Football Recruiting: 2023 Outlook on Defensive Ends

Clemson All American candidate DE Myles Murphy

The Clemson Tigers are looking to oversign on the defensive front, and that includes on the edge.

The Tigers have offered nine players at the defensive end position. Where do they stand?

4-star David Ojiegbe, 6-3 245, committed to the Tigers in late April. He ranks as the #2 player in the DC area and 30th at his position in the country in the 2023 class. He played a big part in leading St. John’s to an undefeated 11-0 season and will look to contribute right away at Clemson.

Clemson DE Justin Mascoll one of many on a deep Clemson defensive line.

Austin, Texas, DE Colton Vasek is a former teammate of current Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik. Vasek, 6-6 230, ranks as the #22 edge rusher in the country. For Westlake, Vasek registered 56 tackles, six tackles for loss, 10 sacks and 14 hurries. In early June, he released his top 5 choices; Clemson, Oregon, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech.

4-star DE Rico Walker, Hickory, NC, released a Top 11 back in mid-May and is a highly talented prospect. He is the #4 prospect in the state of NC, and will probably end up staying close to home.

At one point, 5-star California DE/TE Matayo Uiagalelei was being recruited heavily by the Tigers, but that ship sailed some time ago.

Last year, Clemson brought in only one edge rusher, and in 2021, they signed two DE’s; Zaire Patterson and Cade Denhoff. Due to Covid, several Clemson defensive ends returned for an additional season in 2021, providing depth at the edge position. Next year, the Tigers will be losing Myles Murphy, KJ Henry, Xavier Thomas and possibly Justin Mascoll. That’s a LOT of depth to lose in one season.

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