4-star DE enjoys Death Valley atmosphere


Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights defensive end Tyreke Smith made the long-distance trip to visit Clemson for the Tigers’ game against Louisville on Saturday.

The 2018 four-star prospect spoke with The Clemson Insider about his time on campus.

“It was great,” Smith said. “I got to visit the practice facility, what they’re building, and that was good itself. Then I got to see the game, I got to meet some of the coaches that I have been talking to that I haven’t met. So, it was a good visit.”

What was Smith’s reaction to Clemson’s dramatic 42-36 win?

“It was two great teams playing each other,” Smith said. “Great matchup. I got a chance to look at the defense from Clemson and the offense. It was just a great game.”

Reflecting on his visit, Smith said the atmosphere and tradition inside Death Valley stood out to him the most.

“The highlight of my visit was probably the fans, just how crazy the fans got, how much they were into the game,” Smith said. “And Clemson, when they ran down the hill.”

Smith’s offer sheet is highlighted by Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Kentucky and Maryland.

If Clemson were to join the list, it would have staying power with Smith despite the location far from home.

Smith’s brother, Malik, is a freshman on the basketball team at UNC Asheville, and he said it would be a factor for him when considering Clemson.

“Me and my brother are really close, and they’re not too far away,” Smith said. “It’s only about an hour and a half, an hour and 45 minutes away, so that definitely plays a big part.”

Clemson defensive ends coach Marion Hobby and defensive coordinator Brent Venables wanted Smith to see what Clemson’s program is about, and the two coaches accomplished that.

“They were happy I got to get down to South Carolina to see them play,” Smith said of Hobby and Venables. “They just wanted to show me how good of a program Clemson is. They did show me.”

What did Smith learn about Clemson?

“I like how they don’t just worry about football, they push life after football,” Smith said. “They focus on getting you jobs after graduating from there, and they focus on getting the players to graduate from Clemson. Even if they’re going to the NFL, they still want them to come back and graduate.

“It’s just a top-tier program.”

Smith is rated by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 10 prospect in Ohio and the nation’s No. 6 weak-side defensive end.


Photo Credit: CampusRush.com

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