Clemson and Ohio State long ago moved into the lead roles with four-star WR Troy Stellato of Fort Lauderdale. And the behind the scene battle between the recruiters wages on as Stellato gets closer on a final decision. Contact from both sides remains heavy and persuasive as the two national powers throw all they can at the sure-handed receiver. And still others are trying to crash, the party, like LSU.
“I know I came out with a top-two and everything, but I have been communicating with Coach (Brian) Hartline at Ohio State and also Coach (Tyler) Grisham at Clemson,” Stellato said. “I have been building relationships for sure, but it’s a weird time right now but there isn’t much you can do about it. On Thursday, LSU wants to do one of those virtual visit deals. I was supposed to visit LSU, Notre Dame, and Southern Cal but obviously, due to the coronavirus, none of that was possible. So, I am doing that Thursday and that is really about it right now.”
Former Clemson receivers coach Jeff Scott, now head coach at USF, put the Tigers in prime position with Stellato. He handed the baton to new receivers coach Tyler Grisham and he has charged ahead with Clemson’s recruiting effort.
“He talks to me a lot, but it isn’t always about football,” Stellato said of Grisham. “We talk about X’s and O’s too, but we are building that relationship and I am getting comfortable around him. He tells me I am his guy and he is really recruiting me the hardest right now out of everyone. He just shows the love he has for me and I feel that when we communicate and talk. He is pretty much telling me that if I come to Clemson, I will have a shot to compete right away for a spot. And that is all I am asking for; I want to compete for a job and have a fair shot. He really likes my games and thinks I am a really good person.”
Of course, Ohio State can counter with their own recruiter in Hartline who is matching Grisham contact for contact and point for point.
“At Ohio State, it’s about the relationships, too. Me and Coach Hartline are really, really close,” Stellato said. “I love him and I love the offense. I also fell in love with the school and the coaching at the receiver position is really good and I love Coach Hartline and what he stands for and what he preaches. He makes a lot of receivers that come in better, He is probably one of the best coaches X’s and O’s wise that I have ever talked to. We have a lot in common.”
It no doubt will be a tough call for Stellato, but he realizes its a call he has to make, and he wants to do so sooner than later.
“I think I am really closing in on a commitment date. I am still going to try and get one more visit to Ohio State but I don’t know if that will happen,” Stellato said. “But in looking at a commitment date I feel like it will be in the next month or so. I wanted to before the start of the season, that is what has always been in my head throughout the process. I wanted to go into my season committed and I didn’t want to worry about all of the noise about where I was going to go. I want to focus on my senior season. I released my top two and it’s down to those two schools and I think I am close to a final decision.”
Last season Stellato had 42 catches for 727 yards and 9 touchdowns. He’s ranked 22nd nationally among receivers and the #19 prospect in Florida in the 247Sports Composite.