DeMario Tolan, a four-star linebacker from Tohopekaliga High School in Kissimmee, Fla., has seen his recruiting stock soar over the past few months.
The 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior went from holding a handful of Power Five offers at the beginning of this year to now having close to 40 offers from major programs around the country to choose from.
“Everything’s been pretty good,” Tolan said to The Clemson Insider of the recruiting process. “Just staying blessed and just thankful for everything that’s going on.”
“There’s a lot of schools that are showing me a lot of love,” he added. “Just a lot of schools that are showing me a lot of love.”
Although Clemson has yet to offer Tolan, it is one of the schools showing significant interest in the standout class of 2022 prospect.
“I talk to them about every day,” he said.
Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables is Tolan’s primary recruiter for the Tigers.
“Mainly Coach Venables I talk to, and he just sends me a lot of stuff,” he said. “We talk on the phone about every other day.”
There is plenty that intrigues Venables about Tolan, a three-sport athlete who also plays basketball and runs track and was an Osceola News-Gazette All-County first-team selection at linebacker in each of the last two seasons.
“He loves me as a player,” Tolan said of Venables. “He likes how I move fast as a player, how I read, react as a player, how I’m a smart player, all of that.”
Tolan and Venables have developed a rapport and are building a good relationship.
“He’s a cool guy,” Tolan said. “I like him. He’s always making me smile. We make each other laugh.”
Tolan is in the process of planning visits for after the NCAA dead period, which is expected to be lifted come June 1.
Clemson is one school that Tolan says he “for sure” wants to check out once the dead period ends.
“I love their program,” he said. “They always play big-time football, and that’s what I like.”
Among the more than three dozen programs that have extended offers to Tolan are schools such as Florida State, Miami, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, North Carolina, Oregon, Penn State, South Carolina and Texas A&M.
Tolan may narrow down his recruitment after he takes visits but doesn’t expect to make his commitment anytime soon.
“Now I’m thinking of not making a decision until signing day,” he said. “But I’ll drop maybe a top five or something like that after my official visits.”
Should Clemson pull the trigger on an offer to Tolan moving forward, the Tigers would instantly claim a spot at the top of his list.
“They would stand at number one or number two,” he said.
Tolan is ranked as the No. 9 inside linebacker in the 2022 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
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