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Healthy Bockhorst ready to represent the Paw

Clemson’s signees in the class of 2017 aren’t due on campus until Sunday, but Matt Bockhorst will be arriving in town early this weekend to have a little fun.

“I will actually be arriving in Clemson on Friday night to get settled into our house on Lake Keowee so that we can go out on the boat Saturday before I report on Sunday,” Bockhorst told TCI earlier this week.

“My whole family will be with me. We are all very excited. They were actually down there this past week as my little brother Patrick participated in the (Dabo Swinney) High School Camp. I am looking forward to this summer and season.”

When the bell rings, Bockhorst will be ready to get down to business.

The former four-star offensive guard from St. Xavier High in Cincinnati, Ohio, missed his senior season due to a torn ACL and meniscus suffered during The Opening Finals last summer.

Now healthy again, Bockhorst (6-5, 300) is excited to begin summer workouts and fall camp. He has been preparing for the start of his career with an emphasis on conditioning and getting his overall physical condition back to where it was before the knee injury.

“I finally got cleared about three weeks ago fully for my knee — finally — but I have pretty much been doing full-function speed and agility work for about three months,” Bockhorst said. “That has been the biggest focus of mine along with positional work as I head into the summer trying to be as prepared from a conditioning standpoint as possible. I lift every day also, but there are some days where my lifting is scaled back to make way for more conditioning work since that is the biggest priority.

“Personally I am anxious about workouts, but I’m confident that I have prepared well and I am ready for the challenge.”

Bockhorst, a former Under Armour All-American and national top-200 prospect, hopes to earn opportunities to play as a freshman.

But the bottom line is he’ll just be glad to get back on the practice fields and play football again for the first time in a while.

“My goal will always be to be as great as I can possibly be,” Bockhorst said. “If that means I redshirt this year, then I am OK with that, and I don’t think that’s complacency. It’s one of those things where you want to be confident in your ability, but you also have to be realistic in what situation you are entering.

“But if I can prove myself to be capable of doing that, then I’m mentally ready. At the end of the day I just want to play football again.”

Bockhorst is ready to join the defending national champions, and he feels a responsibility in doing so.

“I think there is a certain level of accountability that comes with it,” he said. “I’ve said it all along, at some point you have to earn your right to represent that Paw. As a recruit you are basically riding off of the accomplishments of those who have come before you, but once you get on campus you are now a part of that.”

Bockhorst, who will be rooming with fellow offensive lineman Noah DeHond, is Clemson’s first signee from the state of Ohio since Cole Stoudt in 2011.

A 4.0 student, he committed to Clemson on Jan. 30, 2016.

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