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May 23, 2011Never miss breaking news on Clemson sports and recruiting. Sign-up for Tiger Illustrated Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
ROEBUCK, S.C. -- Charone Peake was Dorman's top prospect. According to Dorman's staff, Adam Humphries was their top high school player.
So when college coaches came through last spring to check on those guys, a handful noticed a junior lineman they also liked in Patrick Destefano.
The 2012 recruit claimed verbal offers from the likes of Duke, Illinois, Notre Dame, Penn State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina, Virginia, Vanderbilt and a host of others over the past year.
Clemson offered first after Dorman's spring game last May.
Destefano, a longtime projection to Clemson by Tigerillustrated.com, had been silently committed to the Tigers for a while now. Monday afternoon he went public with his verbal commit, announced at Dorman's Press Box in a press conference.
"I just knew where I wanted to go and just figured it was time to get it all over with," Destefano told Tigerillustrated.com. "I'm comfortable there. There's no other place, other than Dorman, that I'm more comfortable at. After my Penn State visit on March 12 on the ride home it just occurred to me that I just couldn't keep Clemson out of it.
"I originally told coach Jeff Scott and Brad Scott on my trip to Clemson March 23rd and we held off from telling coach (Dabo) Swinney. I called him two weeks ago and told him. He was pleasantly surprised. It was a great day."
Clemson signed both Peake and Humphries in 2011.
"It's huge," Destefano said. "Their all old teammates of mine and now new teammates of mine. There's no better feeling in the world."
The prospect was recruited to Clemson by Jeff Scott. He'll play under offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
Now the Dorman standout plans on recruiting others to Clemson, starting with his friend Oliver Jones, a left tackle at Ninety Six.
"Oliver knows (about my commitment) " Destefao said. "I've talked to Jay Guillermo, a lot of Clemson players and hopefully a few other new teammates, too."
Clemson last signed an offensive lineman from Dorman in 2009 when they inked four-star recruit Brandon Thomas. Thomas, a sophomore, is currently battling former walk-on Phillip Price for the starting job at left tackle.
"There are two different types of players," Dorman offensive line coach Michael Lancaster said. "Brandon is just so athletic and could do so many things. He is just so athletic and maybe could overcome some things just because of sheer athleticism. Where Patrick is just a mauler. He'll just get in there and physically overwhelm people on our level. I think Patrick may be a little ahead overall (at the same stage) in terms of technique."
The future three-star recruit is the fourth commitment in the class of 2012 for the Tigers and their second offensive line commit. Clemson plans on taking two or three more offensive line recruits in this cycle, all tackles.
Destefano plays tackle and some H-back for Dorman. Clemson plans to play him at guard and he'll finish up their recruiting at guard for 2012.
Destefano, who's on track to graduate early and enroll at Clemson in January, will compete for playing time at the position along with the five other scholarship guards at Clemson.
Kalon Davis (So.), David Beasley (rFr.), Tyler Fowler (Jr.), Spencer Region (Fr.) and Matt Sanders (Jr.) project to be in that position's equation for the fall of 2012. Reid Webster (rFr.) could play guard and right tackle.
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