Coach Speak: Top-50 Clemson target Sage Ryan

Coach Speak: Top-50 Clemson target Sage Ryan


Coach Speak: Top-50 Clemson target Sage Ryan


Last week, Clemson dispensed a few offers to defensive back prospects in the 2021 class, including one to four-star Sage Ryan of Lafayette (La.) Christian Academy.

Cornerbacks coach Mike Reed made a recruiting stop at Ryan’s school last Tuesday and conveyed the offer while there.

“Their DB coach came by here,” Lafayette Christian Academy head coach Jacarde Carter told The Clemson Insider. “He said Coach Swinney would actually do the official offer. He said that it was a solid offer, but Coach Swinney is going to make the official offer.”

What was Ryan’s reaction upon receiving the offer?

“He was excited,” Carter said. “He was pretty excited. He cracked a slight smile. He’s more of a serious kid, so he doesn’t joke or clown too much. But he had a slight smile.”

Ryan is a two-way prospect that is being recruited to play on offense by some schools and defense by other schools.

Clemson offered him as a cornerback. His offer list also includes Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, Duke, TCU and Colorado.

The 5-foot-11, 195-pound junior is a very versatile athlete for Lafayette Christian Academy.

“Sage would be our Jabrill Peppers, if you remember him from Michigan,” Carter said. “He plays a little bit of everything. Primarily he’s a slot receiver. His first three years in the system, he played strictly slot receiver and a little bit of corner. This year, he played slot, running back, safety, corner, and in the games where teams ran the ball 90 percent of the time, outside linebacker because he’s a hitter.”

Ryan is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 2 prospect from Louisiana, No. 2 athlete nationally and No. 32 overall prospect in the 2021 class.

Last season, Ryan caught 37 passes for 702 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for 263 yards and seven touchdowns on 38 carries. In addition, he returned seven kickoffs for 371 yards and three touchdowns and returned 13 punts for 342 yards and three more scores.

Defensively, Ryan recorded 31 tackles, four tackles for loss, two interceptions (one for a touchdown) and a fumble recovery.

“Offensively, he’s a dynamic playmaker,” Carter said. “With the ball in his hands, he can score some touchdowns. Defensively, in the secondary, he’s one of the most patient kids that I have seen in terms of waiting on you to make your move and then reacting. Patience at DB, that’s vital, that’s important. He’s got some of those natural instincts at DB, but he’s also a hitter. He enjoys running through people’s faces. Some kids can run, they can jump and they’re freakish athletes, but they lack the physicality. He’s a physical football player. He loves the contact.”

An outstanding player on the field, Ryan also checks off all the boxes that Clemson looks for in a prospect off the field.

“Mild mannered, yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir, no sir,” Carter said, describing the type of person Ryan is. “He has good grades. He’s going to be a kid that’s doing what he’s supposed to do, when he’s supposed to do it, at all times. Doesn’t really entertain much foolishness. He’s a solid kid. Spiritual basis is there. Comes from a good family as well.”

According to Carter, Ryan is certainly interested in visiting Clemson to check out the school and program after adding the offer.

“Oh, most definitely,” Carter said. “He jokingly said, ‘Man, what am I going to do now? I’ve got some decisions to make,’ because that’s solid.”

Ryan is eyeing a springtime commitment, per his coach.

“He said that he would try to make a decision by his birthday, which is May 20,” Carter said.

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