Pitt at Clemson: Recruiting Comparison

Ahead of the matchup between the Pitt Panthers and Clemson Tigers, All Clemson takes a look at each teams depth chart from a recruiting standpoint.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Pitt comes to Clemson this weekend looking to knock off the Tigers for the second time in a row in Death Valley. Clemson has not lost at home since the last time the Panthers visited back in November of 2016, a 43-42 loss that was one of the biggest upsets in all of college football that year. 

This Clemson team comes in at 7-1, ranked third in the CFP Rankings, and just looking to finally get back on the field. After having last weekends game with Florida State postponed at the last minute, the Tigers have not played since the double-overtime loss to Notre Dame on November 7. 

Pitt comes in at 5-4, but just 1-2 on the road, and the Panthers are coming off a 47-14 win over Virginia Tech, despite missing 16 players due to safety protocols. 

This Pitt team is solid on both sides of the ball. They play an aggressive style of defense and lead the nation in sacks, but are also capable of putting some points on the board behind quarterback Kenny Pickett. 

Recruiting Comparison:

Quarterback

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

Trevor Lawrence

2018  5*

1

1 (No. 6 All-Time)

Kenny Pickett

2017  3*

33

738

Lawrence will not have played in five weeks by the time this one kicks off. That's an awfully long time to be off for a quarterback and it's fair to question whether there will be some rust to knock off. In his second game back from injury, Pickett looked good last weekend in the win over Virginia Tech, throwing for over 400 yards with a couple of touchdowns.

Advantage: Clemson

Running Back

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

Travis Etienne

2017  4*

15

213

Vincent Davis 

2019  3*

52

856

Etienne's numbers might be down but he's still averaging almost 80-yards per game and more than 5 YPC. And he can beat you in a multitude of ways. Pitt goes with more of a committee approach but Davis leads the way, averaging about 40 yards per contest, on a dozen carries per game. However, Eitenne is one of the best backs in the nation.

Advantage: Clemson

Wide Receiver:

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

EJ Williams (Clemson)

2020  4*

13

69

Amari Rodgers

2017  4*

16

117

Cornell Powell

2016  4*

30

169

Shocky Jacques-Loius (Pitt)

2018  3*

87

531

Jared Wayne

2019  3*

178

1508

Jordan Addison

2020  4*

10 (ATH)

275

Dabo Swinney announced on Wednesday that Joseph Ngata will be out for at least a couple of weeks. Frank Ladson Jr. is still out too, meaning the coaches will either do some shuffling, with Brannon Spector starting in the slot or could freshman E.J. Williams be in line to make his first career start. Despite the injuries, the Tigers still have former blue-chip players in at least two spots, and will have two former Top-120 players in the rotation. There's also the fact that Powell is currently by far playing the best football of his career.

Advantage: Clemson

Tight End

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

Braden Galloway (Clemson)

2018  3*

41

858

Daniel Moraga (Pitt)

2019  3* (JUCO)

13

211

While Moraga was rated higher with the recruiting services, it is Galloway who has been more productive this season. Not to mention the Tigers also have Davis Allen they like to use. The two have combined to catch 30 passes this season while Moraga has just four.

Advantage: Clemson

Offensive Line

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

LT Jackson Carman (Clemson)

2018  5*

1

17

LG Matt Bockhorst

2017  4*

17

240

C Cade Stewart

2016  3*

163

2021

RG Will Putnam

2019  4*

5

101

RT Jordan McFadden

2018  3*

66

819

LT Carter Warren (Pitt)

2017  3*

48

454

LG Bryce Hargrove

2016  3*

69

1478

C Jimmy Morrissey

2016  Unranked

Unranked

Unranked

RG Jake Kradel

2018  3*

29

682

RT Gabe Houy

2017  3*

109

1165

The Tigers have three former blue-chip players along the offensive line, including one former five-star. They have not quite lived up to expectations up to this point in the season, but Clemson still has the edge over a group of Pitt linemen full of players who weren't highly recruited.

Advantage: Clemson

Defensive Line

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

DE K.J. Henry (Clemson)

2018  5*

3

14

DT Tyler Davis

2019  4*

12

137

DT Bryan Bresee

2020  5*

1

1 (18 all-time)

DE  Myles Murphy

2020  5*

1

7

DE Patrick Jones II (Pitt)

2016  3*

59

1190

DT Tyler Bentley

2018  3*

72

1040

DT Devin Danielson

2018  3*

51

687

DE Rashad Weaver

2016  3*

93

1536

This Pitt defensive front can get after the quarterback. The Panthers lead the nation with 38 sacks and are second nationally with 4.75 sacks per game. And it all starts with that front four, Patrick Jones II in particular. However, this Clemson defensive line is pretty good too. The Tigers rank sixth nationally with 3.75 sacks per game. Also, Clemson gets Tyler Davis back and the big defensive tackle has been missed in recent weeks. These are two of the better defensive fronts in the country, but in this instance, the pure talent level gives the defending ACC Champions a slight edge.

Advantage: Clemson 

Linebacker

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

SAM Mike Jones Jr (Clemson)

2018  4*

15

210

MIKE Jake Venables

2018  3*

29

455

WILL Baylon Spector

2017  3*

45

609

LB Phil Campbell III (Pitt)

2016  3*

62 (Safety)

970

LB Chase Pine

2016  3*

41

579

LB Cam Bright

2017  3*

75

1157

Between the two teams, Mike Jones Jr is the only former blue-chip recruit. More proof that how a program develops its players matters as much as anything. Especially at linebacker. These are two solid linebacking groups, despite the fact that most weren't highly recruited. However, one player the Tigers are still missing is James Skalski and not having the quarterback of your defense on the field always hurts. 

Advantage: Clemson 

Secondary

PlayerClass/StarsPosition RankOverall Rank

CB Derion Kendrick (Clemson)

2018  5*

4 (WR)

26

SS Lannden Zanders

2019  3*

61

781

FS Nolan Turner

2016  Unranked

Unranked

Unranked

CB Sheridan Jones

2019  4*

15

130

CB A.J. Woods (Pitt)

2019  3*

118 (ATH)

1465

SS Brandon Hill

2019  3*

50

645

FS Damar Hamlin

2016  4*

14

151

CB Jason Pinnock 

2017  3*

150

1412

Clemson has more talent, while Pitt has a little more experience. To this point in the season though, the Panthers have been a tad better, while the Tigers have been prone to giving up the big play through the air.

Advantage: Pitt

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page.

Also, be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter.