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More Star Power Coming to Clemson

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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At this point, the new gold-standard in college football may be orange.

Ahead of a third-straight trip to the College Football Playoff, Clemson only added to the status quo with a memorable opening to the game's first early signing period ever. Dabo Swinney's Tigers continued their recent run of dominance, this time on the recruiting trail. Just as Clemson has been at its best on the big stage as of late, the Tigers were the choice for some of the nation's top talent. At this point, the new gold-standard in college football may be orange.

Per the ESPN300, the defending national champions signed three of the nation's top five prospects: quarterback Trevor Lawrence and defensive ends Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry.

Lawrence, long heralded as a generational talent, comes to the upstate after a remarkable career at Georgia's Cartersville High School. Stepping into the lineup as a freshman, Lawrence went 52-2 as starter, winning, at one point, 41 consecutive games. His 13,908 passing yards and 161 touchdown passes broke Peach State records previously held by, fittingly, Deshaun Watson. Amidst all of the hype, Lawrence committed to the Tigers over a year ago, a pledge to which he stayed true.

Recently a standout for undefeated power IMG Academy, Thomas had eight sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 21 quarterback hurries as a freshman three years ago in Florence; he has been a star ever since. Thomas has a pro frame already at 6'3'', 269 pounds and plays with an explosiveness that has earned him the distinction of being the game's top prospect at defensive end. A testament to his athleticism, Thomas averaged 9.6 yards per carry as a running back to boot.

Henry, in terms of the top names in Clemson's recruiting class, was Wednesday's icing on the cake. The 6'6'' dynamo from Winston-Salem, North Carolina chose the Tigers near the end of day one of the early signing period. He brings elite athleticism to Clemson and is, in many ways, the absolute prototype for a next-level edge-rusher.

In all, the Tigers again have one of the top recruiting classes in the country set to come in. Clemson appears poised for the more of the same.

Lawrence, Thomas and Henry headline another elite recruiting class for the Tigers, names ready to add to the program's current narrative.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports