Clemson has been in contact recently with a talented edge rusher from the state of Maryland.
Both Tigers’ defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall have been keeping in touch with Charles Herbert Flowers (Upper Marlboro, MD.) 2023 four-star Desmond Umeozulu.
“We just have been having casual conversations right now,” Umeozulu told The Clemson Insider. “We’re just trying to build a relationship. I’ve been talking to Coach Hall and he said they’re really building a culture, so they feel like they’d rather build a relationship before they put in an offer. Right now, we’re just building a good relationship.”
How does Umeozulu feel about Clemson’s process?
“I think it’s very important,” he said, “because, obviously, they don’t know the type of person I am off the field and what I got going on and who I really am. I feel like it’s best for the program and myself and my future for them to get to know me first and for me to get to know them before they put in an offer.”
Umeozulu has already gotten a good feel for Hall. They were on the phone for about 40 minutes just a couple of days ago.
“We just have been having really good conversations and he seems like a really good coach,” Umeozulu said.
As far as his recruitment is concerned, Umeozulu is keeping his options open. He’s not even looking at a whole lot of schools in particular right now. Umeozulu is just trying to let everything be as it is, so he can just put all his cards on the table — which is probably something he’ll do in the spring — after he takes a couple of visits.
One of those visits could be to Clemson.
“We’ve been talking about it,” Umeozulu said. “[Coach Hall] told me that he wanted me to come up in the spring.”
They haven’t really talked about the logistics of a potential visit, though, it’s just been a topic that’s been breached. There’s mutual interest in a visit this spring, but some of those details will need to be figured out in the coming weeks/months.
According to Umeozulu, Hall is a big fan of his hands and that he has a really good feel for the run.
“He told me that if I were to go to Clemson, he would want to see me on the edge,” Umeozulu said of Hall, “and sometimes playing outside linebacker as well. I would be doing a little mix of both.”
How would he describe himself as a player to someone who hasn’t seen him play before?
“I’m very explosive,” he said. “I have really good hands. I’m a leader on the field. That’s probably my best three traits. I lead. I can help my teammates on the field when we’re down. I make sure we stay with a level head.”
Umeozulu is a fan of the way Clemson utilizes its edge rushers. He’s had a chance to watch guys like Xavier Thomas, Myles Murphy and K.J. Henry and the way they’re all deployed by Clemson and Hall certainly catches his eye.
“I always like when they have rushers that can play the flats, can get after the quarterback and stop the run,” Umeozulu said. “It’s something that definitely models my game. I feel like once I get a little bit more experience dropping in coverage sometimes, I would be the perfect fit for Clemson.”
That’s exactly how he envisions himself at the next level.
“It’s definitely a place to consider,” he said of Clemson. “Just the culture and the history that Clemson holds — you have to consider Clemson — if you get an offer from Clemson, you have to consider. It’s just such a good program, that it’s just something that I have to consider for sure.”
Umeozulu has seen his recruitment heat up since the month of December. He had a solid list of offers and since then, he’s added Ole Miss, Buffalo, Kentucky, Washington, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt.
“It’s definitely surprising,” Umeozulu said of his recruitment taking off, “because this is something very new to me. My freshman year was my first year ever playing defensive end. I was playing linebacker and running back my whole life. This is my second year ever playing defensive end, so it’s all just surprising to me, how my life really changed in these last couple of months.”
Umeozulu (6-5, 220) ranks as the No. 25 edge rusher and the No. 4 overall prospect in the state of Maryland for the 2023 recruiting class, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
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