Homegrown talent: Best current players from the Palmetto State

With it being Carolina “hate” week. We wanted to take a look at the best in state recruits on the team. Enjoy!

Jadar Johnson (Sr) Safety:

Jadar Johnson is from Orangeburg-Wilkinson high school in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Coming out of high school, Jadar was a rated as a 3-star prospect and the 13th ranked player in South Carolina.

Early on in his career Johnson had to wait behind guys like Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green. Johnson, now a senior, has been arguably the best player on Clemson’s defense this year. The Orangeburg native is having his best season yet, recording 40 tackles and 4 interceptions thus far.

Coming into this season, the biggest question surrounding the Tigers was the inexperience in the secondary. Clemson lost T.J. Green, Jayron Kearse, and Mackensie Alexander to the NFL; along with losing Adrian Baker to a torn ACL. Despite their lack of experience, Clemson’s secondary has played very well all year, thanks in large part to Jadar Johnson.

Kendall Joseph (RSo) LB:

Kendall Joseph was rated as the number 17 player in the state and a 3-star prospect coming out of Belton-Honea Path high school in Belton, South Carolina.

Kendall Joseph is a little undersized for a linebacker at 6’0, 230, however, what he lacks in size he makes up for in tenacity. Joseph has a great nose for the football and he packs a punch as a tackler.

Defensive coordinator, Brent Venables is building a strong history of linebacker play at Clemson. From Stephone Anthony, to B.J. Goodson, to Ben Bouleware, and now Kendall Joseph. Joseph currently ranks second on the team in tackles with 78, to none other than Bouleware. Joseph has also recorded, 9.0 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 1 interception on the year.

Ben Bouleware (Sr) LB:

Bouleware was the 3rd ranked player in the state and a 4-star prospect coming out of T.L. Hanna high school in Anderson, South Carolina.

Ben Bouleware is the heart of this stout Clemson defense. Behind the leadership of Bouleware, this Clemson defense ranks 13th in total defense, 15th in passing defense, 23rd in rushing defense, and 10th in scoring defense.

Bouleware is having a great year individually, racking up 88 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception thus far. He will be crucial to the Tigers championship run. Should Clemson face Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship game, the Tigers will have their work cut out for them. Virginia Tech quarterback Jerrod Evans has deadly weapons in Bucky Hodges and Isaiah Ford at his dispense.

Mike Williams (RJr) WR:

Mike Williams was ranked 4th in the state and a 4-star prospect coming out of Lake Marion high school in Vance, South Carolina.

Mike Williams has been dominant coming off of a broken neck. In this year alone, Mike Williams has 73 receptions, 1014 yards, and 7 touchdowns. Williams has been a go-to guy for Deshaun Watson all year long. With Mike’s blend of size and strength he is nearly impossible to stop in jump-ball situations and on third down. Williams does a good job of using his body to box out defenders.

Mike Williams is projected by many media outlets to land in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft. Williams appears to be the next member of Clemson’s #WRU to take the NFL by storm.

Honorable Mentions:

Cordrea Tankersley (Sr) CB:

My favorite Walk-On in all of college football. Hunter Renfrow (RSo) WR:

I am sure that players like Tavien Feaster, Jalen Williams, Albert Huggins, James Skalski, and Nyles Pinckney -all natives of South Carolina- will make their impact felt in due time.

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