Imperial (Mo.) Seckman’s Jake Seidel has been a Clemson fan since he was small and dreamed of playing for the Tigers as a kid.
Now a big 6-foot-6, 260-pound offensive lineman in the class of 2020, Seidel visited his dream school for the first time on Monday as a recruit.
His experience on campus not only met his expectations, it surpassed them.
“It truly exceeded my expectations,” Seidel said. “It was great seeing all the help you can get as far as academics, like tutoring. Also, the training facility was second to none. I had some time to talk with the nutritionist, and it amazed me how the whole nutrition system works.
“The staff at Clemson is committed to helping their athletes to reach their full potential, and that is something I loved.”
Last month, Seidel reached out to Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to express his interest in the program. Caldwell then checked out Seidel’s highlight tape and liked what he saw on film before inviting him to visit.
Seidel was able to meet and speak with Caldwell on Monday.
“Coach Caldwell is one of the nicest coaches I have met,” Seidel said, “but a thing with him is he loves you but he will get on you if you are doing something incorrect.”
“We were talking about himself and myself,” Seidel added. “It was a great convo so we could get to know each other.”
Seidel also had a chance to chat with some of the players, such as five-star freshman offensive lineman Jackson Carman.
He was able to watch the Tigers’ spring practice, as well.
“I thought it was great, how organized the practice was with the certain amount of time they had,” Seidel said. “There is never a moment when someone is standing around.”
Seidel was accompanied on the visit by his father, who likewise left campus even more impressed than he anticipated he would be.
“He loved it there,” Seidel said. “He said it was a lot better than he thought it was going to be, and he came here with high (expectations).”
With Clemson showing interest, Seidel is planning to compete at the Dabo Swinney Camp in June. Seidel said he is getting early interest from other college programs, as well.
Seidel was a Suburban West All District/Conference performer as a sophomore in 2017. In January, he played for the U.S. National Under-18 Team in the International Bowl in Arlington, Texas. He holds a 3.75 GPA at Seckman High School.