Clemson Football: Tigers lose some recruiting battles heading into summer

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Kelly Bryant
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Kelly Bryant /

Clemson football lost a couple of what seemed to be top targets on the recruiting trail this week. Here’s what it means for the Tigers moving forward.

It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks for Clemson football fans.

The Tigers lost both Hunter Johnson and Josh Belk to transfers. Both guys had promising futures, but were buried on the depth chart. Belk claimed to want to be closer to home, but has since decided to visit Georgia.

As if the transfers were not enough, Clemson football lost a couple of recruiting battles that most analysts thought the Tigers had a great chance of landing.

5-star defensive end and Anderson, S.C. product Zacch Pickens announced that he would be committing to South Carolina earlier this week.

Then, on Saturday, 4-star tight end Luke Deal chose Auburn over Clemson.

Summer Outlook:

It can be a tough pill to swallow for fans when a talented target decides that he’d rather go to another school.

For Clemson, that has been four guys seemingly lost in a span of a couple of weeks. For Tiger fans that have messaged us saying that Clemson has “taken a step back” this cycle, I think we need to take a deep breath and relax.

We listed out some of the top targets for Clemson football in the 2019 recruiting cycle a couple of weeks ago.

If you look at that list, you’ll see that there are still a lot of guys left to make decisions. The other thing that fans need to get used to is Clemson being listed in a kid’s “top-five,” but not being chosen on decision day.

I have a news flash for you: Clemson is going to be in nearly every single recruit’s top group in the country. That’s what happens when you’re an elite program.

There’s still plenty of time and plenty of talent out there to have a great recruiting cycle and I trust that Dabo Swinney knows what he is doing.

Swinney doesn’t miss on his top targets.

What this week tells me is that Zacch Pickens wasn’t one of his top targets. Don’t get me wrong, Pickens is a great player. But maybe the fact that he would be sitting on the sideline for a couple of seasons behind Xavier Thomas and KJ Henry didn’t resonate well with him. Maybe he wanted to go somewhere where he could play right away.

There are other guys that will make the same decision. But, that’s the great thing about it.

The guys that choose Clemson are the “elite of the elite.” They aren’t afraid of competition or coming in and working hard.

Next: Clemson winning on and off the field

Clemson already has some talented guys committed in this class and I believe you’re going to see many more join them before it’s all said and done. In my opinion, I just think that Tiger fans need to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. I guarantee you that when we get to February, you won’t be saying “how disappointing this recruiting cycle is.”