Blue Chip Road Trip: Top Clemson OL target nearing decision

Blue Chip Road Trip: Top Clemson OL target nearing decision

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Blue Chip Road Trip: Top Clemson OL target nearing decision

Milton (Ga.) 2020 four-star offensive lineman Paul Tchio is the anchor of his team’s offensive line that led the way for more than 200 yards rushing in Milton High School’s 21-19 victory over Archer High School on Friday night in the season opener for both teams.

The Clemson Insider was on hand for the game, which was a part of the 2018 Corky Kell Classic at Georgia State Stadium in Atlanta, and caught up with Tchio afterward.

“We have a brand new O-line,” Tchio said. “I’m the only starter returning, so we wanted to come out and show everybody what we’re about, that we can run the ball. Because everybody has been saying we’re small, but size don’t mean anything if you ain’t got heart. We had heart tonight.”

Tchio, one of the top 2020 offensive linemen in the South, has over a dozen scholarship offers from Power Five programs. But he has narrowed his focus to just a few schools, including Clemson.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound prospect is closing in on his college decision and wants to take another look at three schools before he makes a commitment.

“I’m planning on being at Clemson Sept. 1 for the home opener against Furman, and then I’m planning on visiting Alabama and UGA next month too,” said Tchio, who has been to all three schools in the past. “Then I’ll see where I’m at with my family and try to make a decision.”

Tchio is teammates at Milton with four-star safety Joseph Charleston, who became the first member of Clemson’s 2019 recruiting class when he committed last October.

Charleston is staying in Tchio’s ear about the Tigers and doing his best to help the coaching staff get him on board.

“Him and his whole family, they’ve been showing me nothing but love, and the whole staff at Clemson,” Tchio said. “It’s definitely been heartwarming.”

Tchio has developed a relationship with his area recruiter for Clemson, Mickey Conn, who has ties to the state of Georgia as a former longtime head coach at Grayson High School.

Conn is heading his recruitment along with offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell, whom Tchio has gotten to know as well.

“I’ve talked to him a couple of times over the phone,” Tchio said. “He’s a real cool dude. He’s like one of them old-school guys, but he still knows how to talk to people and he’s fun to be around.”

As Tchio approaches his commitment, he is looking closely at a few factors that will play a big role in his decision.

“Early playing time,” Tchio said, “my relationship with not just the O-line coach, the whole coaching staff, and if football wasn’t a factor, could I see myself at the university?”

Tchio is ranked as a top-150 overall prospect in the 2020 recruiting class by both Rivals and 247Sports. He is ranked by the 247 Composite as the No. 13 prospect in Georgia, No. 14 offensive tackle and No. 115 overall prospect for 2020.

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