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UM-Clemson a clash of top '08 recruiting classes

If you're looking for an extra story line to sink your teeth into this Saturday when the 16th-ranked Hurricanes travel to Death Valley to take on Clemson at high noon, here's a good one: consider this game the 2008 recruiting national championship.

The Canes, you might remember, were tabbed with having the No. 1 recruiting class in the country by ESPN in 2008. The Canes signed 12 of the Top 150 players in ESPN's class. Clemson was right behind UM with 10, a class considered the second best in the country. 

DaQuanBowers Here's who was on ESPN's list...
1. DaQuan Bowers, DE, Clemson
12. Jamie Harper, RB, Clemson
21. Sean Spence, OLB, Miami
27. Marcus Forston, DT, Miami
28. Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
34. Kyle Parker, QB, Clemson
39. Brandon Thompson, DT, Clemson
40. Spencer Adams, S, Clemson
44. Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
53. Ramon Buchanon, OLB, MiamI
63. Aldarius Johnson, WR, Miami
65. Xavier Brewer, DB, Clemson
68. Davon Johnson, WR, Miami
77. Jordan Futch, LB, Miami
78. Antoine McClain, OT, Clemson
83. Dwayne Allen, TE, Clemson
90. Marcus Robinson DE, Miami
104. C.J. Holton, LB, Miami
145. Travis Benjamin, WR, Miami

If you take score based on starters alone, the Tigers have obviously gotten more bang for their buck. Parker, Bowerrs, Harper, Ellington, Thompson, McClain and Allen are all consistent starters for Clemson. UM has defensive stars in Spence, Harris and has gotten plenty of big plays from Benjamin. But not enough to claim to have the better class at the moment, especially when you consider Clemson played for an ACC title last year and the Canes are still looking for their first trip to one. But a lot can change on Saturday with a big Canes win.

Harris, who along with Spence got to know many of Clemson players in the 2008 Under Armour High School All-American game, said last year's 40-37 overtime loss is incentive enough for him to seek revenge.

"It was a tough loss," Harris said Tuesday. "It was one of those games we felt like we had a win and let it slip through our hands. It was unacceptable. We came in yesterday and looked at the film and it kind of hurt."

Spence, who was hurt in last year's game, is playing down the class rivalry. For him, it's about the teams. "That's 2008. This is 2010," Spence said. "We're going to see who the best team is, not the best class."


Seantrel Henderson > Freshman offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson practiced with the first team Tuesday, but don't take that as a sign he's won the right tackle job or will be starting Saturday against Clemson. Just take it as a sign he's being tested and will probably play more. 

In a 10 minute private interview with Shannon, our Susan Miller Degnan learned senior Joel Figueroa is back taking snaps at guard. Shannon isn't necessarily disappointed with Figueroa, who was moved out to tackle from guard to try and help fill a position of need. It's just evident Figueroa, who gave up the sack that led to Jacory Harris "nicking" his left arm, probably isn't fast enough to play out there. So, it appears Henderson, who continues to improve, will split time out at tackle along with redshirt freshman Jermaine Johnson while Figueroa still fills in some as well. 

"Everyday he's getting better," center Tyler Horn said of Henderson. "As the year goes on, you're going to see him a lot more. He's a good player and he's earning his time on the field. He asks questions all the time with the coaches, with the GAs, learning the offense so he can be on the field. He has a lot of desire."

> The reason I was told cornerback Ryan Hill will probably remain in the starting lineup at cornerback this week over DeMarcus Van Dyke is because Hill (6-0, 205) is simply more physical than DVD (6-1, 185). The coaches also want to reward Hill for the way he helped shut down Pitt's Jon Baldwin (6-5, 230). 

> Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker was suffering from bruised ribs after the Auburn game, but practiced full speed Monday. The Hurricanes' defense ranks second in the nation with 4.67 sacks a game. While defensive end Olivier Vernon said the Canes' No. 1 goal will be to put heat on Parker, they don't necessarily want to hurt him. "We're just trying to get to him," Vernon said. "We're not trying to hurt the man."

> Vernon by the way was a little bothered by the fact the Tigers are hosting the Canes on Homecoming weekend. The Tigers are 64-19-3 in Homecoming games and have only two losses on Homecoming since 1971. "I'm just guessing they want a good game," Spence said. "We'll put on a show for the home crowd."

> While Clemson's receivers posed a huge threat last season to the Canes, Saturday's game looks like it will be more about slowing down the Tigers' running backs Andre Ellington (7.4 avg, 4 TDs) and Jamie Harper (5.0 avg, 1 TD rushing, 5 catches, 59 yards, 3 TDs receiving) and tight end Dwayne Allen (8 catches, 156 yards, 1 TD). 

"They got two good tailbacks," Shannon said. "Those guys are very explosive. Ellington is probably the fastest one. Harper is probably bigger, but he's got speed also. They're going to try to get matchups, linebackers on running backs.

