The verbal commitment train for Clemson rolls on as the Tiger coaching staff landed its eighth verbal commitment of the 2006 recruiting class on Thursday afternoon when Tuscaloosa, Ala. - American Christian athlete Jeffrey Ogren said yes to recruiter, wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound wideout, who ran a sub 4.45/40 at the Mountain Brook, Ala. Combine earlier this spring, picked Clemson over offers from Tulane and UCF. "It was down to Clemson and Auburn. They were my top two, and I was waiting on Auburn to see what they were going to do because I wanted to give them a chance to meet Clemson's offer," said Ogren. "I talked with coach (Greg) Knox yesterday and I asked him about my situation. I asked him if he was going to offer me, and he told me the chances of that were greater towards the end of my senior year. He said right now he thought there was a 50/50 shot."
Ogren's pledge, as first reported by Tigerillustrated.com, is the first from a wide receiver this year for Clemson, and the first for Swinney who has signed six prospects from the state of Alabama over the last two years. "Coach Swinney is just a great, great guy. He came down to my school in May and he has talked with me and my parents over the phone. He's just a great guy, a great character guy. He's a great coach, and just seems like the type of person I would want to work with over the next four years."
Ogren characterized his commitment on Thursday as "firm," though he did not rule out the possibility of taking more official visits later in the fall. "I could take one or two, but I'm firm. I look at my situation with Clemson right now, and it's firm. To be honest with you, it's a great feeling knowing that Clemson wants me to come on board. They have had the offer on the table for a while now, and I've been thinking about this all summer. I knew I would commit before my season started. It was just time to go ahead and do it today, so I did."
Ogren's friend and teammate, four-star rated quarterback Chris Smelley joined the Clemson commitment at the Tommy Bowden Football Camp last month, and Smelley, according to Ogren, could conceivably give Clemson a long, hard look if offered. "I don't really know what Clemson's situation is with Chris right now. I know they might offer, and if they did I would think there would be a pretty good chance he commits to them. I know he likes Clemson a lot. I'm going to try to push him a little bit," offered Ogren.
"Clemson just has a great environment, and I feel very comfortable on that campus. They've got excellent facilities, and they're working on the West Zone project, and I think that's going to be up by the time I get there. It's a very positive situation for me, and I'm glad I'm headed there. My recruiting isn't officially over because I haven't signed anything, but it's where I'm going to go to school and play football."
As a junior Ogren caught 62 balls for 1,325 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The American Christian standout carries a 3.6 GPA and a 19 on the ACT.
Clemson verbal commitments to date
1. Jamie Cumbie (DL 6-7, 255) Morris, IL
2. Byron Maxwell (CB 6-1, 185) North Charleston - Ft. Dorchester.
3. Ricky Sapp (DL 6-5, 225) Bamberg-Ehrhardt.
4. Michael Wade (QB 6-2, 187) Greer - Riverside.
5. Julius Wilkerson (LB 6-3, 200) Gaffney.
6. Richard Jackson (K/P 5-11, 185) Greer - Riverside.
7. JoJo Cox (RB 5-9, 213) Jeffersonville, Ga. - Twiggs County.
8. Jeffrey Ogren (WR 6-3, 185) Tuscaloosa, Ala. - American Christian.
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