Playing at Clemson would be ‘dream come true’ for 4-star pass-rusher

Playing at Clemson would be ‘dream come true’ for 4-star pass-rusher

Recruiting

Playing at Clemson would be ‘dream come true’ for 4-star pass-rusher

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This former Ohio State commit was on Clemson’s campus late last month.

After re-opening his recruitment, four-star Benji Gosnell made some visits during the NCAA’s quiet period in late July, which included a trip down to Tiger Town.

Gosnell, who is originally from Pilot Mountain (N.C.), recently transferred to Carroll County High School in Hillsville (Va.). While he’s one of the premier tight ends in the 2022 class, he’s also a highly-coveted edge rusher.

This season, he’ll see time at both MIKE linebacker and tight end as a two-way player for his high school team. Though, there are plenty of packages that will see Gosnell moving around on both sides of the ball, including coming off the edge, which a lot of collegiate teams are hoping to see.

He’s also his team’s kick returner and punt returner.

Gosnell (6-5, 235) finally had the opportunity to catch up with The Clemson Insider regarding his recent visit to Clemson’s campus and what he’s been hearing from the Tigers’ coaching staff.

“I liked everything about it,” Gosnell told TCI regarding his visit. “It’s definitely the best campus I’ve ever been on and probably one of the top-5 places I’ve ever been just in general. It was awesome, ranging from football to academics to just things to do around the campus.”

Gosnell was very complimentary of those who showed him around campus. 

While they didn’t talk in detail about his game, Clemson’s coaching staff did tell Gosnell that they like his aggression. According to Gosnell, that’s one of the first things that Clemson noticed about the way he plays.

“They like my length and build,” he added. “They really like what they can do with that. They really like me as kind of an edge rusher, what they call a ‘JACK’ position. You can drop out in coverage, but can also edge rush and beat an offensive tackle off the ball and get a sack.”

While Gosnell is viewed as one of the better tight ends at his position for the 2022 class, it’s clear the Tigers hold him in higher regard as a pass-rusher.

That’s more than OK with Gosnell.

“Oh, I love it. What you can do on defense and what I love about football is hitting people and things like that,” he said. “Defense has always been super fun to me. Playing defensive end at Clemson would be a dream come true. I love the idea that they like me there.”

Brent Venables has been Gosnell’s main point of contact with Clemson. He has spoken with the Tigers’ defensive coordinator on the phone around 3-4 times, prior to his visit.

“He’s a great dude,” Gosnell said when asked to describe his relationship with Venables. “We kind of hit it off when we met in person. He’s a really upbeat guy and we kind of share that same energy and I really like that. I feel like if I were to go there, we’d have a really good relationship and be really good friends.”

He hasn’t spoken to Venables since the visit, but he has spoken with Defensive Player Development coach, Miguel Chavis.

While he doesn’t hold that coveted Clemson offer just yet, Gosnell did hear about a potential offer from Venables and Dabo Swinney.

“They want to see me play a couple more games, probably three or four more games, and evaluate my defensive film further,” Gosnell said. “That’s what Coach Swinney was talking to Coach Venables about and that’s what they kind of relayed that message to me.

“They told me at the end of the visit — I visited there for about eight hours — that they wouldn’t have spent eight hours with me, it would’ve been a waste of time for them to do that if they weren’t really considering offering me and getting into the recruitment process with me.”

Following his recent decommitment from Ohio State, Gosnell isn’t exactly in a rush to make a decision. He’s looking for his recruitment to “take care of itself.”

He confirmed to TCI that he’s definitely going to let it play into this upcoming season, but he just has to see how the recruitment process goes from there.

With that being said, what are some of the more important factors Gosnell is looking for in a school at the next level?

“Probably the main two I would say is development at my position and how well they use it,” Gosnell said. “Obviously, Clemson falls into those two categories. They develop really well and they use the edge rusher really well. 

After a great visit, Gosnell is more than ready to make a Gameday trip down to Tiger Town this season.

“They’ve already told me that they definitely want me to get down for a game and I’m definitely going to,” he said.

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