Clemson is high on this Class of 2023 in-state defensive lineman, according to his defensive coordinator and position coach, Joey Hendrix, who recently caught up with The Clemson Insider.
Camden (S.C.) High School five-star Xzavier McLeod is ranked as the No. 11 defensive linemen in the nation and the No. 47 overall prospect regardless of position in the 2023 class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
McLeod (6-4, 300) is also the No. 1 prospect in the Palmetto State.
“We went to camp there and the coaches at the camp there really liked what they saw,” Hendrix said. “They put him through some workouts and they talked to him about some things he could improve on and things that he does well…They liked what they saw.”
Hendrix knows that the one thing about Clemson is “they get to choose who they want.”
He reiterated that Clemon’s coaching staff was very impressed with what they saw out of McLeod, while he was on campus earlier this summer, but that the Tigers can also be selective and likely hand-pick which defensive lineman they want in the 2023 class.
“They gave him feedback and they told him that they want to see what he does after this year,” Hendrix said. “They want to see how he develops from, not just the raw talent that he is, but how he takes to the coaching.”
Hendrix added that he believes Clemson wants to also see how McLeod develops from a pass-rushing standpoint.
“He’s unbelievably strong and he is fast,” Hendrix said. “I know that’s a cliche when you hear someone’s strong and fast, but he is gifted that way. His technique in the weight room isn’t as developed as some people are, but he’s one of the strongest people I’ve ever been around. He’s powerful and he’s really fast off the ball.
While McLeod still has two years left of high school, Hendrix said that there’s no telling what he can accomplish with the proper development at the collegiate level.
McLeod hasn’t even scratched the surface when considering his potential. He’s recently seen his recruiting blow up as he holds offers from South Carolina, Florida State, Georgia, Kentucky and Louisville.
Hendrix is amazed at what McLeod’s been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.
“It’s crazy, he’s got a chance to become a 3x all-state guy, people have a hard time blocking him,” he said. “I don’t want him to get an inflated ego or anything, but he’s something special. I’ve coached two kids that went to Clemson, I coached kids that went to Georgia, kids that went to the Air Force Academy, and this one? He’s special. He really is.”
Circling back to Clemson, from a coach’s perspective, Hendrix likes the way the Tigers go about their business.
“It’s a family thing and I like that. It’s not just Clemson that’s doing that, South Carolina’s starting to pick up on that model, Georgia picks up on that model,” Hendrix said.
“Other teams, well some of them will just throw the offer out there to kids, but I think that the people here recently, South Carolina, Clemson, Georgia, Florida State, they’re all seeing what Dabo’s (Swinney) done and I think they’re picking up on some of that where they’re really wanting to know these kids and it becomes a family situation.”
Had a great camp today got great coaching advice and I will put it to good use ✊🏾❤️@BrianDohn247 @GavinG_Oliver @PaulStrelowTI @Brian_Rimpf @JoeyHendrix8 @_crmalone @CamdenIronDogs @daboswinney @CoachToddBates pic.twitter.com/3zmHFNK9s7
— xzavier mcleod (@mcleod_xzavier) June 4, 2021