Clemson went from coast to coast to land one of its latest commitments.
Four-star wide receiver Joseph Ngata from Folsom, Calif., announced his verbal commitment to the Tigers on Saturday after attending their All In Cookout on Friday night.
The Clemson Insider spoke with Ngata, who said his decision to choose Clemson came down to one simple factor.
“I just felt it was the right place for me,” Ngata said. “I felt like it was a place where I can reach my full potential as a player and as a person, surround myself with good people and become successful.”
Ngata (6-3, 210) pledged to Clemson over offers from Washington, Southern Cal, Notre Dame, Alabama and numerous other schools.
The genuineness of Clemson’s program helped separate it from the pack, according to Ngata.
“Just the culture and the family orientation of everything,” he said. “It was actually like one of the real schools. They didn’t say things that you wanted to hear; they just said things that were on their hearts, and they didn’t make you feel uncomfortable.”
Ngata’s comfort level with co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and Clemson’s coaching staff played a big role in his choice to play college football across the country, more than 2,500 miles away from his hometown.
“One thing I like about them is they don’t try to pressure you,” Ngata said. “They try to recruit to their fullest, but they don’t try to pressure you. They understand that if the school’s not for you, it’s not for you and if it’s for you, it’s for you.
“I see our relationship growing and getting better. The sky’s the limit for this relationship.”
Friday’s All In Cookout marked Ngata’s second visit to Clemson, as he also attended the program’s junior day in early March after receiving an offer from the Tigers in January.
Ngata said he knew after the cookout that he wanted to commit to Clemson.
“The cookout was a good time,” he said. “It was a good time to gather and fellowship with all the recruits and all the families. That was probably the best part, just being around a bunch of families that are similar and that stand for the same thing.”
Ngata was accompanied on the visit by his mother, who hadn’t been to Clemson before Friday.
“She loved it,” Ngata said. “She loved talking to all the coaches and all the other families and all the other moms. She loved talking to Coach (Dabo) Swinney and Coach Swinney’s wife.”
The cookout gave Ngata a chance to bond with fellow Clemson receiver commitment Frank Ladson, a five-star recruit from Miami (Fla.) South Dade.
“Frank is a chill dude,” Ngata said. “I like Frank and love his family, too. It’s similar to me because he’s laid back and he’s not cocky at all. He’s different than everyone else.”
Last season, Ngata tallied 81 receptions for 1,777 yards and 26 touchdowns while helping his team go undefeated and win the CIF State Championship. Ngata was named the 2017 All-Metro Player of the Year and a MaxPreps Junior All-American following the season.
What can Clemson fans expect to see from him on the field in the future?
“I think they can expect to see big plays,” he said. “I can’t promise anything, but the person I am and the player I am, I’ll give it my all to try to make something happen.”
Ngata is ranked as high as the No. 10 receiver and No. 66 overall prospect in the country according to 247Sports. He is ranked as high as the No. 10 prospect in the state of California per Rivals.
Clemson’s 2019 class is now represented by prospects in 13 different states: California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Missouri, Maryland, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
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