Rahshaun Smith’s commitment could lead to other talented players flipping their verbals to join the 2016 Clemson recruiting class.
Securing linebacker Rahshaun Smith‘s commitment earlier this week was obviously a huge victory for the Clemson Tigers. Any time you can add a guy who Rivals considers the top player at his position, it’s a big deal.
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However, these things don’t happen in a vacuum. When a player of Smith’s caliber announces his decision, the news reverberates throughout the college football recruiting scene, and the full magnitude of the Smith’s impact on this Clemson recruiting class will be impossible to judge.
It’s safe to say that Smith’s commitment will ultimately make Clemson a more attractive option for some other recruits though, even if they aren’t consciously aware of it. Great players attract other great players, because they all want to win.
That kind of impact is difficult to identify though. It’s unlikely that any recruit who doesn’t know Smith personally is going to cite his verbal to Clemson as part of his own decision. That’s why it’s impossible to say for sure just much of an impact Smith could have.
But what about the guys that Smith does know? Well, there is already some concrete evidence that Smith could pull some of those guys to Clemson with him.
"“I came down there last summer, Felder said. “I got to work with Coach Reed at a camp and I talked to him a few times before I had the offer and he would always tell me the offer was on the way. He seems to be a straight up guy and I feel like I can trust him. It was one of the best campuses that I’ve ever seen. Their campus is amazing and it’s a lot of fun there. Obviously, there are other factors that play into a decision, but it’s definitely a wonderful campus. Their defense is one of the best in the country. It’s definitely a place in my top three.”"
Clemson appears to be joined in Felder’s top three by Virginia Tech and Ohio State, and Felder likes things about all three schools. But Smith’s decision to head to Clemson may ultimately push Felder to the Tigers, as well.
"“I just saw the interview with Shaq and that’s exciting,” Felder told TigerNet. “I would love to play with my brother. I look up to him on and off the field, so that’s a good feeling. We go back to the seventh grade or eighth grade. We like playing on the same team. He’s always told me that he wanted me to play behind him as a defensive back.”"
Felder is a three-star defensive back in 247 Sports’ composite rankings.
There is at least one other player that Clemson football fans will want to keep an eye on, as well. Although five-star DB Saivion Smith remains committed to LSU for now, Clemson now has two of his teammates from IMG Academy in the fold for 2016: Rahshaun Smith and Tavares Chase.
Saivion visited Clemson back in January with those two teammates and, even while making his pledge to LSU in February, expressed his love for the Clemson football program.
"“Clemson, that was my first Division One offer,” Saivion said (via Orange & White). “I love Clemson with all my heart. Me and coach Elliott have a great, great relationship. He’s more of a life coach off the field. I had a great conversation with coach Dabo Swinney when I went up there not too long ago. It’s just a great place.”"
So far, Smith has given no indication that he plans on flipping to Clemson or anyone else, but he did say that he plans to take all of his official visits. Clemson, presumably, will get one of those visits, and there is still a long way to go until Signing Day–plenty of time for Rahshaun and Tavares to work on recruiting Saivion to Clemson.
We’ll just have to wait and see what happens, but when National Signing Day 2016 arrives, we may look back on the day Rahshaun Smith committed as the day this Clemson recruiting class jumped from good to great.