Clemson has 'closed the gap' with 4-star DE target ahead of upcoming official visit

Clemson has 'closed the gap' with 4-star DE target ahead of upcoming official visit

Recruiting

Clemson has 'closed the gap' with 4-star DE target ahead of upcoming official visit

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The Clemson Insider recently caught up with a dynamic Peach State pass-rusher, who quietly visited Clemson this past weekend.

Right before we spoke with Woodward Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) four-star AJ Hoffler, he had just gotten off the phone with Clemson defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.

That conversation took place over a week ago, and while Hoffler has since made a return trip to Tiger Town, we wanted to share the latest on his recruitment and where Clemson currently stands in the mix of things.

“I’ve just been talking to them more and more,” Hoffler said. “I’ve just been in more communication. I know they got a d-end commit (David Ojiegbe) the other day, they were just like, ‘No pressure, take your time. It’s all good on our end. We feel the same way. We still want you really bad.’ So, it’s kind of picked up and I talk to them more.”

Hoffler estimated that he calls both Hall and defensive coordinator Wesley Goodwin multiple times a week. He also texts frequently with defensive tackles coach Nick Eason, cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and head coach Dabo Swinney.

“I would say they’re pretty good,” he said regarding his relationships with Hall and Goodwin. “They’ve grown a lot. I probably talk to those two more than any other coach now, probably by a lot. I’ll talk to one school once a week, every other week. I talk to them three-to-four times a week. They talk to me about football, off-the-field stuff, what they have planned for me, as far as Zoom calls, visits or official visits.

“We talk about everything and they’re always asking how my mom and dad are doing…I would say we have a more so genuine relationship than just a recruitment relationship with both of them.”

Right now, Hoffler’s next visit to Clemson will be for the program’s official visit weekend from June 3-5.

“That will be my (fourth) time there, so I’m not too sure,” Hoffler said when asked what he’s hoping to see during his official visit weekend. “I’ve never been on an official visit. I’ve never really heard much. I’ve had friends that have been on them, but they’ve never told me what all separates an unofficial from an official. I always assumed that they were kind of the same. Right now, I’m not really too sure what to expect.”

Hoffler is hoping that his next visit to Clemson gives him some reassurance and confirms how he feels about the school.

“Hopefully, my parents enjoy it as well,” he said, “because even though it’s my choice, I still want to make sure that my parents do feel comfortable with the school. All my top schools, they say they like a lot. I just want to make sure they feel the same way and make sure the school feels the same way about me.”

While Ohio State was once the leader in the clubhouse, Hoffler indicated that Clemson has since closed that perceived gap.

“I think Clemson has done a really good job, as far as recruiting me,” Hoffler said. “I would say that they have closed the gap.”

Hoffler’s recruitment is still 100% open, but he did say that he’ll start focusing more on some schools than others.

— Photo for this article courtesy of @_1yungajh_ on Instagram.

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