Clemson again taps pipeline to this Alabama high school

Clemson again taps pipeline to this Alabama high school


Clemson again taps pipeline to this Alabama high school


Given the importance of in-state recruiting in college football, it’s not unusual to see teams add players to their programs from some of the same local high schools year after year.

But Clemson has recently created an out-of-state pipeline as well.

The Tigers tapped into it again during the 2023 recruiting cycle by signing defensive end Tomarrion Parker, who played his prep ball at Central High in Phenix City, Alabama. Clemson beat out Penn State, a school Parker was previously committed to, to land the four-star edge rusher, who had 16.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks as a senior last season.

Clemson also beat out a number of SEC schools for Parker’s services, something it’s been able to do often with players from Central. Despite the local pull of Alabama and Auburn, which is located less than 40 miles from Phenix City, Parker is the fourth recruit from Central to ink with Clemson since 2018. And, like Parker, many of them were coveted.

Justyn Ross, one of the nation’s top 50 recruits, was Dabo Swinney’s first prized signee from the school when the blue-chip receiver spurned both in-state SEC programs and many others to sign with Clemson in 2018. Clemson went to Central again in 2019 to sign defensive back Ray Thornton before four-star receiver E.J. Williams inked with the Tigers in 2020. 

Thornton and Williams have since transferred while Ross was a three-year contributor for the Tigers, earning freshman All-America honors and catching 17 touchdowns in his first two seasons as a Tiger before a spinal injury slowed his production as a junior in 2021. Ross signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent after that season.

Parker, who more commonly goes by T.J., was one of four 2023 high school signees for Clemson from the Yellowhammer State, joining five-star defensive tackle Peter Woods, four-star quarterback Christopher Vizzina and three-star running back Jay Haynes. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder will go through spring practices as a mid-year enrollee. And with Clemson losing two of its top three defensive ends to the NFL Draft, Parker has as good a chance as any newcomer to see the field early in college.

“I’m real excited about T.J. as well,” defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall said during Clemson’s National Signing Day show earlier this month. “He’s here already. He’s doing a good job in the classroom and on the field learning our system and doing all those things we look for in a young man. He’s another guy that could come in a play right away.”

Dear Old Clemson has added the Tiger Sack Pack to our online store.  Save by getting the Two Pack of signed cards from two of the nation’s top defensive ends, Myles Murphy and Xavier Thomas.

Now there is a new way you can support Clemson student-athletes. Purchase collectibles from Dear Old Clemson and the proceeds with go to support Clemson student-athletes. 

Dear Old Clemson is doing NIL the ‘Clemson way’, but we need your help to make sure we build a sustainable, repeatable model that will help keep Clemson competitive with the other top programs around the nation.

Dabo Swinney: “We need your assistance more than ever to provide meaningful NIL opportunities. Tiger Impact, Dear Old Clemson and other collectives allow student-athletes to utilize their voice and platform to maximize their NIL opportunities and strengthen their impact in the community.”

Graham Neff:
“Tiger Impact, Dear Old Clemson and other collectives need your support to help provide meaningful NIL opportunities for our student athletes. We are doing things the right way, the Clemson way with integrity as a non-negotiable and we fully support the mission of these groups.”

Join the Tiger Club or Lady Tiger Club to help these great student-athletes and help the Tigers compete at the highest level!



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