Priority DE target FaceTimes with Swinney

Priority DE target FaceTimes with Swinney

Recruiting

Priority DE target FaceTimes with Swinney

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One of Clemson’s top targets on defense in the 2022 class talked with multiple members of the staff on Tuesday, including head coach Dabo Swinney, and came away from the conversations feeling like a major priority for the Tigers.

Boonville (Mo.) four-star defensive end DJ Wesolak spoke with Swinney, defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall and other Clemson coaches over FaceTime.

“I had basically like a big meeting with Clemson,” Wesolak told The Clemson Insider. “I talked to Coach Dabo for about 20, 25 minutes. It was a FaceTime call with every coach that they have on their board, and we all just talked. Dabo kind of gave me his recruiting pitch, showed me a bunch of cool stuff and things like that. It was great.

“They were basically just telling me that they love me here and they don’t offer a lot of players. … They were just telling me I’m a special player, I can fit anywhere in their system and make it happen.”

Wesolak, who scored an offer from the Tigers last month, appreciated hearing those words from the coaches and Clemson’s head man himself.

“It was great, especially coming from Coach Dabo,” Wesolak said. “A lot of recruits don’t talk to head coaches frequently, and Dabo made me feel like a priority to him. He said he wasn’t even planning to get on the call, but he heard me and Coach Lemanski talking and he was like, ‘Let me talk to him.’”

Wesolak (6-6, 235) has felt his relationship with Clemson’s staff grow stronger by the day since receiving an offer from the program toward the end of February.

“We talk almost every day,” he said. “Coach Lemanski and all them, they joke around and play around, so I love every part of them. It’s great. Coach Dabo can joke around but when it’s serious time, it’s serious time. They’re obviously one of the top priorities to me and I’m a top priority for them, so we show respect to each other and we know that we both could bring things to each other.”

Wesolak has amassed 40-plus offers from Power Five programs all across the country and is in the process of trimming down his list, with a potential decision timeline in mind.

“I’ve slowly been narrowing schools down or cutting some here and there,” he said. “I’m thinking about finally committing around September and then making it public around December, around the All-American game (2022 All-American Bowl) if I have to.

“So, I really haven’t decided, but I’m getting close to it. I have some ideas in my head, what I want to do, but right now I’m just cutting schools here and there.”

Wesolak is seen by some as a lock to end up at Notre Dame, though he says that is not necessarily the case.

“Right now, if you look on any website, they’re going to have me 100-percent Notre Dame,” he said. “I love Notre Dame and I love that they’ve made me a priority, they’ve made me one of their top players. But at the same time, it’s still early for me to say I’m 100-percent Notre Dame.”

As for where Clemson stands with Wesolak at this point in the process, the Tigers are in a good spot — especially after his conversation with Swinney and the staff on Tuesday.

“I know Clemson is definitely a top school. I put my word to that,” he said. “They’re obviously winners. That’s what me and Dabo talked about. He was like, players want to be good or be better or great, and you can be great there. You want to win, you’re going to go somewhere you’re winning. So, that was kind of our conversation. We have the same mindset about the game and life, and Clemson’s going to bring more to you than just football. They’re obviously going to bring the aspects of you getting ready for life with the P.A.W. Journey and everything like that.

“So, Clemson’s high on my list. It’s more than just a football program — obviously life after, what their coaches kind of bring to their players and the support they give them.”

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