Clemson is strongly in contention for the nation’s top-ranked tight end who just so happens to have a family connection to the Tigers’ football program.
Cumming (Ga.) West Forsyth four-star Oscar Delp – the No. 1 tight end in the 2022 class per Rivals and the 247Sports Composite – is the nephew of former Clemson wide receiver James Chappell, who played for the Tigers in the 1990s and was roommates with former Clemson quarterback and current quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter.
Chappell is the brother of Delp’s mother, and that side of the family is doing some recruiting for the Tigers.
“My whole family on that side, on my mom’s side, is kind of staying in my ear about Clemson,” Delp told The Clemson Insider. “He (Chappell) said he loved it and it was some of the best times of his life, and he can’t wait to get down there and show me around with me and just kind of walk me through how he lived through his college years.”
Delp (6-5, 220) is also hearing from Clemson offensive coordinator and new tight ends coach Tony Elliott on a frequent basis.
“I’m talking with Coach Elliott almost every day, every week,” Delp said. “I talk with him all the time and I’m really liking what he’s doing in the tight end room, and I’m excited to see how they’re going to use the position this upcoming season.”
“My relationship with him is pretty good right now,” Delp added. “He’s really easy to talk to, and he’s not just a football coach. He really cares about me as a person as well, and he’s a big family man. So, he’s also talked with my parents, and I know they love that also.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has made a great impression on Delp as well.
“I’ve talked with Coach Swinney a couple times on FaceTime,” he said. “He’s just like you’d think he’d be. He’s not different one on one than he is on camera and everything. He’s just how you’d picture him to be and he’s an awesome coach and seems like an awesome guy, and it’d be awesome to be able to get coached by him for the next four years.”
In February, Delp narrowed down his list of 30-plus offers when he dropped a top 13 comprised of Clemson along with Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Northwestern, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Southern Cal and Stanford.
Assuming the NCAA dead period is lifted this summer and on-campus recruiting opens back up, Delp has already made plans to take official visits to Georgia (June 4-6), Florida (June 11-13) and South Carolina (June 25-27).
Clemson typically doesn’t host official visits in the summer, so Delp is looking to travel to Tigertown for an unofficial visit.
“I think we’re going to go up there on our own for an unofficial one of the weekends in the summer,” he said, “and then if I like Clemson, I think we’re going to schedule an official later in the year.”
Delp doesn’t currently have a set timeline for his commitment decision but thinks it could come sometime in September after he is hopefully able to get on various college campuses and attend some games early this coming season.
“Some of the factors that I’m going to take into my commitment are going to be my relationship with the coaches, my overall feel at the school and just how much I enjoy it,” he said. “I’m going to be there for the next four years, so I’ve got to enjoy every minute of it. And just how they use the tight end position and how they utilize them and how they get them the ball.”
In the words of Delp, where do the Tigers stand with him at this point in the process?
“They’re definitely up there near the top with the alphas,” he said. “A school like Clemson with the tradition they have, you can’t really pass a chance up visiting there and just going there. It’s definitely a school that I’m going to be looking hard into.”
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