When a major program loses a key recruit, Rivals.com takes a look at how big of a blow it is to the respective school, analyzing it from a local and national level. To quantify the “sting” of each decommitment, we assign a score from one to 10, with one being no big deal and 10 being a catastrophic hit.
Nathaniel Joseph’s commitment to Clemson in September signified a few important things: The Tigers still had reach into South Florida, they would be adding an electric slot receiver and Joseph turned down in-state programs to go play there.
Over the next many months, the Miami (Fla.) Edison standout – despite continued rumors that people close to him wanted him to back off his pledge – stayed true to Clemson. He said numerous times that he felt most comfortable there, and it was the best spot for him.
But in recent days, Joseph ended up decommitting from the Tigers and reopened his recruitment. It’s still a tad early to figure out which schools will be the biggest players here but expect Miami and other in-state programs to be involved.
The month of June has been incredibly productive for Clemson on the recruiting trail with seven commitments and more possibly on the way. But losing Joseph hurts because of his athletic and playmaking ability from the slot, which Clemson desperately needs.
“It’s the ones you get, and this one hurts considerably because there just aren’t slot receivers in this class with the dynamic playmaking ability Joseph possesses. The Tigers need yards-after-catch creators, and Joseph is a difference-maker in that regard. His skill set comes at a premium in today’s game — which, frankly, is why those around him have been pushing him to leverage his market.” – Paul Strelow, TIgerIllustrated.com
Sting factor: 9
“Clemson only threw 12 touchdown passes last year. No receiver had more than three scores. Missing was that lethal dynamo in the slot who could torch slower linebackers and defensive backs. It just wasn’t a major option in the passing game as the bigger, longer receivers on the outside did more of the work.
“Joseph was that player and he’s dynamic with excellent speed and make-you-miss ability that would have been a welcome addition in Clemson’s class. There aren’t a ton of guys out there like him but I also don’t think it’s the end of the world as many elite players will jump at the opportunity to play for the Tigers.
“Joseph is a big loss but all this talk about Clemson being done or the offense struggling again this upcoming season feels way overdone.” – Adam Gorney, Rivals National Recruiting Director
Sting factor: 6