Whereas Clemson has not offered any recruits from South Carolina in the 2021 class, the Tigers have already extended offers to a couple of Palmetto State prospects in what is a stronger 2022 in-state class.
One in-state rising junior who doesn’t have an offer from the Tigers right now but is on their radar is Jayden Johnson, an offensive lineman from Goose Creek High School.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pounder camped at Clemson last summer and showed well in front of the coaches, more than holding his own while competing against seniors.
“I talked to Coach (Tony) Elliott and (Robbie) Caldwell. They were giving me good feedback on my performance,” Johnson recalled. “I was talking to them to the side here and there and overall giving me knowledge, and telling me I have much potential.”
Johnson had hoped to participate in the Dabo Swinney Camp again last month and put his improved skills as an offensive lineman on display for the coaching staff, so he was naturally disappointed when Clemson University officials made the call to cancel all on-campus athletic camps scheduled to be held this summer due to COVID-19.
“I just wanted to show them what I had, and I wanted to go there to get better and learn,” Johnson said. “I was looking to compete at my highest.”
Johnson has not been in contact with Clemson since prior to the pandemic but expects to begin hearing from Elliott, his area recruiter for the Tigers, on or after Sept. 1. That is the date when college coaches are allowed to start actively reaching out to high school juniors.
“Right before quarantine Coach Elliott was telling me he couldn’t speak with me through phone until the beginning of my junior year,” Johnson said.
Along with Clemson, schools such as South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, Tennessee and Penn State have shown interest in Johnson, who feels the Gamecocks and Hokies may be close to offering.
What would an offer from the Tigers mean for the in-state recruit and his recruitment if he were to receive one in the future?
“It would definitely impact it because I grew up watching that school,” he said, “and it would be a lot to be in ‘Best is the Standard’ environment.”
After traveling to Clemson for camp last summer, Johnson also made an unofficial visit to campus for the Charlotte game at Death Valley in September.
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