Clemson Football Recruiting: Recruiting calendar, Ari Watford

A three-week contact period is about to begin that will lead up to the Clemson Football Elite Junior Day, and one of those elite juniors just included the Tigers in his Top 6.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks with players before the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney talks with players before the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

With the turn of the calendar, Clemson Football has shifted its focus to the Class of 2025.

FBS Football is currently in a dead period, which means staff can’t visit with or evaluate in person on campus or at the recruit’s home. This dead period ends on January 12th, when a three week contact period begins.

Staff is permitted to visit prospects off-campus and evaluate in person during contact periods.

For the Tigers, this contact period leads up to their Elite Junior Day, which is January 27th. Traditionally the program invites prospects who just completed their junior season of high school football to campus for an unofficial visit.

Over the next few weeks, we should start seeing mentions of candidates who will be attending. One possible visitor just confirmed that the Tigers are a finalist.

Maury High School defensive end Ari Watford has released a Top 6 list that includes Clemson Football

The Tigers are joined in Ari Watford's Top 6 by Ohio State, Penn State, South Carolina, Syracuse, and Virginia Tech.

Watford is from Norfolk, Virginia. He is a 4-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 29th overall nationally. He is the 4th ranked edge rusher and top-ranked player in the state of Virginia.

247Sports includes this scouting report on Watford.

"Tall, long, and lean with immense bulking capacity. Junior season has revealed much more impressive run-defending performance relative to sophomore tape. Explosive functional athlete who appears to be one of the top pass rushers in the class. Physical specs and combine athleticism support that. Uses hands well. Often wins with burst and physical tools, but also showcases one of the more impressive bags of moves that we've seen in the class. Projects as a potential high-major impact player with long-term NFL Draft early-round potential."

Hudson Standish, 247Sports Analyst

There are no Crystal Ball projections for Watford at this point.