"The tight end [Allen] is a key for them. He does a great job running option routes, getting to the sticks, getting first downs. It's going to be very vital for us that we take him out of the game when they go to the passing game. Their offense -- they run screens to the tight end, tailback, run sprint out and throw it to the tight end, wheel routes back to the running back. Everything they do is predicated on mismatches. That's what we have to notice and observe on film. "

Shannon said freshmen Eduardo Clements and Storm Johnson have done a nice job playing the role of Ellington and Harper this week on the scout team.

> Canes defensive tackle Marcus Forston has a soft cast wrapped around the thumb on his right hand. He said he dislocated it, but will play Saturday for sure. "They put it back in place," Forston said. "I'm good." 


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nothing would be better than having jaime sellout jacksonville bolles harper...getting stuffed all day....


> The reason I was told cornerback Ryan Hill will probably remain in the starting lineup at cornerback this week over DeMarcus Van Dyke is because Hill (6-0, 205) is simply more physical than DVD (6-1, 185). The coaches also want to reward Hill for the way he helped shut down Pitt's Jon Baldwin (6-5, 230).

the real reason is that hill is WAY BETTER than DVD. period.

its about time they played hill at his natural position.

this is a great opportunity to climb on the national stage...if you play a nobody at home you simply can not get the respect that playing and beating Clemson in Death Valley! just do it

i thought jamie harper broke his leg and was out for the the season?

Im a Christian Minister ...

U Canes and them Gators are pretty darn good Football teams .

good football

Can we run the wildcat formation with Storm Johnson, Coach Shannon? Thank you

DaQuan Bowers is a great DE, I'm glad Figs got moved inside.


If Johnson and Henderson can man tackle, moving Fig back to guard would be great. With a true Freshman and RS Freshman playing RT, the future O line looks to be in fantastic shape...as well as right now. There is no question the O Line is playing better than last year and will improve every week. D, how about pitching another shutout.

It really hurts that UM couldn't hold on to Patrick (Johnson) Petersen. Now at LSU the best corner and one of the best return men in college. He is the missing piece...geezzz

We rock the grill of Parker, and we win. Simple as that. Key man to watch: OLIVER VERNON!! That is a True Cane.
Mia: 34 Clemson: 21

Good stuff here this morning, with the exception of Dr. Pinkus.

Yeah, we get to face the same Clemson team that barely beat us last year, but with us having a healthier team and them missing CJ Spiller.

14 point win for the Canes.

ALLRIGHT NOW - Let's do this! Pressure on the QB, all day in his face beat him up, down, all around...assignment football, gang tackling...defense has shown us they are up to the task of facing good teams at their stadium --- CLEMSON is good, this game concerns me, like most CANES on offense. Please no turnovers that are not earned by some great defensive play...don't give them anything. Run it downhill with our RBs...make them stop the run, then we can go over the top and hit them with our WRs...just do not float it out there...we can do this, but I feel it's on the Def to set the tone..special teams we need something from you too! I think we pull a close one here..UM 27 Clem 21. GOD BLESS you all!

I got a nick name for Olivier Vernon. "FIRST STEP VERNON" I hope it sticks.

"Shannon isn't necessarily disappointed with Figueroa, who was moved out to tackle from guard to try and help fill a position of need. It's just evident Figueroa, who gave up the sack that led to Jacory Harris "nicking" his left arm, probably isn't fast enough to play out there."

Well, they COULD have given him some support, but yes, he is not as good a tackle as he is a guard.

Clemson has us for their Homecoming Game??? That is pure disrespect.

Clean Blog = Happy Blog

Until the racist troll ruins everything! We have to make him feel like Custard during his last stand at Iwa Jima in 1972. I know they had drones against his musket rifles but we had the force with us back then and the schwartz is strong with our new found war. We need to peel our ears back, execute our game plan and then lick our chops.

I think the coaches are starting to get it! DVD is a solid, reliable 3rd corner who can cover a speedy slot reciever in the nickel package, Fig is a gaurd, good move coaches. Now can we get the run game going? With Fig at gaurd and the big Freshman at tackle (both of them) we can start running that old counter play that we ran with McGhee...oh and just manage the game Jacory!

Looking forward to the Henderson Era

We gotta give Figs props for being a team player, agreeing to move to RT and giving it a try. It didn't work out so now is the time for Henderson to emerge.

Figs is very good at Guard and that is where he apparently belongs.

Thanks FIGS for being a team player and Go Canes.

Clemson in a landslide, 33-3. By the way, this is the first time I've ever been to this site, and probably the last, so no need to respond.

DVD is def a bust. any player that has seen game time action since a true freshmen and still is a bum, plays with no agression, and just got his first int is a BUM!! He has all the physical tools size, speed, eyc. but no agression. Looks like he plays scared and/or not to be embarrassed. Paly Hill and McGee all day before DVD.

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