Clemson, SC-Clemson added five freshman student-athletes to its 2008 football roster on Wednesday.
Three of the five student-athletes are ranked in this year's ESPN.com top 150, including defensive end DaQuan Bowers, who is ranked as the number-one player in the nation.
The five players who started school at Clemson on Wednesday are Bowers, a defensive end from Bamberg, SC, Spencer Benton, a kicker from Myrtle Beach, SC, Stanley Hunter, a linebacker from Spartanburg, SC, Kyle Parker, a quarterback from Jacksonville, FL and Tarik Rollins, an outside linebacker from Hollywood, FL. Another freshman could enroll early next week.
Bowers was elevated to the number-one overall ranking by ESPN.com on Wednesday, the first Clemson player in history to be ranked as the number-one player in the nation by any recruiting service. He led Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School to an 11-2 record this year by recording 97 tackles on defense, including 33 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. On offense, the 6-5, 270-pounder rushed for 1219 yards and 19 touchdowns and also caught two touchdown passes. He also averaged 40 yards per kickoff return and blocked seven kicks.
Bowers was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for South Carolina and was a first-team all-state selection. In addition to his number-one player ranking by ESPN.com, he is ranked as the number six player in the nation by scout.com and is seventh by Rivals.com. He finished his career with 37 sacks and 90 tackles for loss, and started 50 consecutive games for Bamberg-Ehrhardt. He was the Red team MVP in the Under Armor All-American game in Orlando, FL on Jan.5. He was a high school teammate of current Clemson starting defensive end Ricky Sapp.
Parker is the number-43 ranked player in the nation by ESPN.com, fourth among quarterbacks. The native of Jacksonville, FL who attended Bartram Trail High School joined Bowers in the first Under Armor All-American game. While Bowers was the Red team MVP after recording three tackles for loss and a sack, Parker led his Silver team to the 17-14 victory. He was 9-13 for 114 yards and the game winning touchdown pass with under three minutes left.
Parker completed 60 percent of his passés for 2,513 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior. He threw for 1850 yards and 15 scores as a junior.
Tarik Rollins is an outside linebacker from Hollywood, FL. He is also ranked in ESPN.com's top 150 players. He is rated as the #26 outside linebacker by Scout.com and is 36th by Rivals.com. Rollins did not play as a senior due to injury, but had 83 tackles, seven sacks an six interceptions as a junior at Chaminade Prep.
Stanley Hunter is a linebacker who originally signed with Clemson last year. He was a SuperPrep All-American as a linebacker at Byrnes High School in Duncan, SC where he was a teammate with current Clemson players Willy Korn, Xavier Dye and Chad Diehl. Hunter was the defensive MVP for South Carolina in the 2006 Shrine Bowl. He had 102 tackles, including 41 tackles for loss and 20 sacks as a senior. He had 160 tackles as a junior.
Benton is a kicker from Myrtle Beach, SC who made 81-86 extra points over the last two years. He booted 7-12 field goals as a junior, including a 49-yarder, and had 24 touchbacks. He is ranked as the #14 kicker in the nation by Rivals.com.
"We are very pleased to have these young men join our program," said Clemson head Coach Tommy Bowden. "They will first get acclimated to their academic schedule, then will go through spring practice. This will give them a big jump towards the 2008 season. These five men will be in position to help our program immediately."