Clemson made an in-home visit with one of its five-star commits in the 2022 recruiting class.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed all made the trip to see Toriano Pride at his home in St. Louis (MO.)
The Clemson Insider caught up with Pride’s longtime trainer and coach, Jerry Stanfield, who was present for the in-home visit.
“It went great,” Stanfield told TCI. “It went very well. It was a very good, comfortable visit. It seemed very authentic. It seems like the prior visits of Toriano and his family coming down to Clemson really helped to establish a family and a real trust and bond between his family and the coaching staff.”
What was the overall message that Pride received from the coaching staff?
“Based on the timeframe that the coaches were there, I think the subliminal message that I got from the 2.5-3 hours that they were there is that their level of commitment and interest in Toriano is real,” he said. “This is a guy that they really believe in. The conversations were so genuine and authentic and transparent that it was probably one of the most comfortable home visits that I’ve ever been a part of.”
Stanfield hasn’t been down to Clemson yet, so this was his first time getting to see Pride interact with his future coaches in a closed-door setting.
“He just seems to have a really good rapport with the coaching staff, Coach Reed, Venables and Coach Swinney,” he added.
Stanfield made sure to ask Venables if he was going to continue to be at Clemson as rumors have begun to connect Venables and the opening at Oklahoma University. However, it wasn’t a conversation that was addressed in general.
“He pretty much said that I got the Tiger Paw here and I’m committed to Clemson,” Stanfield said. “I think just from my observations throughout the whole visit, he was 100% engaged with the visit. He was comfortable. You could just tell the genuine, authentic relationship that he has with Coach Swinney. They just seem like the perfect team. He was totally engaged as someone who would be out on a home visit with a recruit.
“We all understand that business is business. It wasn’t said, but when you’re a potential candidate for a head coaching job, you understand that people will do what’s best for them and their family.”
At this rate, Pride will be in The Valley in no time.
He’s set to make his official visit to Clemson next weekend from Dec. 10-12. From there, he’ll be signing his National Letter of Intent during Early Signing Day on Dec. 15.
He’ll then participate in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio (TX.) on Jan. 8, 2022, before flying into Clemson and enrolling early.
Stanfield views Pride as someone who can come in compete hard to see the field early.
“Toriano is a kid that’s always thrived under pressure and challenges…Every team he’s been on, he’s always been an integral piece of that team being successful,” he said. “I don’t think it’ll be anything different for him coming into Clemson. I believe that this is a young man, who really believes in himself. He’s totally a team player. He’s a tremendous, coachable kid. He’s gonna come in with a lot of confidence and he wants the challenge of coming into compete. His ability to compete at a high level is unmatched.”