After signing the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class in 2020, per ESPN, Clemson is putting together a 2021 class that looks like it will be special as well. There is a long way to go before the cycle is over, but the Tigers currently own the No. 2 class in the country according to the 247Sports Composite, and they have a lot more upper-echelon talent in their crosshairs.
In our Looking Ahead series, The Clemson Insider takes a position-by-position look at the top targets on the Tigers’ board for the 2021 class. In this article, we focus on defensive ends:
Clemson owns commitments from a pair of defensive ends in Corona (Calif.) Centennial five-star Korey Foreman, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2021 class, and Lakeland (Fla.) Christian four-star Cade Denhoff, a top-100 national prospect.
The Tigers continue to pursue one defensive tackle — Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley five-star Payton Page — and may close the book on defensive line recruiting for this cycle if they land him. Or, they could decide to add one more D-end depending on how things shake out with the scholarship numbers.
The lone uncommitted defensive end with a reported offer from Clemson is Winston-Salem (N.C.) Prep four-star Zaire Patterson, who picked up the offer in January. The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has been on campus a couple of times, most recently for the Wake Forest game in November, and had this to say about the game-day visit in an interview with TCI afterward: “Visit was great, atmosphere was amazing like I’ve never seen before and the facilities look amazing.”
Patterson’s plan right now is to go public with a top schools list by the end of the spring and then make his commitment this summer. North Carolina hosted him for its junior day in February and is the only school he has visited thus far this offseason. The Tar Heels are squarely in contention for Patterson, while schools such as Alabama and South Carolina are in the mix among his offer list which also includes Georgia, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Florida, Auburn, Texas A&M and others.
Clemson also extended an offer to Gaithersburg (Md.) Quince Orchard four-star Demeioun Robinson in January, but he committed to Maryland in late March.
A couple other committed defensive ends in the 2021 class we’re keeping an eye on are Sumter (S.C.) three-star Justin Boone, a Florida verbal, and Rocky Mount (N.C.) four-star Keeshawn Silver, a UNC pledge. Neither have an offer from Clemson to date, though the Tigers have the clout to potentially garner consideration for either if they decided to pull the trigger on an offer.
Some of the other defensive ends on Clemson’s radar are Highland Springs (Va.) four-star Kelvin Gilliam, Kernersville (N.C.) Glenn four-star Jahvaree Ritzie, Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Tunmise Adeleye, Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay four-star Jeremiah Williams and Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha three-star Colin Mobley.
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