As he went through the recruiting process, Cade Denhoff fell in love with Clemson and knew it was the school he wanted to attend if given the opportunity.
But the former four-star defensive end from Plant City, Fla., had to stay patient for that opportunity while waiting for a potential scholarship offer from the Tigers, who liked Denhoff after seeing him in camp but wanted to see him grow and develop physically.
Denhoff, now listed at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, did just that and eventually earned the long-awaited offer from Clemson as a rising junior on July 15, 2019. The former top-100 national prospect announced the offer on Twitter that day, saying, “I have been waiting for this day for a long time.”
Denhoff – who also had offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State, Notre Dame and numerous others – signed with Clemson during the early signing period this past December before enrolling early in January.
“It was a long process,” Denhoff said recently, reflecting on the recruiting process during a video from Clemson featuring its midyear enrollees.
“There was a lot of waiting. I came to my first camp here when I was a freshman going into my sophomore season, that summer. I was able to talk to Coach (Brent) Venables when I was here and obviously go through the camp, and then I came on a visit the spring of my sophomore year. I knew this was definitely one of the places that I was considering heavily. I came here and talked to Coach Venables and kind of fell in love a lot more, and was like, ‘Man, if I get this offer, this is definitely where I want to go.’”
Denhoff’s parents fell in love with Clemson during the process, too, and were likewise ecstatic when he finally received the offer after working so hard and waiting so long for it.
“They were hyped,” he said.
A five-year letterman at Lakeland (Fla.) Christian School, Denhoff saw action in nine games as an eighth grader and played 48 games overall, recording 282 career tackles, 26.5 sacks, seven caused fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Denhoff was unanimously rated as a four-star prospect by the major recruiting services and considered a top-100 national prospect in the 2021 class by both ESPN (No. 85 overall) and 247Sports (No. 91).
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