Rising senior offensive lineman Gavin Orr of Gadsen, Ala., hails from the same hometown as legendary former Clemson coach Danny Ford.
Orr is also related to the man that led the Tigers to their first national title in 1981.
“I haven’t really met him myself, but my grandmother and coach Ford are first cousins,” Orr told The Clemson Insider. “My dad’s side of the family has always been big fans of Clemson ever since he coached there.”
Orr, a prospect in the class of 2018, made his first visit to Clemson on June 7 for the Dabo Swinney Camp after being invited by offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
“I loved everything about it,” he said. “Coach Caldwell took me on a tour of the football facilities, and they were the nicest I’ve seen. I also got a chance to meet coach Swinney.”
Chatting with Swinney was one of the highlights of his day on campus.
“When coach Caldwell took me over to meet him, I have to admit I was a little nervous,” Orr said. “It was great. He is a genuinely good guy, and I would love to have a chance to play for him. We didn’t talk football specifics, but we talked about how we are both from Alabama. Also coach Caldwell mentioned to him how I’m related to coach Ford and we talked about that for a little bit.”
Orr (6-4, 270) has Division I FBS offers from App State, Army, Central Michigan, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee and Troy. The 4.0-GPA student at Southside High School also carries offers from five Ivy League schools and a number of Division I-AA programs.
Kansas, Purdue, Southern Miss, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest are showing interest along with the Tigers.
“(Caldwell) told me he loved my highlight film and my footwork and how I finish blocks,” Orr said. “In high school I play tight end/H-back, but coach Caldwell wants to convert me into an interior lineman or possibly even a center. He invited me to the camp to see me pass protect, something I don’t do very often. After the camp he told me and coach Swinney how impressed he was with me in the 1-on-1s.”
Caldwell has brought up the potential for Orr to earn an offer from the Tigers and told him to stay patient.
“It would truly be an honor to have an opportunity to play under coaches like coach Swinney and coach Caldwell, and to play for a program as prestigious and successful as Clemson,” Orr said. “I believe Clemson would be a great fit for me as an athlete and as a student.”
Orr, who also plays basketball, has been to Troy and Vanderbilt for camps this summer as well. He is scheduled to camp at UAB next week and hopes to camp at Purdue and Wake Forest.