Clemson played host this past week to a big-time wide receiver prospect from the state of Texas.
Del Valle High School 2023 four-star wide receiver Braylon James traveled to campus for an unofficial visit and saw all the Tigers have to offer and then some.
On his visit to Tiger Town, James was accompanied by his mother, father and sister. He had an opportunity to do almost everything, except talk to a professor. Everyone in the James family certainly enjoyed themselves, though.
“They really like it there, they want to see what my future holds there,” James told The Clemson Insider.
Clemson exceeded James’s expectations. He knew it was going to be “really cool,” but he didn’t expect to be blown away like he was. The Tigers truly blew it out of the water.
“I really enjoyed everything, I know that’s kind of like cliche, but honestly they did a really good job,” Jame said. “As far as what I enjoyed the most though, it was probably the whole P.A.W. Journey part of the visit.
“Not a lot of people would say that, but that’s something that really stood out to me, as far as internships and player development like mentally and stuff like that. That piece was really cool and something I’ve never seen at any other school. That was definitely something that I took away from the whole entire visit. I’m really looking forward to learning more about that.”
James’s visit up to Clemson also presented him the chance to meet Tyler Grisham for the first time in person. His connection with Clemson’s wide receivers coach made him more than eager to visit.
“It was huge. Over the phone, we had a really good relationship, but just meeting him in person, everything was organic,” James said. “Nothing was really forced. He gave the same energy he gave over the phone. I feel like me and my family, we really just hit it off with him and that’s just something that was really huge in my recruiting process.
“With most coaches, they act one way over the phone and they act differently in person. Just seeing that he acted the same way was really cool and that was also very huge for me. He’s a really great guy, a really good coach. I appreciate him.”
James did hear about a potential offer.
Right before he left, Grisham mentioned to James that he really wanted to offer him. While that offer didn’t come, James didn’t take it personally. He believes the whole staff wants to see more from him, which he views as “respectable.”
He’s looking forward to working towards that Clemson offer.
“It was a really humbling experience,” James said, “Just seeing that everything isn’t given and it’s giving me something to look forward to this season. So, I can go out and earn that offer, potentially making Clemson a huge target on my list for destinations.”
James thinks it more so has to do with how he progresses across this upcoming season and less to do with him working out in front of Clemson’s coaching staff.
“I think they feel like my play really spoke for itself,” he added. “They just wanted to see more on film. They may want me to come back and workout, but I don’t think it’ll come down to that…You never know, but I really think it was a whole film thing. I think they were gonna come down to watch us play against Westlake. Coach Swinney was kind of talking about that in the brief conversation that we had.”
Westlake, of course, is Cade Klubnik’s high school. The five-star quarterback and Clemson Class of 2022 commit has become closer with James over the past year or so. Those Austin roots run deep and Grisham will likely come down to watch the Tigers’ future quarterback and potentially a future target of his.
In addition to Grisham, James also got his first chance to meet Dabo Swinney.
“As far as offering, he wasn’t really talking about that,” James said. “He was just talking about his experience at Clemson…and also the whole family piece. He’s always relating back to that. He was also talking about how he likes to have a lot of his alumni on the coaching staff. That was really huge.”
James is unsure of a specific date, but he ensured that he’s “definitely coming back to Clemson” for a game this upcoming season.
“Clemson was a really nice spot and it’s something that I definitely want to see again,” he added.
As far as his recruitment currently stands, James is taking a patient approach. He’s waiting until Sept. 1, when coaches can finally start contacting him and communication can be a two-way street.
James mentioned Stanford, Cal and Texas A&M as schools that are really doing a good job of recruiting him and making the effort to reach out.
He didn’t want to leave Clemson out either, giving Grisham his due.
“I want to say that Coach Grisham is doing the same thing as well,” James said. “That’s why Clemson is pretty high on my list. Even though I don’t have an offer from there, Coach Grisham is making it a priority to build a relationship with me and my family, so that’s really cool.”