After signing a pair of defensive ends as part of the 2021 class in four-stars Cade Denhoff and Zaire Patterson, Clemson is planning to take two or three more players at the position in the 2022 class.
In our Looking Ahead feature, The Clemson Insider looks at the top names on Clemson’s board at D-end and where the Tigers stand with them:
A trio of five-stars are among the edge rushers Clemson is targeting: Opa Locka (Fla.) Monsignor Pace’s Shemar Stewart, Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson’s Jeremiah Alexander and Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute’s Enai White.
Stewart was the first of those to get an offer from Clemson last July and said to TCI after scoring the offer, “Clemson is an offer I always wanted because of the culture there. You can see that Coach Swinney is a winner, and Death Valley seems like an exciting place to be on Saturdays.”
Clemson is squarely in the mix for Stewart, who in December dropped a top 10 featuring the Tigers along with Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Ohio State, Penn State and Texas A&M.
The Tigers are also a legitimate contender for Alexander (pictured above, far right), who decommitted from Alabama last fall. The Crimson Tide still remain in the conversation, with Georgia firmly in the hunt as well.
Alexander made a couple of game-day recruiting visits to Clemson during the 2019 season. He picked up an offer from the Tigers in January and said to TCI, “I can definitely see myself at Clemson.”
White is certainly interested in Clemson, as well. “They produce, they win, and you can tell they work hard,” he said to TCI. “A tight ship is run over there.”
Ohio State, Penn State, Florida, LSU and Oregon are some of the other schools White is high on.
Other defensive ends in the 2022 class with offers from Clemson include Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Jihaad Campbell, Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman four-star Cyrus Moss, Boonville (Mo.) four-star DJ Wesolak and Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna four-star Kenyatta Jackson.
Clemson made the top 12 that Jackson released last summer, while Moss included the Tigers in the top 11 he announced on Feb. 21.
Clemson also looks like a lock to make the cut for Campbell, who is getting ready to narrow his list of nearly 30 offers down to eight schools. “I just like the culture,” he said to TCI of Clemson. “Everything is different about them. The way they coach their players, the way they just go about everything – it’s very different and it’s very organized and structured properly.”
Wesolak received Clemson’s most recent defensive end offer a week ago. He doesn’t have an official group of top schools right now but told TCI if he did, the Tigers would definitely be on it. “Obviously I love what they have to offer,” he said. “They have morals, education, football, life after football – they’re really strict on trying to get their players ready for after football. So, I definitely have high interest in them.”
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