It’s never too early to start looking for future difference-makers in the trenches, and Clemson is doing just that on the recruiting trail. Looking ahead, one of the top defensive tackle prospects in the 2022 class drawing strong interest from the Tigers and many other schools is Travis Shaw.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound rising sophomore from Greensboro (N.C.) Grimsley is already getting plenty of attention from major programs across the country, Clemson included.
Shaw visited Death Valley for the spring game this year and returned for the Dabo Swinney Camp over the summer. Defensive tackles coach Todd Bates visited Shaw’s school during the spring evaluation period, and the two have quickly built a close relationship.
“Coach Bates, he’s a real cool guy,” Shaw said. “He’s like a big older brother to me. He just keeps it real.”
Shaw told The Clemson Insider that he expects to be back on campus for the game vs. Texas A&M on Sept. 7.
“I know Coach Bates was telling me how big of a game that usually is, so it should be a pretty good game,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it, the competitiveness. I’m getting looked at by both of the schools, so it will be a good game for me to see from both of the schools’ perspective.”
Heading into his sophomore season, Shaw has already received verbal offers from a dozen schools including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, North Carolina, NC State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Tennessee.
Clemson doesn’t usually offer underclassmen and hasn’t yet offered a 2022 prospect, but Shaw expects to get one from the Tigers in due time.
“Coach Bates said I’m going to be one of the first guys they offer (in the 2022 class),” Shaw said. “So being offered by a national championship team, it’s just an honor. It’s going to be special to get offered by the national champions.”
Shaw named Clemson, UNC, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia as some of the schools he is getting the most interest from early on in the process.
When he looks at Clemson as a potential college option, the program’s history of producing NFL players at the defensive tackle position certainly appeals to him.
“That’s my ultimate goal,” he said. “So if a school is producing those type of guys, that’s a big step in wanting to go there.”
On Thursday, 247Sports released its first ranking of the top 100 players in the 2022 class. Shaw checked in as the No. 2 defensive tackle and No. 59 overall prospect.