Clemson played host last week to a four-star defensive line prospect from Texas.
Fort Worth (Tex.) Nolan Catholic 2023 DL Kaleb James traveled to campus for an unofficial visit and saw all the Tigers have to offer.
“I just enjoyed the people there,” James told The Clemson Insider. “They were all really friendly and they just seemed like really good people. The facilities were really nice, one of the best ones I’ve seen so far.”
Leading up to his unofficial visit, Clemson wanted James to make the trek out to Tiger Town since they’ve been recruiting him for a while.
“They kind of just been telling me that they’ve been looking at my film, that they like me as a player and they are different in the recruiting aspect,” he said. “They wait a little bit longer to offer. They wanted me to come up to Clemson to show that I have an interest in them as well so that we can grow that relationship closer.”
That means a lot to James because he really wants to grow a relationship with the people in the place he’ll be for the next four years.
With that being said, what is James looking for in a school at the next level?
“I’m looking for a school with a good academic program, good academic guidance program, and also just a school that will develop me as a player to my fullest potential while I’m there for the full four years,” he said. “I’m looking for a team with a good culture, where I can look at the person next to me and know that they’re gonna do their job every day, day in and day out.”
Clemson certainly checks all the boxes there.
During his time at Clemson, James chatted with defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, but his main point of contact with the Tigers has been Jacob Maloney, a graduate assistant on Brent Venables’s defensive coaching staff.
“He’s the one who’s been recruiting me,” James said. “He’s the one who got me on campus, showed me around campus. I think he’s a really cool dude. He’s just trying to help me get to know the coaching staff better at Clemson and trying to get me into Clemson.”
James would love to get back for a game and make his way back up to Tiger Town this upcoming season.
“I really like Clemson,” he added. “I really enjoyed my visit. I’m just gonna keep my eye on Clemson and keep watching them grow as a team and develop.”
As far as his recruitment is concerned, James wants to put it aside this season. He wants to just play and not have to worry about it until after the season.
James is looking to increase his stats from last year. He wants to have more tackles for loss, more quarterback pressures and record at least 15 sacks this season.
“I pride myself on the pass-rush, I think I’m a really good pass-rusher,” James said. “I’m also really good at run-stopping and things like that.”
James has heard multiple things from multiple coaches at the next level. Some say that they want the versatile defensive lineman to play inside, others want him to play the true edge and some say they want to keep him at the tackle position.
“I think it gives me an advantage almost because it gives other people on my team opportunities to come in the game at a different position or stay at their position and I can be at another position, beating up an offensive lineman, taking double teams,” he said regarding his versatility.
James thinks it’s really good that he can move around because it keeps opposing offenses on their toes and they won’t know where he may line up. He can start in one spot and shift to another before the ball is snapped and things of that nature.
That versatility will certainly play at the next level.