Stellato explains why he ‘fell in love’ with Clemson, chose Tigers over Buckeyes

Stellato explains why he ‘fell in love’ with Clemson, chose Tigers over Buckeyes

Recruiting

Stellato explains why he ‘fell in love’ with Clemson, chose Tigers over Buckeyes

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Clemson formally added one of the nation’s top receiver prospects to its 2021 recruiting class on Friday when Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Cardinal Gibbons four-star wide receiver Troy Stellato announced his verbal commitment to the Tigers.

The Clemson Insider caught up with the speedy Sunshine State standout about his decision to pledge to Dabo Swinney’s program.

“I just fell in love with the program and everything that they have to offer,” Stellato said. “I love Coach Swinney a lot. I really fell in love with what he preaches to his guys, and I just wanted to be a part of a winning culture at Clemson and can’t wait to get to work.”

Stellato (6-1, 175) informed Swinney and Clemson’s staff earlier this week that he was ready to jump on board the Tigers’ 2021 class, which currently checks in at No. 2 nationally behind Ohio State in the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

“They were pumped,” Stellato said of the reaction from the coaches when he gave them the good news. “They were pumped for sure. They were really happy I decided to join the family.”

Stellato first visited Clemson to attend its game against Wake Forest last November after receiving an offer from the Tigers in October.

He returned to campus in early March to take part in the program’s junior day function, and it was after that visit that he felt quite sure he wanted to be a Tiger.

“I kind of knew in my head after my last visit,” he said. “I kind of knew that it felt like home and all that and that I wanted to be a part of everything they had going.”

After releasing a top six of Alabama, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State and Southern Cal on Christmas Day, Stellato named Clemson and Ohio State his finalists in mid-March.

Stellato, who held 40-plus scholarship offers in total, explained what specifically set the Tigers apart from the Buckeyes and slew of other schools that pursued him.

“I really fell in love with Coach Swinney and everything that he preaches about their program,” he said. “It’s different than a lot of other programs out there. It just felt really different and it really felt like the right place for me and my gut was telling me that this was the place to be. So, I listened to it and I think I made a really good decision.”

Clemson receivers coach Tyler Grisham took over as Stellato’s lead recruiter after former Tiger receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott was hired to be USF’s new head coach in December.

The relationship Stellato built with Grisham was another important factor in his college choice.

“I really like him as a coach and him as a person as well, and he’s a really good guy and I can’t wait for him to get with me,” Stellato said. “He’ll definitely make me a better football player because I really think he can do that. He knows a lot about the game.”

Stellato, who has legitimate 4.4 speed, is ranked as high as the No. 13 wide receiver and No. 101 overall prospect in the 2021 class by 247Sports. As a junior last season, he tallied 42 receptions for 727 yards and nine touchdowns after recording 44 catches for 706 yards and five scores as a sophomore in 2018 while helping Cardinal Gibbons to the FHSAA state championship.

What can Clemson fans expect to see from Stellato on the field in the future?

“A versatile player that can beat you deep with the speed, and also I’ve got strong hands and will make very contested catches over defenders in the middle of the field,” he said. “I can take hits and I’m a very tough player, and they’re going to get a hardworking kid, too.”

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