After signing one defensive tackle as part of the 2021 class in Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley four-star Payton Page, Clemson is looking to take a couple more interior defensive linemen in the 2022 class.
In our Looking Ahead feature, The Clemson Insider looks at the top names on Clemson’s board at defensive tackle and where the Tigers stand with them:
After landing the aforementioned Page, Clemson is once again going after another top D-tackle from Greensboro in Travis Shaw, a five-star prospect from Grimsley High School – the same school that produced former Clemson and current Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle D.J. Reader.
Last fall, Shaw trimmed down his list of more than two dozen scholarship offers when he announced a top 13 featuring Clemson along with Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and North Carolina A&T.
TCI visited Grimsley High to catch up with Shaw this week and also spoke with his head coach, Darryl Brown, who told us that Clemson, North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio State have separated themselves from the rest of the pack in Shaw’s recruitment to this point.
“There’s been several different schools, but those four have probably kind of gotten a little ahead of everyone else a little bit,” Brown said.
Shaw, who told TCI that he doesn’t currently have a timeline for his commitment, has built a strong relationship with Clemson defensive tackles coach Todd Bates as well as head coach Dabo Swinney himself.
“Coach Swinney, he’s a great coach, been a great coach for a long time,” Shaw said. “My relationship is real strong, too. He checks up on me every time he can. He’s a busy man, so whenever he gets the opportunity to shoot me a text or come get on the phone when I’m on the phone with Coach Bates, he pops his head in and stuff like that. So, it’s real good.”
Clemson is also chasing a couple of other five-star defensive tackles in the 2022 class: Cordova (Tenn.) St. Benedict’s Walter Nolen and Lakeland (Fla.)’s Gabriel Dindy.
Nolen – the nation’s top-ranked D-tackle – included Clemson in the top 10 he dropped last month which also featured Alabama, Auburn, Florida, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Southern Cal and Tennessee, while Dindy named Clemson among his top 11 schools in January along with Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Texas A&M and South Florida.
Neither Nolen nor Dindy appear to be close to a decision, although the latter is looking to further narrow down his recruitment sooner than later.
A pair of other defensive tackle prospects in the 2022 class that we’re tracking are Essexville (Mich.) Garber four-star Alex VanSumeren and Greenwood (Ind.) Center Grove four-star Caden Curry.
Clemson offered VanSumeren, a former Michigan commitment, in February, while Curry picked up an offer from the Tigers last August.
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