Clemson Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables is greeted by fans during Tiger Walk before Clemson defeated the Texas A&M Aggies in Clemson on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Gwinn Davis/Special to The Post and Courier

Saturday could not have gone better for Clemson. On the field, the Tigers handled their business with Texas A&M. The Tigers handled their recruiting business with a pair of commitments for their 2021 class giving them three pledges for that group.

Prior to the game, WR Dacari Collins (6-3, 180) of Powder Springs, Ga., announced his commitment while on campus for an unofficial visit. Collins is considered a national level recruit. His offers include USC, Georgia, LSU, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. He made numerous visits to Clemson through the process, including camp visits since the seventh grade, culminating with his Saturday pledge. He loved his feeling around the program.

"Just how they keep it real,” Collins said. “They don't feed you with all this glamorous stuff. They give you the real thing about how it's going to be when you get here. It's a great place. All the coaches just show love." Last season Collins averaged over 21 yards per catch with four touchdowns.

Saturday night after the game, 2021 LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (6-0, 210) of Philadelphia also announced a Clemson commitment. Trotter is the son of former NFL star linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who spent most of his career with the Eagles and is in that team’s hall of fame. The two were down for the A&M game, and Trotter Jr. was so caught up with what he experienced after the game, he decided to pull defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables aside and make his commitment, much to his own surprise.

“I didn’t really expect to,” Trotter said. “Everything factored into it and I felt like this is the place for me. When I heard coach (Dabo) Swinney talk in the locker room, and seeing him talk to his guys and the way he celebrated with them after the win, and seeing how all the guys treated him, it was more like he was a real nice guy, real genuine. Just hearing him talk and the message that he was giving to the guys, I really liked. It was like a lot of the same stuff I hear at my high school. It just really felt good to hear that, hear what they were thinking.”

Trotter also holds offers from USC, Tennessee, Georgia Tech, Miami, Florida State, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Pitt, Nebraska, Rutgers, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State, Baylor and others.

2021 RB Will Shipley (5-11, 198) of Matthews, N.C., is one of the more exciting players in the Tar Heel State. Shipley can also play receiver and in the secondary. As a result, he’s drawn a variety of offers including Clemson, USC, Stanford, Notre Dame, Florida, Georgia, Southern Cal, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Oregon, West Virginia and Penn State. Saturday he made his first visit to Clemson for a game. Clemson running backs coach and offensive co-coordinator Tony Elliott is recruiting Shipley. He’s handed out two running back offers for the class. One went to Shipley and the other to Phil Mafah of Loganville, Ga., who committed in late August.

Shipley said no visit date has been determined but he is thinking about the Alabama game for his next trip to Columbia. And he plans many more visits to other schools this season having not closed the door on anyone that’s recruiting him. He has set a visit with Notre Dame for the Southern Cal game Oct. 12. He’s looking to make his decision before next season.

2021 QB Colten Gauthier of Dacula, Ga., is one of the quarterbacks Clemson is evaluating for an offer in the next round of recruiting. He made a six-hour visit with the Tigers in late July, his first time on the campus. He returned Saturday for the Texas A&M game knowing he is one of a small number of candidates for a ’21 offer.

“As things stand, they are looking at three 2021 quarterbacks and I am one of them,” Gauthier said. “As far as an offer, they have mentioned that that is a possibility, but they are wanting to come watch me play this year."

USC offered Gauthier in May after quarterbacks coach Dan Werner made a spring evaluation. The Gamecocks remain a contender, as well, and he plans to visit for the Kentucky game. “I talk to coach Werner every week,” Gauthier said. “The plans haven’t changed and they continue to be a high priority for me. Nothing has changed. I am their quarterback in 2021 and I still feel good about them.” Gauthier said he will visit UCF Sept. 15. His offer list consists of USC, Syracuse, Pitt, Georgia Tech, Miami, UCF, South Florida, Troy, Colorado, Boston College, Louisville, Kentucky, Duke, West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Along with Clemson, he’s also hearing from Texas Tech, Missouri, Purdue, North Carolina and Oklahoma State.

