Among the prospects in attendance for Clemson’s 49-3 win over South Carolina State on Saturday was Troy Ford, Jr., a four-star linebacker in the 2023 class from Calvary Day School in Savannah, Ga.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound junior was blown away by his experience at Death Valley, where he saw a college football game in person for the first time.
“It was amazing,” Ford told The Clemson Insider. “That whole atmosphere the whole day was crazy. When the game started, it erupted. It was crazy listening to the crowd. It was my first college game ever.”
Ford and other recruits had the opportunity to witness “the most exciting 25 seconds in college football” up close, making their way over to the hill to watch Dabo Swinney and the Tigers rub Howard’s rock and run down the hill prior to the game.
“The atmosphere was crazy,” Ford said. “My favorite part was watching them run down the hill. All the prospects were up beside the rock when they came down. We saw Coach Swinney come out and all the players followed. It was crazy. It was a crazy experience.”
Ford made the trip to The Valley with his parents and little siblings.
“They loved it,” Ford said. “My brother, especially. He didn’t want to leave actually. He begged to stay. My whole family really enjoyed the experience.”
Ford is really glad he and his family made Clemson his first recruiting visit this season and that it was where he watched his first-ever college football game.
“I had to make it a special one, so I decided to go to Clemson,” he said, “and I was not disappointed.”
Ford’s offer list currently features Notre Dame, Auburn, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech and UCF.
The Tigers are showing interest in Ford and building a relationship with him, and after getting a feel for the game-day environment in Death Valley, he is even more hopeful to earn an offer from Clemson moving forward and have the chance to play there in the future.
“It would be crazy,” he said. “I would love to play in Death Valley. I could feel the energy from the players. Just from the stands, I could feel the energy from the players. So, I know it had to be special playing there.”
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