The Tigers added another five-star recruit when Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth defensive end K.J. Henry committed to and signed with Clemson on Wednesday.
Henry picked the Tigers over a quartet of finalists during a ceremony televised on ESPN. He marks Clemson’s second pledge from a five-star prospect today, joining Fairfield (Ohio) offensive tackle Jackson Carman.
With quarterback Trevor Lawrence and defensive end Xavier Thomas also on board, the Tigers now have four commitments from five-star prospects in their 2018 class. Only Georgia (six) currently has more five-stars in this cycle according to the 247Sports composite.
Clemson was viewed as the team to beat for Henry, who is ranked as a top-five defensive end and top-10 overall prospect nationally.
Henry named Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, South Carolina and Virginia Tech over the summer before making official visits to each school — with the exception of Alabama — during the season.
Clemson got its official visit the weekend of The Citadel game and again reminded Henry why he had been high on the Tigers throughout his recruiting process. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and Todd Bates made their in-home visit with him on Dec. 7.
TCI recently spoke with Henry about Clemson and his recruitment.
“Obviously, they are very successful,” Henry said. “That speaks to all the five schools I’ve been talking to. That’s not really that big of a deal, but just the fact they have been recruiting me since my freshman year. Obviously, coach Swinney has been a great guy and a great recruiter in that aspect.
“But coach Bates coming in I think is the biggest thing. I had a really good relationship with coach (Marion) Hobby, but coach Bates is a genuine guy. He has been really good taking that spot and not really forcing it because he knows I had a good relationship with the last coach.”
Henry is ranked as the No. 3 defensive end and No. 5 overall prospect in the 2018 class according to ESPN. Three of ESPN’s top five overall prospects are committed to Clemson in Henry, Lawrence (No. 2) and Thomas (No. 3).
Henry’s commitment puts the icing on the cake for Clemson’s historic 2018 class heading into national signing day in February.