The Insider Report: Updates on 5-star LB, priority WR target and other weekend visitors

The Insider Report: Updates on 5-star LB, priority WR target and other weekend visitors

Recruiting

The Insider Report: Updates on 5-star LB, priority WR target and other weekend visitors

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It’s time for this week’s edition of The Insider Report.

We hope everyone had a great weekend.

5-star linebacker set to give Clemson another look

As The Clemson Insider previously reported, Buford (Ga.) 2025 five-star linebacker Jadon Perlotte will be in attendance for this Saturday’s game against N.C. State. Perlotte confirmed as much on social media this past weekend.

Perlotte, who was recently designated as a five-star prospect, will make his way to campus for the first time since March 12. Clemson left a major impression on him and his mother during the program’s underclassmen day, and even though he didn’t find his way to Tiger Town this past summer, he’s making his way back to campus this weekend.

When we caught up with Perlotte back in May, he had been in contact with Kavell Conner, who is in his first season serving in defensive player development on Dabo Swinney’s staff.

“He said he (saw) me blow up and he asked me if I was still loyal,” Perlotte began to recall with a chuckle. “He asked me if I was still interested (in Clemson). He wanted to know how I was feeling.”

Perlotte, who ranks as the nation’s No. 4 linebacker and the No. 33 overall prospect in the class of 2025, per the 247Sports Composite rankings, currently holds over 20 scholarship offers from just about every high-profile Power Five program.

If Clemson were eventually to pull the trigger on a scholarship offer, what would that mean for Perlotte and his recruitment?

“It’d mean everything,” he said. “That’s one of my dream schools. They’d definitely be right up there.”

Perlotte actually said at the time — May 10 — that he was looking to get back on campus in a couple of weeks, so he could show his father around campus. Obviously, that never materialized, but he’ll have a chance to experience his first gameday in The Valley this Saturday.

One of Perlotte’s teammates at Buford, KingJoseph Edwards, will also be in attendance.

Edwards, who 247Sports considers to be the nation’s No. 4 athlete and the No. 12 overall prospect in the class of 2024, was originally planning to visit for the Syracuse game on Oct. 22 but confirmed to TCI on Monday that he has since moved up his visit to this weekend.

“Yes, I’ve never been,” Edwards said in a message to TCI on Monday when asked if he was looking forward to visiting this weekend.

Carolinas WR excited to take in first Clemson gameday visit

Clemson is set to play host to a number of high-profile targets this weekend, but few are more important than Burlington (N.C.) Hugh M. Cummings 2024 four-star wide receiver Jonathan Paylor.

Paylor has been prioritized by Tyler Grisham ever since Clemson’s wide receivers coach pulled the trigger on a scholarship offer back in June. Paylor heard from Grisham as soon as he could directly contact prospects in the class of 2024 like Paylor on Sept. 1.

“It was pretty urgent,” Paylor told TCI earlier this month. “He was like literally the first person who texted and called me. He sent me a text about how excited he is to go on this journey that we’re gonna continue to build on.”

“It’s showing me that he’s very interested in me in a player like me,” Paylor continued. “It just goes to show that he’s really engaged and really serious about who he recruits and how he recruits them.”

Paylor is set to be at Clemson this weekend and he’ll return to Memorial Stadium at the end of the regular season for the South Carolina game. Following this weekend, he’ll visit Maryland and Tennessee, while also paying N.C. State another visit and making multiple trips to the University of South Carolina.

“That game is going to be big,” Paylor said of this weekend’s game against N.C. State. “I swear, I know it is. I’m really ready to see what kind of season they have as they bounce back from last season. Because last season they didn’t really have a season that Clemson usually has. They put in all this hard work over the summer. (I’m excited) to see what kind of impact it had over the summer and just seeing how the team will react.”

Big Georgia OL loved recent Clemson visit

Among the prospects who attended Clemson’s win over Louisiana Tech, two Saturdays ago was Gabriel Fortson, an offensive lineman in the class of 2023 from North Cobb Christian School in Kennesaw, Ga.

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound senior told TCI he “loved every second” of the visit.

