Alpharetta (Ga.) St. Francis four-star cornerback Branden Strozier started to realize that Clemson was the place he wanted to be just over two weeks ago.
He didn’t feel like he needed to see anywhere else. Once he decided that he wanted to call Clemson his next home, he started to get everything in order and eventually committed on the last day of spring ball.
In a phone interview with The Clemson Insider Thursday, Strozier detailed his decision to commit to Clemson. It seemed like things were starting to point in that direction after he visited for the Orange & White Spring Game on April 9, though he didn’t formally announce his decision to commit to Clemson over schools like Alabama and Tennessee until this past Friday, May 20.
It wasn’t that Strozier’s decision came as a surprise, nor the timing of his announcement, but it was how he went about it. It speaks to his character. He didn’t want to make a big show of things, rather he was going to just make an announcement when he felt ready and that’s what he did.
“It all came down to the fact of what school is gonna help bring me the best version of myself, whether it’s on the field or off the field,” Strozier said. “I felt like Clemson was the best fit for me and that I’ll be able to thrive in their program.”
What was it about Clemson’s recruiting pitch that resonated with Strozier the most?
“Really just the coaching stability there,” he said. “You know people say, ‘Don’t go to school because of the coach,’ but you have to choose a school with the right coach that’s going to be able to develop you. And at Clemson, their coaching staff doesn’t change a whole lot. So, being able to have a stable coaching staff is just really great.”
That was a huge factor in Strozier’s decision, as he wanted to have the opportunity to develop under the tutelage of Mike Reed, especially when considering what Clemson’s cornerbacks coach has been able to do with past Peach State products like A.J. Terrell and Andrew Booth, Jr.
“Being able to talk with him and getting to know him over the last couple months, they were pretty late in the recruitment process,” Strozier said, “but I felt he made a good pitch towards me. He was able to get me on a visit and ever since then, I just loved it.”
“I feel like with his history and the coaching staff, I feel like I’ll be able to be developed to the highest level,” he added.
Another factor was the ability to play early.
“Hearing him say that he’s not just gonna recruit you to sit on the bench, that feels good,” Strozier said. “He’s gonna take his time and take a risk with me. He’s gonna give me the opportunity to show my talents at the college level.”
Strozier will be at Clemson’s official visit weekend from June 3-5. He’s looking forward to meeting the rest of the class of 2023 commits, as well as putting on his recruiting cap and trying to get other prospective recruits to pledge to Clemson.
—Photo for this article courtesy of @13randen_ on Instagram.