Recruitment has exploded for '18 DE that recently visited

Recruitment has exploded for '18 DE that recently visited


Recruitment has exploded for '18 DE that recently visited

A fast-rising prospect from the Peach State that has collected more than half of his 21 offers over the past week and a half visited Clemson for the first time a week ago.

Following a breakout junior season and standout performance at The Nike Opening Regional in Atlanta last month, Marietta (Ga.) 2018 defensive end Azeez Ojulari has added offers from Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia Tech among others since the last day of March.

Last week, prior to visiting Alabama and Auburn, he made a trip to Clemson on Monday with his father and sister.

“He really enjoyed his visit there,” Ojulari’s head coach at Marietta High, Rich Morgan, told The Clemson Insider. “He said it felt like family, and Azeez really enjoyed that because that’s what we try to do here too. So, he felt at home, he felt the family environment and he really liked it.”

Ojulari emerged on Clemson’s radar last spring and has been tracked by defensive coordinator Brent Venables since then.

The 6-foot-4, 224-pound athlete toured the new football operations facility before taking in the Tigers’ spring practice.

He chatted with recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter, defensive line coach Todd Bates and head coach Dabo Swinney during the visit. He also spent the first part of the practice talking to defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Morgan — who has gotten to know Venables through recruiting relations over the past decade since he was the head coach at Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith in the early 2000s — said the Tigers are expressing significant interest in Ojulari.

“I’ve been friends with coach Venables for a long time. They’re interested,” Morgan said. “They didn’t offer him yet. I know they have a small recruiting class this year, so they have to be very careful who they offer because they don’t have a lot of scholarships this year.

“But they really liked him. They think he’s a great kid, and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

Ojulari earned first-team all-region and first-team all-county honors in 2016, when he had 103 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

At The Opening Atlanta, he recorded a 4.70 40-yard dash, 4.32 shuttle, 37-foot powerball throw and a 39.8-inch vertical leap.

Clemson likes what Ojulari is made of, both as a player and person off the field.

“I think they love the fact first and foremost that he’s a great young man,” Morgan said. “He’s a great kid that will fit in really well in the college environment. They know that he likes to be coached, he likes to be told the truth, made better. He enjoys being coached and becoming a better player, so that’s very important in the college game because coaches have to get kids ready to play. It’s very important that they can be coached, and he’s that type of kid.

“He’s got a great all-around game. Obviously we’re working on getting him bigger and doing some things this year to make him even more explosive, but he’s got a great game and great upside. I think his best football’s in the future. He’s just going to continue to grow and get better.”

Ojulari was originally looking to commit sometime this summer, but after the influx of recent offers, that timeframe has been pushed back to his senior year.

“Maybe he can make a decision in the early part of his senior year,” Morgan said, “but if he hasn’t had a chance to visit some schools that he wants to visit, he may have to take some official visits in December before he can finally make that decision.”

Ojulari vaulted up the rankings in 247Sports’s latest update. He’s slotted as the No. 19 prospect in Georgia, nation’s No. 9 weak-side defensive end and No. 171 overall prospect in the 2018 class.



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