Cade Denhoff

The recent past hasn’t been all that bad for Clemson football. Two national championships and five straight trips to the playoffs have put the Tigers practically in a class by themselves. But head coach Dabo Swinney continues to say to all who will listen, including recruits, that the best is yet to come. DE Cade Denhoff of Lakeland, FL, who committed to the Tigers Sunday, heard that message and took it to heart.

“He said the previous decade was one of the best in college history, not the best, and he said he wanted the next decade to be even better,” Denhoff said. “It makes you realize that this is a program focused on winning games and while you are there you might be a one or two-time National Champion. That is exciting.”

Denhoff visited Clemson this weekend for the Tigers’ major junior day. It was his fourth visit and he knew going in that it was time for him to make his commitment and shut down his recruiting.

“I really got it into my mind I wanted to commit to Clemson in early January, and I talked to Coach (Lemanksi) Hall the defensive ends coach and I told him that Clemson was the place I wanted to go and that I was done taking visits,” Denhoff said. “I told Coach Hall first, then Coach (Brent) Venables and then we told Coach Swinney. They were all really excited. The biggest reason is Clemson’s culture. It’s just the atmosphere and how they treat their players and the way that I feel when I am there. You get treated like family. You don’t get treated like high recruit, you get treated like a player and I love that.”

Denhoff also had Alabama, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia and Georgia on his short list. The 4-star is ranked by the 247Sports composite as the #7 strongside defensive end in the country and the #13 prospect in Florida. Last season he was in on 92 tackles with 11 sacks.

“The biggest thing they are getting is a high motor,” he said. “I am going to give 110 percent on every play. They are going to see me flying to the ball every chance I get.”

Denhoff was one of three commitments over the weekend for the Tigers who now count eight in their 2021 commitment class.


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