safety Michael Hamlin and defensive end Ricky Sapp are the Clemson candidates for the Bednarik Award. Hamlin was a candidate for the honor last year.

Clemson is one of just three schools nationally with a returning 2,000-yard passer, 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver. Harper threw for 2,991 yards and 27 touchdowns last year when he was first in the ACC in passing efficiency and set 21 Clemson records. Davis rushed for 1,064 yards and has been a first-team All-ACC player each of the last two years.

Kelly had 88 receptions, including 11 catches that went for touchdowns last year to establish Clemson records in both categories. He needs 52 receptions to become the ACC’s career leader. Spiller led Clemson in all-purpose running yards last year with 1,732 and he was the most valuable offensive player of the Chick-fil-A Bowl when he had an 83-yard touchdown run, the 10th score of at least 50 yards in his two years at Clemson.

Hamlin has 12 career takeaways and had 97 tackles in 2007 when he helped the Tigers to a top 10 national ranking in scoring defense and total defense. Sapp is the Tigers’ top returning player in terms of quarterback sacks. He also had 52 tackles, including 10 for loss.