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Branden Strozier – 2023 Cornerback – Clemson Commit
Branden Strozier is a 6’2, 175-pound cornerback from Saint Francis High School in Alpharetta, Georgia. Currently, the 247Sports composite rankings have him graded as an 88.71/100, good for a high three-star rating. Additionally, the 247Sports composite ranks him as the 39th overall cornerback nationally, the 35th overall player in Georgia, and the 390th overall recruit nationally in the class of 2023.
During his recruitment, Branden Strozier racked up several offers from Power Five programs. According to his reported offers page on 247 sports, he received offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Minnesota, Missouri, Tennessee, Central Florida, Wake Forest, and Clemson. After receiving many great offers, Strozier decided to commit to Head Coach Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers.
According to OurLads.com, going into the 2022 football season Clemson’s projected roster depth at cornerback includes Sheridan Jones (Sr.), Nate Wiggins (So.), Jeadyn Lukus (Fr.), Fred Davis II (Jr.), Toriano Pride Jr. (Fr.), and Myles Oliver (Fr.).
Clemson will likely continue to pursue additional corners from the prep rankings in the 2023 class as well.
Player evaluation and projections
After looking at Strozier’s film on Hudl.com, there were a few facets of his game that stood out. First is his elusiveness with the ball in his hands. Branden Strozier is listed as a cornerback on all recruiting services, but in high school he also plays receiver and covers punt and kick-off returns for his team as well. Despite lacking high level speed on film, Strozier is incredibly shifty. He uses an in-depth route tree and quality use of angles to elude opposing defenders with comparable speed. On defense Strozier is highly effective in pass coverage. He displayed the ability to excel in both zone and man defensive schemes. Due to the lack of top-level speed, he likely won’t be consistently effective in press coverage against quicker opponents. Looking into play habits, Branden Strozier tends to drop back into coverage and then will react to runs as they happen. He shows great effort and technique on tackles but does struggle to bring down larger players. Being just 175 pounds, it isn’t surprising that he struggles to bring down larger players. As he adds muscle mass and strength at Clemson this issue could likely become less of an issue.
With the current players on the Clemson roster, Strozier will almost certainly see little playing time as a freshman. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him redshirt to develop in year one. I would like to think that he could develop into a contributor in the two-deep by his sophomore season. Realistically, if Strozier were to develop into a starter, it would likely be by his late sophomore to junior year. The speed will be a concern, but if his speed does improve over time, he could certainly develop into a late round NFL prospect as well.
Overall, this is a great long-term pick-up for Coach Swinney and the Clemson Tigers. I look forwards to seeing how they develop Branden Strozier in the future.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]