Even after losing out on the nation’s No. 1 edge rusher, Clemson remains in the hunt for some of the country’s best pass-rushing prospects.
Last week, Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson five-star Jeremiah Alexander chose Alabama over Clemson. Alexander ranks as the No. 1 edge defender and No. 16 overall prospect in the nation, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Patience has been the name of the game for Clemson’s 2022 class.
It persisted when Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star Jihaad Campbell verbally committed to Clemson back on June 27.
And it may just continue to pay dividends for the Tigers.
As Clemson looks to add to its 2022 class, here’s a couple of defensive end prospects that we are keeping tabs on.
One of Clemson’s top defensive end targets in the 2022 class is D.J. Wesolak, a four-star recruit from Boonville (Mo.) High School ranked as high as the No. 10 DE and No. 92 overall prospect in the country by ESPN.
Wesolak (6-4, 240) attended the Tigers’ Elite Retreat event in June and also made visits to Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida and Southern Cal last month.
The Tigers made a major impression on Wesolak during the Elite Retreat, and he told The Clemson Insider afterward that the visit moved him closer to a potential commitment to Clemson down the road.
“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 may wait until January to announce his decision, but it’s possible he could make a decision sooner, perhaps on his birthday in September. He has yet to formally trim down the top 15 he released in April, but Southern Cal and Florida are a couple of the other schools squarely in the mix.
Another target high on Clemson’s defensive end board for the 2022 class is Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman four-star Cyrus Moss.
The 6-foot-6, 220-pound edge rusher with over two dozen offers dropped a top five in April comprised of Arizona State, Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and Oregon.
Look for Moss to take an official visit to Clemson this fall. He made visits to Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon in June.
Moss is expected to render a decision after he makes his official visits during the season. Oregon has been trending of late, but the Tigers could make a move if they get him on campus in the fall as expected.
The consistency of Clemson’s program, both on the field and with the coaching staff, are a couple of main reasons why the Tigers made the final five for Moss and are one of the top contenders in his recruitment.
“Clemson, they’re super consistent,” he told TCI. “Most of their coaches have been there for eight, nine, 10 years. And of course, they’ve also been consistently productive to the NFL and consistently winning, consistently doing great things as they have been. They’re a little bit more proof-in-the-pudding type. So, it’s been great getting to know Coach (Lemanski) Hall, Coach (Brent) Venables, Coach (Dabo) Swinney, all the guys over there, Coach (Todd) Bates.”
Moss is ranked as high as the No. 3 edge defender and No. 26 overall prospect in the 2022 class by 247Sports, which considers him the No. 1 player in the state of Nevada.
Another noteworthy target is Philadelphia (Pa.) Imhotep Institute’s Enai White, who is the nation’s No. 1 edge rusher and No. 6 overall prospect in the 2022 class regardless of position by 247Sports.
White (6-6, 230) trimmed down his list of more than 40 offers to eight teams back on May 4, with the Tigers making the cut. Now, he’s looking to cut down his list to four teams and hinted on Twitter that he’s getting closer to nearing a decision.
White has expressed interest in Clemson and likes how Dabo Swinney runs his program. “They produce, they win, and you can tell they work hard,” he said to TCI. “A tight ship is run over there.”
Additionally, Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep four-star Kenyatta Jackson Jr. is another viable target.
Jackson (6-5, 230) is ranked as high as the No. 5 edge defender and No. 76 overall prospect in the 2022 class by 247Sports.
He called Clemson his “dream school,” when he was offered by the Tigers back on June 1, 2020. Jackson also included Clemson in his top-12 list of schools nearly 22 days later.
With many of the nation’s top programs in pursuit of the aforementioned prospects, the Tigers certainly have their work cut out for them as they look to continue to bolster the 2022 class.