It’s been a long time since Clemson has signed a prospect from the state of California. However, the power of the paw has never been stronger as evidenced by Clemson’s expanded recruiting reach, and this year the Tigers are legitimate contenders for a couple of California prospects in the 2019 class.
One of the Tigers’ Golden State targets is Folsom (Calif.) four-star wide receiver Joseph Ngata. Clemson offered him in early January, and Jeff Scott has made him a priority since. Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach traveled more than 2,500 miles cross country to see Ngata at his school on two different occasions during the current spring evaluation period, including last Thursday.
The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Ngata, who said he appreciates the pair of long-distance visits from Scott.
“It means a lot, just knowing that it’s that far and knowing that it’s not easy traveling that far and that much,” Ngata said. “So, it’s really special for somebody to come out all that way.”
The interest between Clemson and Ngata is certainly mutual. Ngata traveled to check out Clemson on March 3 for the program’s junior day, and he is slated to return to campus next weekend.
“I’m actually planning on coming up there June 2,” he said. “I’m hoping to get a more inside look on student life or just like the schooling.”
Ngata (6-3, 200) said he communicates with Scott once or twice a week and they are continuing to develop their relationship.
“It’s only grown from here, so it’s good,” Ngata said.
What is Scott’s message to the standout wideout?
“It’s not much, just saying what he sees in the future if I go there,” Ngata said. “He sees me probably playing outside (receiver) or doing whatever best fits for the team. … But he primarily sees me as an outside guy for now.”
Ngata told TCI he will likely commit sometime this summer before the start of his senior season.
The top-100 prospect also holds offers from Washington, Southern Cal, Alabama, Notre Dame, Penn State, Ohio State, Georgia and Auburn, among others.
“It’s easier for me to do it in the summer and just get it over with so I can focus on my football and my team,” he said.
When Ngata makes his college decision, a couple of factors will be paramount.
“Just where I can see myself the most successful,” he said. “I’m just looking where I’m the most comfortable.”
Asked where Clemson stands in his recruitment right now, Ngata replied, “Pretty high.”
“I like the community and just how everyone is All In on Clemson,” he said. “It’s pretty much the driving force of the town. That’s one thing I find really nice.”
Ngata hasn’t made many visits to this point, so Clemson getting him on campus again early next month is a big deal. Ngata said he isn’t sure which schools he will visit next besides Clemson.
Both Rivals and 247Sports rank Ngata as a top-100 overall prospect in the class of 2019. He is ranked as high as the No. 8 receiver nationally by 247.
Clemson is also heavily involved with Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco linebacker Spencer Lytle, who will return to campus on June 12. He first visited in early April after receiving an offer from Clemson in February.