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Recruiting

Talented Columbia ATH loves Clemson

Columbia (S.C.) athlete Akele Pauling emerged on the recruiting scene after a strong sophomore season at Cardinal Newman High School in 2016.

College programs, including Clemson, have begun to take notice of his talent. Area recruiter Brandon Streeter invited him to compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June so the Tigers could get a closer look.

“I really enjoyed it,” Pauling said. “It was a great experience camping with the coaches. I went as a DB and a WR. The DB coaches really like my technique and like the way I competed and played at the camp.”

Last season, Pauling posted 48 tackles, three forced fumbles, three pass breakups and an interception as a defensive back. Offensively, he totaled 690 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

Pauling (5-10, 165) transferred to Ben Lippen School this offseason. Clemson sees him as a cornerback, and members of the staff have communicated with his head coach.

“He got some good feedback from them,” Pauling said. “They will be following me this season to evaluate and keep up with me.”

Pauling is also hearing from schools such as Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Northwestern, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Clemson is one of his favorites early in the recruiting process.

“I really love the culture,” he said. “Also how the coaches take care of and teach the players as if it was their own kid. They get you ready for the next level and life.”

Pauling hopes to return to Clemson for a game in the fall. He wants to visit Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Mississippi State, as well.

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