It was Fortson’s second gameday visit to Clemson but first for a night game at Death Valley, and he came away very impressed.

“The stadium was packed out, and you could barely even hear yourself think,” he said

Fortson was accompanied by his mother, who loves Clemson as well. They were able to spend a good bit of time with Tigers offensive line coach Thomas Austin, and Fortson said he felt their relationship with him “definitely” grew stronger.

A big part of the visit that stood out to Fortson, he said, was seeing how the Tigers played the Louisiana Tech game in tribute to Ella Bresee, the younger sister of Bryan who sadly passed away at 15 years old following her 18-month battle with brain cancer.

“It shows the type of culture that they have there,” Fortson said.

Prior to visiting Clemson, Fortson saw the Tigers play in their season opener against Georgia Tech at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, as a guest of the Yellow Jackets. He feels Georgia Tech and UCF are the schools showing him the most love so far, as well as Clemson more recently.

Georgia Tech and UCF have offered Fortson, along with schools such as North Carolina, NC State, Duke, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Missouri.

Clemson, he said, is one of his “dream schools.”

Tigers set to host top cornerback target

One of the top defensive back prospects planning to visit Clemson for Saturday’s game is Tavoy Feagin, a four-star cornerback from Carrollwood Day School in Tampa, Fla.

Feagin, a 6-foot, 170-pound junior, was the first player at his position to receive an offer from Clemson when the Tigers began dispensing offers to class of 2024 recruits back on June 1.

After traveling to Clemson for an unofficial visit in early March, Feagin made his way back to campus on June 2. Later in June, he included the Tigers among his top 10 schools, along with Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State and Oklahoma.

“The reason why I put Clemson in my top 10 was because I really like the coaching staff and the atmosphere,” he said to TCI after dropping the list.

Feagin’s father, Michael, played defensive back at Alabama in the 1990s when Dabo Swinney was on the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff.

Mike Reed is spearheading Clemson’s recruitment of Feagin, who communicates regularly with Reed and has plenty of respect for the Tigers’ cornerbacks coach – both for the job he does on the field, and who he is off the field as well.

“I always stay in contact with Coach Reed,” Feagin said, “because not only is he a great coach, he’s also a great person and mentor.”

Feagin is ranked as high as the No. 73 overall prospect in the 2024 class by 247Sports.

Priority local OL planning to visit Saturday

A priority local offensive line target is slated to be back on campus this weekend.

Greenville (S.C.) High School four-star Blake Franks is planning to attend Saturday’s game.

Franks participated in the Swinney Camp this summer and has visited Clemson multiple times since this past March.

The 6-foot-5, 310-pound junior received an offer from Clemson in late July.

He has heard from Clemson offensive line coach Thomas Austin and other members of the Tigers’ staff since the calendar turned to Sept. 1, when college coaches across the country could begin directly contacting junior prospects in the class of 2024.

“He (Austin) told me I’m a big priority,” Franks said to TCI recently, “and that he’s going to come to one of our games this year.”

Franks holds more than a dozen scholarship offers, including offers from schools such as Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Penn State and South Carolina along with Clemson.

He told TCI earlier this month that while he didn’t know at the time which schools comprise his top five, he definitely thinks Clemson “is high up there” on his list.

Fast-rising receiver headed to Tiger Town this weekend

Clemson is set to play host to another fast-rising receiver prospect in the class of 2024 this weekend. King George (Va.) 2024 three-star Mekhai White confirmed his visit plans to TCI on Monday night.

White has been in contact with Tyler Grisham and Mike Reed since Sept. 1. According to White, Clemson really likes how he spreads the field and they’re really interested in him as a prospect going forward.

White was unable to make it down in June when Clemson originally invited him to a game. White said that Grisham told him to come down for a game and he’ll see what happens.

“It would mean a lot,” White said regarding a potential offer from Clemson. “A school like that giving me a scholarship would be awesome. It would be great.”

The Clemson-N.C. State game will be White’s third gameday visit this year and his first to Clemson. So far this season, he’s made his way to two other ACC schools in North Carolina and Virginia Tech.

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