Elite Retreat gets top DE target closer to Clemson commitment

Elite Retreat gets top DE target closer to Clemson commitment


Elite Retreat gets top DE target closer to Clemson commitment


Clemson made a major impression over the weekend on one of the nation’s top edge rushers and a priority target in the 2022 class.

Boonville (Mo.) four-star defensive end DJ Wesolak traveled to campus for the Elite Retreat and was blown away by the visit.

“Just the people there were great,” he told The Clemson Insider. “Me and Toriano (St. Louis (Mo.) four-star cornerback Toriano Pride) being there, we’re really close. Just being at the campus, seeing things, seeing how open Coach (Dabo) Swinney and Mrs. (Kathleen) Swinney are, to the people on their staff … It was just amazing.”

Wesolak (6-4, 240) arrived to Clemson at approximately 3 p.m. Friday and stayed until around noon Sunday.

“Just looking at everything, seeing Coach Swinney’s house and everything like that,” Wesolak said when asked about the highlights of the visit. “Seeing him play basketball was hilarious. We just did little things like that. Went to go tour the whole facility, see the history of Clemson and all the things that they represent as a school.”

Wesolak made the trip to Tiger Town with his mother, grandfather and younger brother.

“They love my little brother,” he said of Clemson’s staff. “All the coaches were messing with him. My mom loved it, Grandpa loved it. It was just an amazing time with great people.”

Wesolak named Chesapeake (Va.) Oscar Smith four-star safety Sherrod Covil, Mauldin (S.C.) four-star cornerback Jeadyn Lukus, Jennings (La.) four-star running back Trevor Etienne and Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star safety Keon Sabb as some of the other Elite Retreat visitors he bonded the most with during the weekend.

“We became really close,” Wesolak said. “We all got close being with Swinney, driving around town, seeing everything at night, just hanging out really late and having a good time.”

After spending a lot of time around Swinney, Wesolak came away impressed by Clemson’s head coach.

“Coach Swinney, he sees their players more than football players,” Wesolak said. “He has goals for them set in life he wants them to accomplish before football. He said championships come last in their program, and the things that are before it build up to a champion and a leader. So, that’s how he sees it.

“He always goes back to when he was first graded as a coach as a D-plus (hire). He takes that every time and tries to make sure he’s a better coach than what they first saw him as. You just see that competitive personality inside of him.”

Wesolak has also made unofficial visits to Missouri and Georgia since the dead period was lifted June 1. He headed to UNC for an unofficial visit after departing from Clemson and has upcoming official visits scheduled to Florida and Southern Cal.

Wesolak said his Elite Retreat experience at Clemson moved him closer to a potential commitment to the Tigers.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Just being there, you see a lot of love and a lot of things other things schools don’t provide. When you come here, you don’t know what it actually is, but you feel a certain type of way when you get here. After leaving other schools or seeing other schools, they have the love, but they don’t show it the same way Clemson does.”

Wesolak is ranked as the country’s No. 10 defensive end and a top-100 national prospect (No. 92 overall) in the 2022 class by ESPN.

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