It appears No. 1 recruit of the 2021 class and Clemson commit Korey Foreman could be considering other options.
The defensive linemen committed to the Tigers on Jan. 26 while on campus for Elite Junior Day. However, after some chatter on Twitter this week it was officially confirmed Tuesday morning that he has reopened his recruitment.
Foreman has decommitted from Clemson and plans to utilize his allotted five official visits stating, “I feel like I’ve earned them.” That decision, while absolutely valid, comes with a price.
Dabo Swinney established a rule that once you commit to Clemson, you are no longer allowed to take official visits elsewhere. And to be fair, you can’t blame him. Clemson is now an elite program and has the luxury to be extremely selective on who they offer and how they go about recruitment in general.
“In my opinion, in today’s recruiting it would be impossible to manage a roster if you allowed all of your committed guys to go take all of these visits because they’re not committed,” Swinney said in an interview published on Tigernet. “They’re just trying to reserve a spot and then go on all of these trips and then they decide what they want to do later. They might stay with you and they might not, and then it’s too late in January to recruit people. It’s really difficult. It’s managing your roster, but the biggest issue is when we recruit we have a number. If we’re going to take one player at this particular position and then we get a commitment, well guess what, we can’t recruit anybody else because if you’re going out and recruiting other people you don’t have a scholarship for them so they’re not listening to you. You have to call people and tell them good luck.”
If you look up the word commitment on Google, you’ll find the first definition as follows: “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.” In my opinion, when a player actually commits he should everything within reason to honor that commitment.
You may not like Dabo Swinney or this rule he’s implemented but it is his right to do so. Players are made aware of this in advance and told not to commit until they are sure. There’s a reason this decommitment news is quite the rarity for Swinney and his Tigers.
“I’ve talked to the coaches and they have explained how they feel about it,” Foreman said. “They let me know what would happen if I did take a visit. There are some things I need to think about, but that isn’t my main focus. My main focus is the first game of my senior season,” a report on Tigernet stated.
Sure, Foreman may very well still end up a Clemson Tiger and simply wants to explore other options in the meantime. But speculation is running wild that the Tiger’s major competition in the recruitment race (USC) could be taking a lead heading into the summer.
Then again, it is not every day you have an elite player commit to a school on the other side of the country and then have a tattoo inked to this forearm to lock down that commitment. Hey, maybe the guy just like Tigers and it wasn’t so much about Clemson. Who knows at this point?
USC certainly has the proximity card to play in recruitment and push that “hometown hero” narrative if the 6-5, 275 pound Corona, Calif. native were to stay out west. But in the midst of the Covid-19 outbreak and restrictions on recruiting and contact in general, Clemson does have to go that extra mile to stay in touch with guys like Foreman during this unprecedented time.
But let’s not forget, Foreman is just a kid. Sometimes we put way too much pressure on these guys during the recruitment process. There’s shady and questionable things that happen everywhere. Drama around recruitment has become more common each year. But at the end of the day, you have an 17-18 year old kid making a decision that will literally impact the rest of their life. Cut them some slack.
I hate hopping on social media or message boards and seeing grown adult human beings belittling, name calling or threatening a player for where they decide to attend school. Sadly, it doesn’t stop once you enroll and play a year or two either. I can promise you it is never that serious.
Obviously, this story is far from over. And again, Foreman could end up playing for the Tigers as it was well anticipated this time last week. But don’t think Dabo will necessarily be “saving his spot” his spot in the meantime, either. While having the no.1 2021 recruit is a big win for any program, trust that Clemson’s camp is touching base with others who could be committed elsewhere during this period as well. It works both ways.
Foreman fell in love with Clemson for a reason and when the smoke settles I think, for now, that is where he will land.
“The relationships I have with the coaches there,” Foreman said. “Everything is real there, and I knew when I got there that it was a great place. I loved talking to the coaches and they have a record of putting guys in the league. So I have some things to think about, but really, my focus is on my high school season.”
Nothing can be officially decided right now so we must all wait until the time comes. My gut tells me he will end up in Tigertown. In the very least, it has given us some national recruting news to mull over during this down time in sports.
I ain’t mad about it.