Justin Mascoll knew he was going to be a Tiger after his latest visit to Clemson on March 4 for junior day.
The four-star defensive end and top-100 prospect from Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett made it public when he announced his commitment to Clemson on Friday evening.
“It was kind of like a buildup to the commitment,” Mascoll told The Clemson Insider. “It was just full of excitement. I love the feeling there, and I was definitely missing out on that feeling after not going there for a while and seeing other schools and noticing they don’t really offer what Clemson has to offer as far as that feel that I’m getting.
“So it’s a dream school for me, a perfect fit for me, and it’s just great. It’s exciting.”
Clemson was the first school to offer Mascoll, a top-five defensive end nationally by ESPN, Rivals and 247, when he was in the eighth grade.
Mascoll (6-4, 225) said his comfort level with Clemson’s coaching staff was a determining factor in his decision.
“They have the right coaching staff for the type of system they’re trying to bring, that family feel and that culpableness, that loving feeling,” Mascoll said. “I trust the coaches definitely.”
He has a strong bond with defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and said he is excited to continue building a relationship with new defensive line coach Todd Bates.
“I’m definitely looking forward to getting to know him better,” Mascoll said of Bates. “But me and coach V, we’ve always had a great relationship. We’ve had a relationship that’s lasted since eighth grade. We kept in contact with each other, and I’m real good friends with his son, so the relationship is unbelievable and just the trust I have for that group of guys. Not just coach Bates and coach Swinney and coach Venables — that goes for the whole staff.”
Because he’s sure Clemson is the place for him, Mascoll felt no need to prolong an announcement.
“There was really no reason for me to hold it out,” he said. “I pretty much knew I wasn’t really interested in any other school as much as Clemson, so I just knew that was the perfect fit for me and my family.”
Mascoll is glad to have the commitment behind him, ready for his senior season and excited for what the future holds at Clemson.
“It feels great. There’s a lot of pressure that’s been lifted off of me as far as the recruiting process,” he said. “I’m definitely ready for this senior season, ready to go out with a bang and get back to work in the offseason and just come in ready to work at Clemson.”
Mascoll tallied 68 tackles and six sacks as a junior in 2016. He is rated as the No. 14 overall prospect in ESPN’s Junior 300 and the No. 84 prospect by Rivals.