Dabo Swinney is glad that Kaleb Boateng stayed patient with and open to Clemson leading up to the early signing period.
Despite not receiving an offer from the Tigers until essentially the eleventh hour of his recruitment, the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) offensive lineman chose to sign with Clemson on Wednesday morning when the early signing period commenced.
“We’re really slow to offer a lot of these guys,” Swinney said during his early signing period press conference Wednesday. “But he was a guy that we really liked. It’s just we had a couple of guys that we were going to wait and see what they were going to do, and instead of playing games and all that stuff, we just tell everybody the truth. But he’s a very talented player, and we’re really fortunate that he was still there and receptive. Sometimes these guys get their feelings hurt and stuff because maybe you didn’t offer them right out of the gate.”
That was not the case with Boateng, who jumped at the opportunity to be a Tiger when the Tigers came calling with an offer just a few days before the early signing period began.
Boateng (6-4, 297) selected Clemson over 38 other offers, including finalists Arizona, Maryland and FAU, and will be an early enrollee.
He made just one unofficial visit to Clemson for its junior day back in March, but knew that Tigertown was the place he wanted to spend his college career.
“This kid was so thankful that we called and said, ‘Hey, are you still interested in Clemson?’ So, I’m excited about Kaleb coming in here,” Swinney said. “He really, really wanted to be here, and he didn’t have his feelings hurt. I love guys like that, that are passionate about where they want to go, and nine times out of 10 they turn out to be really good players. I think that’s the situation with Kaleb Boateng. I think he’ll be a heck of a player. He’s excited. He’s going to be a mid-year, so he’s got a chance to get right here in January and get going.”
The No. 3-ranked offensive lineman in Broward County, Fla., entering 2018, Boateng made first-team All-Broward County after starting every game as a senior this season for Fort Lauderdale High School. He posted 49 knockdown blocks to lead the offensive line and help the team finish with a 9-3 record, the most wins for the program since 1974.
In 2017, Boateng registered 38 pancake blocks to lead the team after recording 18 pancake blocks as a sophomore the year before. He has an 80-inch wingspan and was a three-year starter for Fort Lauderdale.
“I’m excited about Kaleb coming in here,” Swinney said. “If you’ve watched his tape, he’s nasty. He’s physical, he’s athletic – I mean he’s running downfield, jumping over piles, changing direction, chasing little guys. When you’re a 300-pounder and you can do that, that tells you a lot about the type of athleticism that you’re getting.”
Boateng became the second offensive lineman in Clemson’s top-10-ranked signing class, joining Pensacola (Fla.)’s Hunter Rayburn.