When Phil Mafah received a scholarship offer from Clemson as a rising junior in the summer of 2019, he knew right away that he wanted to be a Tiger.
So, the highly regarded running back from Georgia didn’t waste any time jumping on board with Dabo Swinney’s program, committing to Clemson on Aug. 29, 2019, prior to its season opener vs. Georgia Tech at Death Valley.
Mafah was the first player to commit to Clemson’s 2021 recruiting class, which ended up being comprised of 19 signees, and is one of the 12 midyear enrollees in the class who arrived on campus to start their college careers in January.
“The process was easy for me,” Mafah said recently, reflecting on his recruitment in a video from Clemson featuring the early enrollees.
“As soon as Clemson offered me, I knew what I wanted – I wanted to be surrounded by great people, a great culture, great winning tradition. So, that’s why I picked Clemson, and I just felt like I can grow spiritually and in football and become a better person if I came to Clemson. So, that’s why I chose Clemson. It was easy.”
Mafah played high school football for Peach State powerhouse Grayson and collected nearly 30 offers from major college programs around the country over the course of his recruiting process.
Those opportunities, and the opportunity from Clemson that Mafah seized, wouldn’t have been possible had his mother and father not moved to the U.S. before he was born to create a better life for him and their other future children.
“My family’s originally from the country of Ivory Coast in West Africa,” Mafah said. “My parents moved here in the late ‘80s to give me and my siblings a better opportunity at life. So, I’m extremely grateful for that, and it just ended up being in Grayson, Georgia, a great place for football.”
A consensus four-star prospect and unanimous top-300 player nationally according to the major recruiting services, Mafah rushed for 2,526 yards and scored 37 total touchdowns in three years at Grayson, averaging 8.8 yards per carry.
As a senior in 2020, Mafah rushed for 1,130 yards on 130 attempts (8.7 per rush) and scored 18 touchdowns despite missing the last several games of the season due to a foot injury.
Clemson Variety & Frame has everything you need for a perfect family fun night. Get the latest puzzles and games right here for your Tiger!