Clemson’s brand has never been stronger, and the “power of the Paw” is helping the Tigers recruit coast to coast and pull top prospects from all over the country.
Dabo Swinney and company have even started to establish a footprint in California after signing five-star receiver Joseph Ngata in the 2019 class and then landing a commitment from five-star quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei in the current cycle.
The Cali-to-Clemson trend has a chance to continue in the 2021 class. One standout prospect from the Golden State on the Tigers’ radar is Westlake Village four-star defensive tackle Victory Vaka.
The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder visited Clemson with his mother at the end of July and they came away very impressed by their time on campus.
“Just the family feel and environment that was felt when I was there,” he said of what stood out about the visit. “Me and my mother really loved it.”
The experience in Tigertown was so good for Vaka that he would love to return.
“Me and my mother loved it, so if me and the coaching staff can get something together, then for sure we’d love to come down again,” he said.
Vaka has offers to play for Arizona State, Michigan, Utah, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt among several other schools, with plenty more offers likely to come before it’s all said and done.
As he goes through the recruiting process, Vaka is “looking for great education, (a school that) carries my major, family environment, great players and coaches, early playing time.”
Right now, he plans to commit on Jan. 6, 2020, his mother’s birthday, though the date isn’t set in stone.
“If anything changes in my recruitment, I’ll be willing to push back the date,” he said.
If the Tigers decide to offer Vaka once they finish the evaluation process, the opportunity to play for the defending national champs would be a game-changer in his recruitment.
“Clemson would make such a huge impact if they were to offer,” he said. “Definitely a top choice of schools.”
Vaka is ranked as high as the No. 12 defensive tackle and No. 126 overall prospect in the 2021 class by Rivals. So far, he has scheduled three game-day visits for the season: Fresno State at Southern Cal on Aug. 31, Idaho State at Utah on Sept. 14 and Ohio State at Michigan on Nov. 30.
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.