Looking ahead to Clemson recruiting for the 2022 class, one standout in-state offensive lineman on the Tigers’ radar is Jayden Johnson from Goose Creek (S.C.) High School.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound rising junior has an offer from Georgia Tech and is garnering attention from a host of other Power Five programs including Clemson.
“The schools that have been showing interest are Georgia Tech, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Georgia, Penn State and Wake Forest,” Johnson told The Clemson Insider.
Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is Johnson’s primary recruiter for the Tigers.
“He has been telling me what it is like to be a Clemson O-lineman and would tell me stuff about [former Clemson and current Raiders OL] John Simpson, because we come from the same place,” Johnson said. “He’s been telling me I can be like him in the program if I continue to work hard and be the best I can be every day.”
Clemson played host to Johnson as an unofficial visitor for the game against Charlotte at Death Valley last season.
“It was really fun,” Johnson recalled. “The energy there is crazy. The most I remember is definitely the team entrance going down the hill. People went crazy!”
Johnson had hoped to return to Clemson for the Dabo Swinney Camp in June but won’t be able to as the university announced last month that due to the coronavirus pandemic, it cancelled all of its in-person, on-campus athletic and academic camps scheduled to be held this summer.
So far in the recruiting process, Johnson has only been able to visit Clemson, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, though he hopes to check out a bunch of schools during this coming football season if he can.
As for why a slew of major programs are showing interest in Johnson, he believes there is a lot he can offer a college offense up front in the trenches.
“I feel I’m a competitor, and never been afraid of any challenge,” he said. “I feel I excel well from my quick feet, and many say I have a very strong first punch. I believe I’m a good puller, and when I get to the second and third level, I can stay in front of almost any skill guy lead blocking in holes or even the open field. Nothing really gets me shaken. I won’t just beat you physically, but I’ll definitely kill someone mentally.
“I can play every position on the line also, and I have no problem blocking any type of pass rusher. I don’t lose confidence in blocking either type.”
An offer from Clemson, if Johnson were to earn it in the future, would obviously be a dream come true for the promising in-state recruit.
“What stands out the most is the culture and all the coaches,” Johnson said. “Best is the standard there. It would mean a lot to me, because it would be a big-time opportunity, and it means even more if coming from a top program in the country.”
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