Clemson has become connected to a California high school powerhouse because of its starting quarterback.
That’s allowed for others from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA.) to make that cross-country trip to The Valley. Prospects like 2024 DB Peyton Woodyard, who camped and had the opportunity to visit Clemson earlier this summer.
Woodyard recently caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding his time at Clemson and just what he’s been hearing as far as his recruitment is concerned.
Woodyard hasn’t been in contact with Clemson since his visit, but when he was on campus, he spoke at length with three members of the Tigers’ defensive coaching staff — defensive coordinator Brent Venables, cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and safeties coach Mickey Conn.
“They really like me,” Woodyard told TCI. “Coach Conn said they would have offered me if I wasn’t a ’24, but I definitely want to get back up there after this season.”
Hailing from California, distance isn’t going to play a factor in Woodyard’s eventual decision. He’s just looking for the best fit, whether that be Clemson or somewhere closer to home.
“I had a great time at Clemson, the whole vibe there was awesome,” he said. “They’re a real faith-based program. I got to meet Coach Reed, Coach Conn, Coach Venables and also got to meet the head coach, Coach Swinney. It was just a really awesome experience, there’s just a great vibe that you get from being at Clemson.”
‘They’re definitely a school that I would like to keep up there in my recruiting in the future,” Woodyard added.
Obviously, playing at St. John Bosco, Woodyard is connected to the Uiagalelei family. He hangs out with Matayo on the weekends and has had some opportunities to speak with D.J. Woodyard conversed with them when he visited Clemson last month.
“They have nothing but good things to say about the program,” Woodyard said of the Uiagalelei family.
For Woodyard, that gives him great confidence in continuing to build a relationship with the coaching staff at Clemson.
During his time at Swinney Camp, Woodyard spent his time working in a group with defensive backs. He got to work out with both Reed and Conn, where he participated in 1-on-1s, pressing at corner and playing off and inside.
What type of feedback did Woodyard get from Clemson’s coaches?
“Definitely just my readiness and being able to go out there and compete with all the upperclassmen, being an incoming sophomore,” he said.
Woodyard takes great pride in being able to play beyond his age group, which is something he’s done for all of his football career.
Woodyard certainly views himself as more of a defensive back. At Bosco, he’s labeled as a safety, but his school really has him play all over the defensive backfield. Woodyard considers himself a fast and physical ballhawk, who’s a complete defensive back that can more than hold his own at cornerback, nickel and safety.
That level of versatility should give him an upper edge at the next level.
Speaking of the next level, in addition to Clemson, Woodyard took visits to Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and Southern Cal. He’s planning on making his way to UCLA later this month.