The recruiting process is a little less stressful for Toriano Pride, one of the nation’s top cornerbacks, now that he has trimmed down his list of nearly 30 scholarship offers.
Earlier this month, the four-star class of 2022 prospect from St. Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North made the first cut in his recruitment when he released a top seven featuring Clemson along with Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio State and Oregon.
“It feels good,” Pride said of narrowing the field during a recent Zoom interview with The Clemson Insider. “It’s a stress relief because now I can just dial down and focus on the seven schools and not talk to a thousand coaches a day.”
Among the coaches Pride is happy to continue communicating with are Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks Mike Reed, and the bond he has built with them is one of the reasons why the Tigers are one of his favorites, as well as the school’s family environment.
“It’s a family-oriented college,” Pride said. “They’re a family first kind of school, and I really like that. And then they’re big on relationships. I’m real big on relationships also. I’ve built a great relationship for a few months with Coach Reed and Coach Venables, and I really like Coach Swinney and I like how they run their program.”
Pride’s primary recruiter for the Tigers is Reed, who has established a connection with the standout corner and earned his trust.
“Coach Reed, I know Coach Reed the best because he’s been talking to me a lot,” Pride said. “I talk to him probably every other day. Like I said, he’s a family kind of guy. He seems like the person I can come to about anything, and I’ve built a real good trust with him. I just like how he does everything, and he’s very honest and he keeps it real, doesn’t lie.”
Moving forward in the process, Pride hopes to be able to take visits this summer before he makes his decision.
Right now, the NCAA dead period, which prohibits in-person and on-campus recruiting, remains in place through at least the end of May.
“I plan on committing around late June, early July after I visit all of the seven schools, get a feel of the campus and get a good vibe, and see how it goes from there,” Pride said.
Missouri is the only school in Pride’s top seven that he has had the chance to visit, so he would love to have the opportunity to step foot on the other college’s campuses and meet the coaching staffs in person.
“Instead of talking on the phone, it would mean a lot to actually shake their hand, look them eye to eye, get a feel of the city, the college campus,” he said. “I would like to see if my family likes it, also, because that plays a big role in my decision. Basically, if I can see myself there for three to four years.”
Whichever program Pride decides to suit up for, he says it will be getting a coachable, hardworking and talented athlete who will do whatever it takes to play a successful role on the team.
“I’m very hardworking,” he said. “I know how to get down to work. I’ll do anything to get the job done. I’m fast, physical. I’m well coached, I’m easy to be coached. I’m always just going to get the job done, really.”
As for where Clemson stands with Pride among his top schools at this point in the process, the Tigers are in a great spot.
“Very high up,” he said.
Pride is ranked as high as the No. 10 cornerback and No. 73 overall prospect in the 2022 class by 247Sports.
Clemson Variety & Frame has everything you need for a perfect family fun night. Get the latest puzzles and games right here for your Tiger!