In October, an Ohio defensive end with around 20 offers made the long trek to Clemson for the Tigers’ game against Louisville, and he liked it so much that he wants to come back and experience more.
Cleveland (Ohio) Cleveland Heights four-star defensive end Tyreke Smith recently spoke with The Clemson Insider and said he “definitely” will visit Clemson again over the offseason or next season.
“Yes sir,” he said. “I definitely will.”
While watching the top-five matchup on Oct. 1, Smith arguably experienced Death Valley at its best and then loudest when Clemson came up with a game-winning defensive stop on Louisville’s final drive.
Now that he knows what the game-day atmosphere is like, he wants to see the quieter side of things.
“Seeing more of the campus,” Smith said. “I didn’t get to see the campus last time.”
Despite not playing competitive football since the sixth grade prior to suiting up as a junior this season, Smith has already drawn offers from Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and UCLA among a crop of others.
The 6-foot-4, 250-pounder plays basketball at Cleveland Heights, too, and his teammate talked him into joining the football team. Though Smith missed five games after suffering a broken leg this season, his offer sheet indicates it was a good decision to get back on the gridiron.
“I think I did good,” Smith said, “but I can always improve.”
Though Clemson hasn’t yet offered, Smith said it is one of the schools he is hearing from the most right now.
“I hear from them a lot,” he said. “And get lots of mail from them.”
Smith said he is also being recruited the hardest by Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, Southern Cal, Tennessee and UCLA.
If the Tigers pull the trigger on an offer, they could be a serious contender for Smith’s services despite the location far from Smith’s home state.
Smith’s brother, Malik, is a freshman on the basketball team at UNC Asheville, and Smith said it would be a factor for him when considering Clemson.
“It would mean a lot,” he said of a potential offer from Clemson. “They are a top program with a great coaching staff, and it would also be a plus because my brother goes to school in North Carolina, so it’s close.”
Smith is taking his time in the recruiting process and doesn’t have any leaders at this time.
What will be important to him when rendering a college decision in the future?
“Relationships,” Smith said, “and how good they are getting their players jobs out of college if football doesn’t work out.”
Smith also visited Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Stanford this season.
He is rated by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 6 prospect in Ohio, the nation’s No. 4 weak-side defensive end and the nation’s No. 159 overall prospect in the 2018 class.
Photo Credit: CampusRush.com