4-star DT with Clemson connections reacts to new offer from the Tigers

4-star DT with Clemson connections reacts to new offer from the Tigers


4-star DT with Clemson connections reacts to new offer from the Tigers


Clemson handed out its latest scholarship offer to a big-time Peach State defensive tackle on Tuesday evening.

The Clemson Insider recently caught up with North Gwinnett (Suwanee, Ga.) four-star Kayden McDonald, who reacted to the offer and gave the latest on his recruitment and where Clemson currently stands in the mix of things.

“It’s a blessing,” McDonald told TCI Thursday. “Clemson’s a school that doesn’t really throw out a whole lot of offers. Clemson is a great, top-five program. In the last five years, they’ve won nattys. It’s a great program that doesn’t really throw out offers, so it’s a blessing to have an offer.”

McDonald’s relationship with Clemson goes back to the previous defensive coaching staff, but after Brent Venables and Todd Bates departed for the University of Oklahoma, he had to build new relationships with some new faces.

The relationship(s) that McDonald has built with both defensive tackles coach Nick Eason and co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Mickey Conn, helped lead to Tuesday’s offer.

McDonald’s head coach at North Gwinnett is really good friends with Conn, who has served as his primary recruiter up until this point. At the same time, Eason recruited McDonald back when he was at Auburn, so the relationship was already there.

A significant portion of Clemson’s recruiting pitch to defensive tackles, like McDonald, in the 2023 recruiting class, is that the Tigers are expecting a total of seven defensive linemen to move on after this season.

That’s exactly what Conn told him over the phone Wednesday, that if McDonald comes in and works, he’d have a chance to make an early impact at Clemson. That’s why he’s very high on the Tigers.

“That’s very big,” he said. “Playing early is going to be a very big decision that I’m gonna discuss. That makes Clemson an even higher school for me because they’re losing a lot.”

McDonald considers Clemson to be a top school for him, but he just has to get to know the staff more. He wants to get back to campus and see if the Tigers can climb up because Clemson is already high up on his board.

He has more connections to Clemson than meets the eye.

McDonald has been going to Clemson since his brother was participating in the youth camp.

He’s also best friends with Avieon Terrell, who is also a four-star recruit in the class of 2023, and the brother of former Clemson standout A.J. Terrell. He went to go watch A.J. play with the Terrell family and was also in attendance for Clemson’s 44-7 win over UConn on Nov. 13, 2021.

“I know a lot about Clemson,” he said.

McDonald was also teammates with Clemson sophomore linebacker Barrett Carter at North Gwinett and is close friends with a class of 2022 men’s basketball signee in R.J. Godfrey.

As far as his visit to Tiger Town this summer is concerned, McDonald told us that he will be going to the All-In Cookout in July. Additionally, he’ll be visiting the University of Florida on June 1 and will later be taking an official visit to Michigan State on June 24.

McDonald indicated that he’ll likely schedule another official visit sometime this summer and take the remainder of them (three) during the season.

In any event, it appears that Clemson has firmly cemented itself in McDonald’s recruitment.

— Photo for this article courtesy of @_kmcdonald55 on Instagram.



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