Zaire Patterson broke out as a sophomore last season and saw his recruitment take off as a result.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pound defensive end from Winston-Salem, North Carolina (Winston-Salem Prep) is now rated as a four-star prospect and holds around a dozen scholarship offers.
“I feel very blessed to get the attention I’ve been getting on the recruiting scene,” he told The Clemson Insider.
Patterson most recently visited North Carolina and Ohio State in July. Clemson is one of the schools he is interested in and wants to attend a game at this season.
“I plan on visiting Clemson this year,” he said.
Patterson visited Clemson in the spring and spoke with his area recruiter for the Tigers, Mike Reed, but hopes to meet more of the coaching staff when he returns to campus.
“I just want to get to speak to all the coaches in person,” Patterson said. “I’ve already spoke to Mike Reed and toured the facilities.”
What did Patterson and Reed discuss?
“Just getting down there to see coach Dabo,” Patterson said, “and how I could majorly improve with the Clemson program.”
The facilities were an aspect of Clemson’s program that certainly caught his attention as he checked them out.
“They have great and unique facilities that most schools can’t compare to,” he said.
North Carolina gave Patterson his first offer in September of last year. Since then, he has picked up offers from schools such as Florida, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Duke, Virginia and Syracuse.
The Tigers have the potential to shake things up in his recruitment, should they decide to pull the trigger on an offer in the future.
“I think it would make a big impact,” he said.
Patterson is the No. 15 weak-side defensive end and No. 233 overall prospect in the 2021 class per the 247Sports composite rankings.
As a sophomore in 2018, he posted 52 total tackles including 16 tackles for loss and 16 sacks, to go with 25 quarterback hurries.