Davidson, No. 51 in the 2025 ESPN 300, is the cycle’s fifth-ranked running back and would be the first ESPN 300 running back to sign with the program since Will Shipley (No. 22 overall, No. 2 RB) in 2021.
“Coach [Dabo] Swinney and [running backs] coach [C.J.] Spiller, they’re just great guys,” Davidson told ESPN. “They’re good Christian guys and I just enjoy being around them and they see something in me, so I really appreciate that and I’m just excited to be one of their players.”
Davidson’s decision continues a nice run for Swinney and the Tigers on the recruiting front. A pair of top-25 prospects in the 2024 class — linebacker Sammy Brown (No. 17 overall in 2024) and wide receiver Bryant Wesco (No. 23) — pledged last week. Clemson’s 2024 class is ranked 15th by ESPN.
Clemson finished fifth in the ACC in rushing (177.9) last season and was paced by Shipley’s 1,182 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Tigers return their two leading running backs — Shipley and Phil Mafah — from last season, and the program finished in the top 15 nationally in rushing as recently as 2019 (13th with 240.4 YPG).
The 6-foot, 195-pound Davidson, who rushed for 1,392 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore for Liberty Christian Academy (Virginia), thinks his shiftiness will complement what the Tigers want to do.
“I think I fit in pretty well with their run scheme,” he said. “I think Garrett Riley, the new offensive coordinator, has a good game plan. … I think jump cuts and making people miss are probably one of my strongest skill sets.”
Swinney extended an offer June 1 to Davidson, who visited the campus April 1 as part of a Junior Day event and then returned for the spring game in mid-April.
The compelling atmosphere at Death Valley during the spring game and the strong bond he has formed with Swinney and Spiller offered Davidson the clarity to know now was the right time to place his faith in the Tigers.
“There was a lot of people there for a spring game, so that shows the support by the crowd and the fans. … I’ve been in this process for a while and I just feel like it’s good to get it over with because it can get stressing at times,” he said. “But I’m ready to commit to one school and get ready for them.”
Clemson lands ’25 RB prospect Gideon Davidson amid recruiting push