Clemson dipped into the Midwest last week to dispense one of its latest offers.
Four-star jumbo athlete Braiden McGregor of Port Huron (Mich.) Northern received an offer from the Tigers – one he had been hoping for – last Wednesday.
“I’ve loved Clemson for the longest time,” McGregor told TCI. “They have something special there for sure that they have going on. It’s pretty evident with their past couple seasons … Before all this started, before I started getting the big offers, that was a school that I was hoping I was going to get.”
McGregor (6-5, 255) picked up an offer from Alabama last month, and he also has offers from Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Wisconsin among others.
Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and tight ends coach Danny Pearman reached out to McGregor two weeks ago, then area recruiter Todd Bates stopped by McGregor’s school last week before conveying Clemson’s offer through a phone conversation.
“Coach Bates came to my school and he talked to my coach,” McGregor said. “He was there for a pretty good time, and then he ended up texting me and asking me to call him. So then I called him and he was like, ‘Hey, I didn’t want to leave the state without offering ya.’ He said, ‘We really like what you do in the classroom and what you do off the field and on the field, too, and I think you’d be a good part of joining the Clemson Family.’ So, that was pretty special.”
McGregor played all over the gridiron as a junior this season, seeing action at virtually every position except for cornerback and quarterback. Clemson offered him as a defensive end/tight end, his preferred positions.
“They said whichever one I come in and whichever spot I do better at, whichever spot I get more playing time at,” he said. “So, that was pretty cool, too.”
With the offer in hand, McGregor is now planning to make multiple visits to Clemson this coming year.
“I haven’t visited them yet, but my family and I are trying to figure out – they have a junior day in January, and we’re going to try and go down to that,” he said. “And then in March for their spring break, we’re going to be running an RV and we’re going to go down and visit schools in the South that have offered me. So, I’ll hopefully be there (at Clemson) twice next year, or maybe more depending on how the drive is and how much I like it down there.”
McGregor made visits to Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Alabama during the season. He said those are some of his top schools, though he does not yet have a formal list of favorites. He does have a commitment timeline in mind.
“I plan on making my decision in like April, May, June, sometime around there,” he said. “I want to make it before my senior season.”
What factors will he weigh most heavily when making his decision in the future?
“Number one is probably going to be academics,” McGregor said. “What my parents have stressed to me my whole life is that football and sports don’t last forever, so I think having a strong academic degree and base helps out a lot. That’s the big thing, and then having good relationships with coaches is another big thing for me. And then just great football, and you can get that at a lot of the schools that have offered me. That’s why some are starting to stand out more than others, but those are the top three things I’m looking at for when I make my decision.”
Photo Courtesy: Matt Freeman, Irish Sports Daily