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1. We’ve maintained for awhile that elevating to the elite level of recruiting is a gradual process, not a shift that simply comes with even winning a national championship. Prestige and tradition that still carry a Notre Dame, for example, are built with time.

Clemson’s brand keeps expanding, and this class is positioned to stand as further evidence.

The Tigers made it a dozen commitments last Monday with the addition of Williamsport (Md.) defensive tackle Tayquon Johnson.

Getting a prospect from Maryland is no longer news; Johnson would be the fourth acquisition from the state over the last six classes, including Dorian O’Daniel (2013), Justin Falcinelli (2014) and Shaq Smith (2016).

But the fact the Tigers have stretched their geographic footprint into that area and are getting consistent returns does constitute a storyline – especially considering Clemson had gone 22 years without a Maryland signee before O’Daniel (Jeff Fortner, 1991).

Part of that should be chalked up to the Tigers’ staff having superior relationships there via both defensive backs coach Mike Reed and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.


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