2021 TE Jake Briningstool of Brentwood, Tenn., also visited Clemson on Saturday. He also has a USC offer among others.

2021 DB Tony Grimes of Virginia Beach was at Clemson on Saturday then visited Charlotte on Sunday. Last week he issued a short list of Clemson, USC, Texas, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Alabama, Oklahoma, Maryland, LSU and North Carolina.

2021 OL Jared Wilson of Clemmons, N.C., 2021 OL Amarius Mims of Cochran, Ga., 2021 LB Deontae Lawson of Mobile, Ala., and 2021 OL Marcus Tate of Jacksonville planned to visit Clemson on Saturday.

2021 WR JJ Jones of Myrtle Beach was scheduled to visit USC on Saturday. He has an offer from West Virginia. He is sitting out this season after transferring from Socastee.

2021 Center Ryan Linthicum of Damascus, Md., a Clemson target, planned to visit Virginia Tech on Saturday. He has Clemson, Virginia Tech and Michigan as his top three. He plans to visit Clemson for the Charlotte game.

2021 OL Prestin Hawkins of Indian Land visited Duke on Saturday. He’s also drawing interest from USC and plans to visit there in a couple of weeks.

USC offered 2021 DE Kenau Koht of Vero Beach, Fla., 2021 ATH West Weeks of Watkinsville, Ga., and 2021 LB Damon Owens of Brentwood, Tenn.

Sumter 2021 DE Justus Boone was offered by Virginia and Charlotte.

Safety DJ Taylor of Tampa is another of USC’s few remaining targets for the 2020 class. Taylor currently is committed to Arizona State but is far from shutting down his recruiting. USC, Louisville and Penn State are others actively pursuing him. Gamecocks coaches and his good friend, USC freshman corner John Dixon, have been in his ear a lot. “Still keeping in contact with South Carolina, with coach Muschamp, he texts me daily,” Taylor said. “He’s sending me some motivational quotes."

Other offers are Michigan State, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Rutgers, Kansas State, Iowa State, USF, UCF, Duke, Illinois, Syracuse and Pitt.

Basketball news

6-9 PJ Hall of Dorman took his second official visit to Clemson over the weekend. He also took one in June as a junior, and he was back for an unofficial visit for the Georgia Tech game. Hall also took a junior official visit to Florida and he will take another one with the Gators on Sept. 20. His last three official visits will be to Virginia Tech, Tennessee and Georgia Tech.

USC target 6-11 Cliff Omoruyi of Roselle, N.J., was to take an unofficial visit to St. John’s on Friday, and he has an official visit to TCU later in the month according to Adam Zagoria. He visited Pitt last month. He’s also been unofficially to Connecticut.

USC target 6-5 Earl Timberlake of Dematha (Md.) has remaining officials set with Miami this weekend, Alabama at the end of September, and North Carolina and Seton Hall later in the fall according to PantherLair. He took an official visit to Pitt last month. He also has taken official visits to USC and Providence.

6-8 JaVon Benson of Ridge View has rescheduled his official visit to USC for this weekend according to The State. He also is looking at an official visit to Indiana State later this month or in October. He took an official visit to the College of Charleston the end of August.

USC target 6-7 Matt Cross, who attends New Hampton Prep in New Hampshire, committed to Miami.

Clemson target 6-5 Myles Stute of Washington, D.C., committed to Vanderbilt.

Clemson target 6-9 Keon Ambrose-Hylton of Willoughby, Ohio, visited Dayton over the weekend.

2021 6-5 Bryce McGowens, formerly of Wren and now at Lincoln Academy in Winston-Salem, N.C., took an unofficial visit to Wake Forest the last weekend in August.

Baseball news

2021 3B Billy Amick of The King’s Academy committed to Clemson.

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