Clemson has found recruiting gold in the Golden State in recent years, and the Tigers are continuing to work with intensity some of the top prospects in California’s 2022 class. One of those is five-star DT Hero Kanu (6-5 293) of Rancho Santa Margarita. He’s the #12 ranked defensive tackle nationally in the ’22 class per the 247Sports Composite, and Clemson is making a strong pitch for him thru the efforts of defensive line coach Todd Bates.
“Coach Bates is a very nice guy. He’s a good coach, I really like him,” Kanu said. “I was on a couple of calls with him, and he seems like a very nice man. They have said that I got the right size and I play hard. That’s what coaches want, so I’m just doing my job. I’m looking forward to continue building a relationship with him. The number of defensive tackles they have sent to the NFL and the first round picks from the defensive line in general is something that has stood out to me. I think they are leading in that, from what I know. Everybody knows Clemson. And with them always being one of the final 4 schools in the playoffs, that’s really good for them.”
Kanu has also pulled in offers from UCLA, Penn State, Kentucky, TCU, Arizona, Colorado, LSU, Ole Miss, Arizona State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon State, Oklahoma, Texas, Southern Cal, Texas A&M, Oregon, Washington, Texas and Florida. That’s quite a haul for a relative newbie to the sport. Kanu grew up in Germany were soccer was his sport of choice.
“I never really thought I was going to get these big, big offers,” he said. “Back in Germany with PPI Recruits (an international recruiting and placement platform) and Brandon Collier, he had already shared a lot of workout tapes and talked to coaches about me. But all they needed was some film to see me play. The first game was against Mayfair (CA), and I think I did a pretty good job in that game. I think that was the first chance for all of the other coaches to see me play.”
And what those coaches saw was a raw, if not powerful, defensive tackle who feels like he can be an asset wherever he lands.
“I would say I’m 6-5 and weigh 295, and people tell me I don’t look 295,” Kanu said. “I would say athleticism, I’m pretty quick, and I can change directions. I’m physical and I really want it. I think it’s my power too. I’m pretty good in the run game because of the strength in my legs, arms, and core.”
Recruiting comes at you fast if you are a major prospect. But unlike others like him who grew up in the States, this is an entirely foreign experience for Kanu, and he needs to be patient and he works his way thru the process.
“I don’t have an opinion on any college yet because I do not really know every college like Americans do,” Kanu said. “Americans grow up with the knowledge of which college is good for what, but I have to get to know them all before I decide. I’m looking for a business school, and of course my plan is to end up in the NFL. And after that, I would consider coaching. I’m looking for three things: stability, development, and the culture.”
In a Covid-shortened season that ended earlier this month, Kanu totaled 28 tackles with 9 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in five games per MaxPreps stats.