CLEMSON — Four-star safety Sherrod Covil became Clemson’s second verbal commitment in four days when the Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith High product pledged to the Tigers on Thursday.
Ranked No. 198 overall by the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, Covil became the fifth blue-chip recruit in Clemson’s 2022 class, and each of them falls within the top-250. The defensive back is the first defensive player to join the Tigers after Covil picked Dabo Swinney’s program over Miami, Notre Dame, and North Carolina.
Now is the time to figure out how the top-10 player in the state of Virginia fits into the Clemson secondary. Covil will be entering a loaded position room coached by Mickey Conn.
Nolan Turner is entering his super senior season in 2021. The Alabama native is on his last ride with the Tigers and has high expectations this fall. After that, everyone else could return to the Clemson safety room in 2022.
Joseph Charleston, Jalyn Phillips, and Lannden Zanders will all be seniors in 2022. R.J. Mickens, Ray Thornton Jr., and Tyler Venables will be entering their junior campaigns. Class of 2021 signees Barrett Carter and Andrew Mukuba will be sophomores.
Clemson is set to be veteran-heavy at the safety position beginning next year. Covil will add some much-needed youth to the position room.
When digging into Covil’s tape, the nastiness that the rising senior plays with is the first thing that jumps off of the screen. The 185-pound safety plays much bigger than his listed size. Covil is a high-level striker who can knock blockers backwards and deliver heavy blows to both running backs and wide receivers. The defender has several “hit stick” type plays on his highlight reel.
The safety is at his best when asked to play downhill, but he can also make plays as a cover safety in drops with great closing speed and feel in the backend. However, there is no denying this is a safety who is at his best when able to run the alley and be a force player for the defense.
This is an old-school defensive back who defensive coordinator Brent Venables can use in a variety of ways.
This was a very nice recruiting win for Clemson. Covil allows the Tigers to make a splash with their first defensive commitment in 2022. The blue-chipper is an eye-popping tackler with plenty of speed who could also develop into a solid cover guy. This is a player who could contribute on day one in a special teams role due to the combination of speed and physicality.
The Tigers will have a handful of veterans on the roster in 2022, but not many underclassmen at the safety position. Some more players need to be added, but Covil gives the defense a very nice building block as the Tigers continue to build their roster.