Among the official visitors, Clemson will play host to this weekend is the brother of a former Tiger standout.
Class of 2022 defensive end Jaheim Lawson from nearby Daniel High School will head to Clemson after his team’s basketball game tonight and be on campus for the official visit until around noon Sunday.
“I think it’s going to be pretty fun. I’m looking forward to it,” he told The Clemson Insider. “(Looking forward) to meeting the new staff, and honestly putting on the uniforms and trying the uniforms out, looking pretty cool in them.”
Jaheim, of course, is the younger brother of former Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson, who played for the Tigers from 2013-15 and has spent time in the NFL with the Bills, Dolphins, Texans and Jets.
Shaq was stoked when Jaheim received his offer from Clemson last month.
“When I received my offer, he was very excited,” Jaheim said. “But he was just like, ‘Keep your eyes open, but if it came down to it and you don’t know where to go, that would be a great fit for you.’ That’s what he was saying.”
Dabo Swinney conveyed that offer to Jaheim during a phone conversation with the talented pass rusher on Dec. 20.
Of course, given his connection to the Clemson football program through Shaq, Jaheim has developed a good relationship with Swinney over the years. He has a lot of respect for the Tigers’ head coach and has thought about what it would be like to suit up for him.
“I think he’s a great coach, as well as I think he’s a good dude,” Jaheim said.
“I think that would be pretty cool,” he added of potentially playing for Swinney. “A big opportunity for me, if you ask me.”
Jaheim has been communicating frequently with Swinney and co-defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin ahead of the official visit.
“They text me a lot,” Jaheim said, “and their message for me, if I end up signing there, they want me to end up coming in, getting really big, and coming to play the next year, being able to play.”
A 6-foot-4, 215-pound senior, Jaheim was an all-state selection and region co-defensive MVP this past season, when he tallied 75 tackles, 25 for loss, 11 sacks, two blocked kicks and two touchdowns to help Daniel win the state title for a second straight year. He also recorded three sacks in the North-South All-Star Game and was named the Defensive MVP for his performance.
“If you ask me, I think I’ve got a really fast-twitch, I get off the ball really well, and I’m able to pass rush really well, get to the quarterback,” he said, describing himself as a D-end.
Along with Clemson, Jaheim has offers from Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Missouri, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Liberty, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky, Kent State and Central Michigan.
Jaheim doesn’t claim any favorites in his recruitment at this time but is in the process of narrowing things down.
“I would say I don’t have top schools right now,” he said. “But I am kind of cutting it short, cutting it close.”
What will be the biggest factor for Jaheim when he decides which school to sign with on the traditional National Signing Day on Feb. 2?
“Wherever I end up going, I just want to make sure I feel home,” he said. “I want to be able to come into the program and fit and not feel left out.”
A couple of things stand out the most to Jaheim when he thinks about Clemson as a possible college home.
“Probably the campus and relationships,” he said. “It feels like family.”
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