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November 30, 2004

McElrathbey commits to Clemson

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Tigerillustrated.com first reports the verbal commitment of Atlanta, Ga. - Mays cornerback Ramon McElrathbey to the Clemson Tigers. Regarded as the nation’s 24th rated athlete, McElrathbey, also known as “Ray Ray,” committed to recruiter and running backs coach Burton Burns during an in-home visit tonight. The three-star rated defender has been one of the Clemson coaching staff’s top recruiting targets since the spring.

Over the summer Atlanta, Ga. - Mays defensive back Ramon McElrathbey wowed the Clemson coaching staff while showing out during the Tommy Bowden camp. Since that visit, and following his showing at the Atlanta, Ga. - Nike Camp in May, McElrathbey, also known as “Ray Ray,” saw his stock steadily rise.

The blue-chip athlete committed to Clemson running backs coach Burton Burns tonight during an in-home visit. McElrathbey chose the Tigers over offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Minnesota, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, North Carolina, Louisville and Vanderbilt.

“Clemson is a great place, and they have an unbelievable atmosphere up there. They have done a great job with that program, and it is on the rise. Coach (Tommy) Bowden has a lengthy contract, and should be around for a long time. I know that they have gotten in a lot of big recruits, and they are building new facilities, so that helped get them on the map more,” offered McElrathbey. “After talking to a lot of the players there this summer and at the games - Chansi Stuckey, Justin Miller, Kelvin Grant, Curtis Baham, Travis Pugh and Tye Hill - I just felt comfortable with the whole situation up there. It’s like a family environment.”

“Ray Ray” actually first committed to Clemson on June 11th, but backed off of that pledge within 24 hours later after a quick unofficial visit to Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets are not a factor, and do not expect to get a visit from the Mays star. He will visit Clemson on January 14th. He had been scheduled to come in this weekend, but rescheduled because he wants to retake the ACT.

He does project to qualify, as he carries a 2.6 GPA with a 17 on his last ACT attempt.

The three-star rated defender has superb coverage skills, and his speed is undeniable, having run a 4.52/40 at the Nike Camp, followed by a 4.47/40 at the Bowden camp.

The coaching staff would like to sign as many as 24-26 prospects in February. McElrathbey’s pledge is the 18th overall, and fills a need in the secondary where speculation continues that junior corner Justin Miller may bolt for the NFL next spring.

The talented corner is also the second highly rated commitment of the day for the Clemson coaching staff.

Clemson commitments to date
1. Durrell Barry (TE 6-5, 242, 4.7) Summerville - Fork Union, Va.
2. Phillip Merling (DL 6-5, 265, 4.8) Memphis, TN - Fork Union, Va.
3. Barry Humphries (OL 6-3, 291, 4.96) Belton-Honea Path
4. Rendrick Taylor (WR 6-2, 210, 4.6) Bennettsville - Marlboro County
5. Tyler Grisham (ATH 5-11, 183, 4.45) Birmingham, Ala. - Spain Park
6. Tony Nelson (RB 5-10, 190, 4.5) Germantown, MD - Northwest
7. Paul Muse (TE 6-5, 245, 4.8) Jacksonville, Fla. - First Coast
8. Haydrian Lewis (DB 6-0, 180, 4.55) Goose Creek - Stratford
9. Quentez Ruffin (OL 6-4, 287, 4.9) Tallahassee, Fla. - Leon
10. Thomas Austin (OL 6-4, 286, 5.1) Camden
11. Jamarcus Grant (OL 6-5, 320, 5.1) Mullins
12. Josh Miller (LB 6-1, 215, 4.5) Manning
13. Kavell Conner (S 6-2, 210, 4.49) Midlothian, Va. - Manchester
14. Jacquez McKissic (DL 6-7, 280, 4.9) Opelika, Ala.
15. Elsmore Gabriel (DL 6-4, 260, 4.9) Fork Union, Va.
16. Corey Lambert (OL 6-7, 290, 5.0) Greenville
17. Terrell Smith (ATH 6-2, 205, 4.5) Chalkville, Ala. - Clay.
18. Ramon McElrathbey (CB 5-11, 174, 4.5) Atlanta, Ga. - Mays

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