The country’s top-ranked athlete has been out of the country this summer, so he hasn’t traveled to check out any colleges since the NCAA recruiting dead period ended June 1.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy five-star Samuel M’Pemba, who is originally from St. Louis, Mo., is spending time with family in Africa through the duration of the summer.
So, the blue-chip class of 2023 prospect is planning to hit the road throughout the upcoming college football season to see games at a slew of different schools after he gets back to the states.
Clemson is among the game-day visits that M’Pemba told The Clemson Insider he is looking to make this fall.
“Alabama, Florida, Clemson, Washington, Miami, Notre Dame, Georgia and Florida State,” M’Pemba listed. “Also USC and Arizona State.”
M’Pemba hasn’t communicated with Clemson’s staff while he’s been out of the country, though he intends to reach out to the Tigers when he returns to the U.S.
“I haven’t been able to talk to them all summer,” he said, “but when I get back, I’ll definitely hit them up.”
M’Pemba has heard a lot of good things about the Clemson Family and can’t wait to get a taste of the family culture when he gets on campus.
“Everyone talks about how it’s a big family atmosphere, so I definitely want to witness that,” he said. “As well as just see how they prepare and how things go during games.”
M’Pemba is ranked as the No. 1 ATH and the No. 12 overall prospect in the 2023 class regardless of position, according to the 247Sports Composite.
More than 30 programs have thrown their hats in the ring for M’Pemba, who touts offers from Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Oregon and Southern Cal among many others.
M’Pemba said the schools he named that he wants to visit this season are mainly the ones standing out to him at this point in his recruiting process, though he should gain more clarity on his top schools come Sept. 1 when college coaches are allowed to begin actively reaching out to prospects in the junior class such as himself.
“When September 1 hits, I’ll be sure of what schools,” he said, “but for now this is what I think it will be.”
While M’Pemba doesn’t currently hold an offer from Clemson, that could very well change once he gets back in the states and the two parties are able to better establish a relationship.
The Tigers would be a strong contender for M’Pemba if they pull the trigger on an offer.
“Clemson will be high on my list for sure,” he said, “but I just want to visit first to make sure it is what everyone says.”
The 6-foot-4, 230-pound edge rusher and pass catcher has the potential to play defensive end or tight end at the next level, but defensive coordinator Brent Venables and the Tigers like him most on defense.
M’Pemba played his first two seasons at Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis before transferring to IMG Academy this year.