Clemson solidified what is on paper its best-ever recruiting class this weekend with a commitment Saturday from running back Kobe Pryor after a commitment from defensive end Myles Murphy the night before.
ESPN has Clemson No. 1 in its Class of 2020 rankings, ahead of Alabama, LSU and Georgia.
Murphy (6-5, 275) is from Powder Springs, Ga., and is ESPN's No. 2-ranked player in the 2020 class. Clemson, which is by no means finished recruiting, has nine players ranked in ESPN's top 50, including quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (No. 50) of Bellflower, Calif.
The others are defensive tackle Bryan Bresee (No. 8), tackle Mitchell Mayes (No. 11), running back DeMarkcus Bowman (No. 24), defensive tackle Demonte Capehart (No. 27), defensive tackle Tre Williams (No. 36), cornerback Fred Davis (No. 44) and cornerback R.J. Mickens (No. 46).
Pryor (6-0, 200) of Cedartown, Ga., picked Clemson over South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and LSU two weeks ago but kept his pledge under wraps until Saturday.
“Just somewhere where I felt like I was at home and I felt like I could be around all the coaches and players,” Pryor said. “I just feel like I can come in and earn my position and learn the playbook. It’s just the way they would use me in their offense, and I think I can be a key player.”
Pryor spent most of his junior season as a slotback, so his carries were limited as he rushed for 960 yards and nearly 10 yards per carry. But his coach, Doyle Kelly, has seen him as a running back and knows he has the chance to excel with the Tigers.
“He’s going to be a special kid, a special running back,” said Kelly. “The way he works in the weight room … he’s benching 355, power-cleaning 270, he’s squatting 565. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He has great hands. He’s a back that can run over your or run around you. I like his versatility, but more than that, I like him as a person. Very humble kid who comes from a great family. Just a special kid.”
Clemson went 15-0 last season and won the national championship, its second title in three seasons.
The Post and Courier staff contributed to this report