Virginia 4-star is what the Tigers ‘look for in a defensive lineman’

Virginia 4-star is what the Tigers ‘look for in a defensive lineman’


Virginia 4-star is what the Tigers ‘look for in a defensive lineman’


Back in 2015, Clemson signed a standout defensive lineman from Benedictine College Prep School in Richmond, Va., by the name of Clelin Ferrell, who is now playing in the NFL with the Las Vegas Raiders.

Fast forward to the present, and the Tigers have their eyes on another big-time defensive lineman from Benedictine – Joel Starlings, a four-star tackle/end in the class of 2023.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound rising junior has communicated with Clemson defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, as well as defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and is a candidate to receive an offer from the Tigers when they begin dispensing their initial offers to 2023 recruits this summer.

“Clemson has been showing a lot of interest in me so far,” Starlings told The Clemson Insider. “I talk to Coach Bates a good amount. And I keep in touch with Coach Venables as well. The coaches explained to me that I am what they look for in a defensive lineman at this level.”

Starlings has no shortage of respect for Clemson’s coaching staff and can’t wait to work up close and personal with them when he participates in the Dabo Swinney Football Camp next month.

“I’m extremely excited to visit Clemson on June 6,” he said. “I feel like Clemson has the best coaching in America and it would mean a lot to get some tips from them.”

It will mark the first-ever visit to Clemson for Starlings.

“It should be a great experience for me,” he said. “I will be attending the camp on the 6th and I’m very excited to learn new techniques and how to perfect my craft at the camp coached by great coaches at Clemson.”

Starlings is also scheduled for visits next month to South Carolina (June 7), Georgia (June 8) and Florida (June 24-26).

The Gamecocks and Bulldogs have offered Starlings, along with schools such as Virginia, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Penn State, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Oregon.

Starlings hopes to see the Tigers join his list of college opportunities moving forward.

“I am very interested in Clemson!” he said. “Clemson is one of the best teams and programs in the country. If I received an offer from Clemson, it would be very exciting and blessed.”

Starlings is ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the state of Virginia, No. 9 defensive tackle nationally and No. 137 overall prospect for the 2023 class by 247Sports.

Clemson Variety & Frame is doing their part to help bring you some classic new barware and help one of the local businesses that helps make Clemson special.

Order your Nick’s barware and do your part to help.  #SaveNicks



After dominating in the lower levels of the minor leagues this season, a former Clemson standout has earned another promotion. The Rome Braves, High-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, announced Tuesday that (…)

More The Clemson Insider