Noah DeHond had been looking forward to the moment for a while, and on Wednesday, it finally came.
After being committed for more than 17 months, the offensive lineman from The Peddie School in Hightstown, N.J., signed his national letter of intent on national signing day and officially became a Clemson Tiger.
“It’s been a long time coming,” DeHond told The Clemson Insider. “So, I was glad to make it official, and I can’t wait to get on campus.”
Now, it’s back to work for DeHond.
A top-10 prospect in the state of New Jersey by MaxPreps (3rd), Rivals (9th) and 247Sports (10th), DeHond hopes to contribute right away at Clemson.
Some expect DeHond to redshirt his freshman season, but he doesn’t see it that way. Neither does Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell, at least not right now.
“I just want to make an impact in whatever way I can,” DeHond said. “Just make my teammates better and make the program better as a whole. I’ve talked to coach Caldwell, and he really doesn’t think that I’ll need to redshirt.”
Having played in a similar style of offense to Clemson’s at Peddie, DeHond thinks it will benefit him as he learns a more advanced playbook.
“Understanding the playbook is something that’s going to come a little bit easier to me having been in this offense,” DeHond said. “Obviously that’s the biggest part is getting the mental side of it down and getting adjusted to the level of play.”
DeHond, one of the largest signees in Clemson history at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds, is aiming for a target weight of 295 when he arrives on campus.
He wants to be in peak physical condition, knowing that summer workouts and fall camp can be a grind.
“Once you put pen to paper, it makes it that much more real, and I’m stepping up my preparation,” DeHond said. “I want to be in tip-top shape because I know that’s not going to be easy going through those workouts. So, I want to be in the best shape possible.”
After starting his high school career at McQuaid Jesuit High in New York, DeHond spent his last two years at Peddie, where he was a team captain and all-state performer.
He’s already changed schools once, so the transition to Clemson could be easier for him.
“It’s a big jump for kids to go from high school to college,” DeHond said, “and having gone through that process of going away from home and transitioning to a new environment and new culture, I think that’s something I’m going to be able to help the other guys with.”
Clemson’s 2017 class that is ranked as highly as 10th nationally by ESPN is full of talent, and the class is a close group with most of its members having been committed well before signing day.
DeHond sees those relationships paying off for Clemson in the future.
“I think we’re all going to make each other better,” DeHond said. “We’re all competitive, and we’re going to win a few championships of our own.”
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