No. 1 Tennessee prospect on Clemson: 'They put the players and their families first'

No. 1 Tennessee prospect on Clemson: 'They put the players and their families first'


No. 1 Tennessee prospect on Clemson: 'They put the players and their families first'


Planning on making a return trip to The Valley this season

This talented Tennessee pass-rusher is one of the top players at his position for the 2023 class and continues to hear positive things from Clemson’s coaching staff.

Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale High School’s Caleb Herring is the No. 4 edge rusher and No. 1 prospect in the state of Tennessee in the Class of 2023, per the 247Sports Composite.

Herring recently had the chance to catch up with The Clemson Insider regarding his current recruitment and what he’s been hearing from Clemson as of late.

While direct contact is limited until Sept. 1, he has kept in touch with Clemson, specifically defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.

Hall has spoken to him about coming up for some games in The Valley this season.

According to Herring, Hall is a fan of the Tennessee pass rusher’s speed, his elusiveness and how he gets off blocks.

“So far, I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with him,” Herring said of Hall. “When I was talking with him consistently, I felt myself getting closer and closer to him. When I went to Clemson, he gave off a family vibe.”

In addition to Clemson, Herring mentioned the University of Tennessee and Michigan State as schools standing out in his recruitment.

Tennessee currently has a leg up in Herring’s recruitment. While it’s still early on in the process, he characterized Clemson as the No. 2 school, but there are multiple factors that play into that. 

Herring’s older brother, Elijah, became the Volunteers’ first 2022 commit under new head coach Josh Heupel. Beyond that family connection, Caleb is already an in-state prospect, so the Volunteers are certainly using that to their advantage. 

Though, Clemson has a family recruiting approach of its own.

“They give off a family atmosphere,” Herring said regarding Clemson’s recruiting approach. “When I went up there, that’s the first thing they mentioned to me, how they treat each other like family. The coaches put the players first and their families first.”

Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Riverdale 2023 4-star outside linebacker Caleb Herring tours the Clemson campus while there for the Dabo Swinney football camp Friday, June 11, 2021. Bart Boatwright/The Clemson Insider

Right now, Herring is taking a patient approach to his recruitment. He’s waiting for more schools, including Clemson to offer him, before he makes any final decisions. 

“It really shows me that I’m that good of a player,” Herring said when asked what it’s like to be recruited by a program like Clemson. “I’ve always known that I’m a great player, but I didn’t think I’d be getting looked at by Clemson. That’s a great school.”

Obviously, Herring would love to have that Clemson offer, but he said that he doesn’t mind waiting until the end of his junior year or the beginning of his senior year.

“As long as I get to know them before that offer, then yeah, I’ll be alright,” he added.

Speaking of his junior season, Herring is expecting big things.

“I’m looking for this year to be my best year,” he said. “I set high goals for myself, like getting a whole lot more tackles than I did last year, a lot more sacks than last year and just a big leader overall.”

Herring is a self-described leader, who puts his team first. He’s a physical player, who can be placed anywhere on the field and he’ll produce. He constitutes playing long — knowing how to use his size — as one of his strengths, in addition to being able to drop back and coverage. 

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