#STRecruiting: #Clemson’s top DB target is looking forward to finally meeting the coaches

Toriano Pride

The dead period ends May 31st and recruits will swarm the countryside to check out their top schools in June. In many cases, it will be the first time the prospects and their recruiters have met face-to-face since the NCAA mandated the dead period at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020.

One of those anxious to meet the guys he’s communicated with via phone, text, Zoom and FaceTime is highly regarded corner Toriano Pride of St. Louis. He will take an official visit to Ohio State June 4th, and then he’ll be at Clemson for the Elite Retreat June 11th. He also plans to see Missouri, Oregon, and Auburn.

Pride will be no stranger to the Clemson campus.

“I’ve been to Clemson like three times, so all of my boxes are checked really,” Pride said about his return trip to the Upstate. “I just look forward to actually meeting coach (Mike) Reed, coach (Brent) Venables, and coach (Dabo) Swinney in-person instead of over the phone. I kind of already know how they move and how their personalities are. I feel like I’ve met them already in-person even though I haven’t. I look forward to going to coach Reed’s house and eating dinner with him. And the biggest thing is actually being in the facility and the pictures. I think that’s the biggest thing I want to get is pictures.”

Pride’s most recent visit to Clemson was to check out the spring game, with a previous stop earlier this year after a seven-on-seven tournament in Myrtle Beach. The junior has been on plenty of FaceTime and Zoom calls with the Clemson staff, but he’s looking forward to meeting with the coaches during his planned visit the weekend of June 10th through the 13th.

Defensive coordinator Venables and corners coach Reed have been the leaders in Pride’s recruitment, and both coaches like the versatility that Pride would bring to the secondary.

“I like how they run their program and I like how they’re family oriented. I really like coach Reed and coach Venables,” Pride said. “They can put me everywhere in the secondary because I’m dynamic. And if I go in and grind, there’s a good chance of playing early.”

The 5’11” defensive back hasn’t quite narrowed his list of priorities with regards to his chosen school, but he clearly wants to fit in.

“To be honest, I could say a lot of stuff. But the biggest thing is whoever gives me the best opportunity,” he said. “I know I’ve got to go in and work for it, but I want to play early. I would love to get in the rotation and show what I can do. And if I go in there and do my thing, I hope I can get to play and get a starting spot eventually. And after college, too. Being able to go in and get a degree.”

He has indicated that he wants to commit prior to the start of his senior season and, as of now, that timeline appears to be set in stone.

“The visits are going to help. I’m ready to commit. I’m not trimming my list anymore.”

Pride is currently listed as the No. 71 player overall and the No. 10 cornerback in 247Sports recruiting rankings for the ’22 class. Pride has accepted an invitation to play in the 2022 All-American Bowl.

Other Notes:

  • USC is in top 5 with OT Ryan Brubaker of Stevens, PA. The other four are Vanderbilt, Stanford, Penn State and Tennessee. He has official visits set for Penn State June 4th, USC June 11th, Tennessee June 18th and Vanderbilt June 25th.
  • USC offered 2024 WR Justin Williams (6-1 180) of Conroe, TX.
  • Penn State is showing interest in 2023 CB Brandon Cisse of Lakewood.
  • Coastal Carolina reportedly landed a transfer in 6-9 Wilfried Likayi of New Mexico State.

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