Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney gestures during third-quarter action in Atlanta on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2009. (Travis Bell/Sideline Carolina)

Clemson University’s football program is out of the running for the nation’s No. 1 recruit Robert Nkemdiche – who previously gave the school a verbal commitment but now seems likely to play for Ole Miss. The Tigers have also been eliminated from consideration by a pair of four-star prospects – defensive end Elijah Daniel and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson.

Does that mean the Tigers won’t be able to continue their solid string of recruiting classes? We’ll have to wait and see …

Clemson’s incoming classes have ranked among the nation’s most talented over the last three seasons – including a Top Ten class in 2011.

Head coach Dabo Swinney (and more to the point, offensive coordinator Chad Morris) have translated this firepower into back-to-back ten win seasons – including a statement victory over SEC powerhouse Louisiana State in the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl.

The Tigers’ win over LSU not only earned Clemson a ton of national respect, it landed the Atlantic Coast Conference school on the map of some serious stars – including five-star defensive end Carl Lawson (Alpharetta, Georgia) and five-star defensive tackle Montravious Adams (Dooley County, Georgia).

Lawson – the better of the two prospects – appears likely to choose between the Tigers and Tennessee, while Adams is currently favoring Clemson over Georgia.

Lawson does have one remaining visit to Auburn – where he verbally committed last year.

If Clemson is able to land both Lawson and Adams, it would not only guarantee a fourth straight Top 20 recruiting class – it would go a long way toward softening the blow of losing Nkemdiche. In fact both of these Georgia superstars are elite high school talents likely to compete immediately for playing time on Clemson’s defensive line.

Wherever Lawson and Adams wind up, Clemson is once again going toe-to-toe with SEC powerhouses in their own backyards for blue chip prospects – a distinctly positive sign for Tiger fans. Indeed, recruiting battles like these underscore the importance of Clemson’s 2013 season opener against the University of Georgia – which finished the 2012 season ranked No. 5 nationally.


Pic: Travis Bell, Sideline Carolina