For a second recruiting cycle in a row, Clemson and Wesley Goodwin have been eying the Peach State for linebacker help.
Earlier this summer, Goodwin went into the state of Georgia and secured the commitments of Dee Crayton and Jamal Anderson. Now, the Tigers have shifted their attention to the class of 2024 and are focused on a new four-star linebacker target — Wendell Gregory — a name that Clemson fans are going to want to remember.
Gregory — a 6-foot-4, 215-pound linebacker out of Marietta (Georgia) Walton High School — currently ranks as the nation’s No. 13 linebacker in the class of 2024, per 247Sports.
“I went to visit and toured the campus,” Gregory told The Clemson Insider in a phone interview recently. “I talked to Coach Goodwin — I had great talks with him. I’ve been texting the coaches here and there, keeping up with fall camp and stuff like that.”
Gregory had the chance to visit Clemson toward the end of the summer and spent his time in Tiger Town with Clemson’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.
“It was really nice,” Gregory said regarding his Clemson visit. “Coach Goodwin, he’s a down-to-earth person. We went to dinner and we talked a lot. We talked about how (if) when I come in here as a freshman year, how he’d want to play me. I’m a big fan of Isaiah Simmons. I want to play just like him, basically.”
Gregory, like Simmons, can do a lot of things for you defensively. He said that Simmons has inspired his defensive game, which is still relatively new. While Gregory can come off the edge and play in space like the former Clemson star, he’s only played defense since the third game of his sophomore season.
Seeing what Simmons was able to accomplish at Clemson, which led to him becoming a first-round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals, is part of the reason why Gregory is so high on Dabo Swinney’s program.
Was there anything about Gregory’s visit to Clemson that stood out to him?
“Of course, they have a nice weight room,” he said. “I walked in there — kids are on vacation — and I see everybody else that’s there on campus, just getting extra work. Just trying to be better. Getting on the field, doing drills, stretching and this and that. When everybody else is at home, they’re still trying to work. I just like that work ethic they got. I talked to all the coaches, I liked how they talked. I love how they communicate.”
He did communicate with Goodwin regarding a potential offer. According to Gregory, Goodwin was talking about how Clemson has offered a lot of 2023, so once Sept. 1 rolls around, he’s gonna get back to the Peach State linebacker immediately.
“That would mean the world,” Gregory said regarding a potential scholarship offer from Clemson. “Most def. I need that.”
In any event, Gregory will be at Clemson for a gameday experience this fall. He indicated that come Sept. 1, he’ll talk with Goodwin and they’ll set up a date for him to make his way back for a game at Memorial Stadium.
As of now, the only visit that Gregory has set is to Auburn for its matchup against Penn State on Sept. 17.
As far as Gregory’s current recruitment is concerned, he described that things have been crazy. That’s even before this coming Thursday, Sept. 1, which will be even more hectic for Gregory, once college coaches can directly contact juniors.
In addition to Clemson, Gregory mentions South Carolina, Auburn, UNC and Michigan State, as the schools that are showing the most interest in him at the moment. In fact, he announced an offer from Auburn back on Thursday, Aug. 25.
“Honestly, I want to go to a school freshman year and start,” Gregory said when asked what he’s looking for in a school at the next level. “That’s what I’m trying to do. That’s what I’m looking for. Everything else will come with it.”
— Photo for this article courtesy of @waltonraidersfootball on Instagram.
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