Clemson’s 2022 class has taken shape recently with the Tigers now ranked 9th in the nation, while reeling in twelve commitments in 247Sports team rankings. With major targets still on the board, Clemson remains a contender to land another versatile playmaker on defense.
DJ Wesolak last visited Clemson in June and defensive coordinator Brent Venables has remained in contact with one of the Tigers’ top targets at defensive end/linebacker. The 6-5, 235-pound four-star from Boonville (MO) is ranked as the No. 11 edge rusher and No. 170 player overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings. Wesolak released a top-15 in April, with Clemson joined by North Carolina, Southern Cal, Florida, and Oregon as some of the schools battling for his services.
Wesolak’s summer included the trip to Clemson, along with visits to Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and Southern Cal. Wesolak had the chance to spend time with some of Clemson’s ’22 commits on his visits and now he’s hearing from the Clemson staff about joining the highly-ranked class.
“Places like Clemson, Southern Cal, UNC, and Georgia, now that you’ve been with them in-person, you basically know everyone and how everyone interacts,” Wesolak stated in recapping his summer. “With Clemson and Georgia, we don’t talk as much about football. Now, it’s just basically recruiting and wherever you are wanting to go to school at, you’re helping recruit more guys to come with you. Clemson recently got Jihaad (Campbell), and me and him are really close. Keon (Sabb) and all of those guys, we were really close over the whole visit. And they got Daylen Everette, so those type of players got this class rolling. Me and Toriano Pride are really close and from the same state. So me and Coach Venables just talk about the class they are putting together.
At the end of his Clemson trip, head coach Dabo Swinney illustrated to Wesolak how much the Tigers would like to have him in the fold.
“Before I left Clemson, Coach Dabo asked me when I’m ready to jump on board,” he said. “I told him whenever the time is right and he said whenever I’m ready, they’re ready. Everybody gave me the green light to go. They’ve been hyping up the class and I’m loving the energy.”
Leading up to his senior season, Wesolak has been working on his technique and hand placement, as well as getting prepared to show his skills in coverage. A recent talk with Venables included watching film and learning more about Clemson’s defense and what roles Wesolak might play in the Tigers’ alignment.
“Me and Coach Venables got on a call and we broke everything down and watched defenses and how he sees me,” Wesolak commented. “He sees me like an Isaiah Simmons type and he saw some Micah Parsons, as well. Just long players that can play anywhere, like Jihaad Campbell. We’re both guys that can do it all. We have the athletic ability and flexibility to do a lot and get to the quarterback. He said I could go anywhere from rushing the QB to stunting around. They like to move their guys a lot. There’s a lot of moving around and linebackers covering out in space.”
Wesolak has a couple of dates in mind for his recruitment, with possibly his birthday (September 14th) and the 2022 All-American Bowl as chances to announce his commitment.
He still has a group of around ten schools who remain strong contenders in his recruitment. Wesolak plans on getting out to see games in the fall and Clemson will be a place that he strongly considers visiting again.
“Some of the places I went, I was close to making a decision or narrowing it down in my head,” he said of his visits. “I think something that would sell me to commit on my birthday is a program that shows success and to be able to compete and be a winning program. I loved the visits to Southern Cal and Clemson, and I have plans on making it to the Penn State whiteout game. I probably could have made a decision with a couple of my visits, but I want to see where programs are at the end of the season. I want to be in a top class and have other great guys around me so I can sharpen myself and be able to compete. And at the end of the day, I want to play for a team that is going to play for a championship.”
The one thing Wesolak says he needs to see in helping to make his final decision is a school’s gameday environment.
“One thing with a lot of the schools I went to, you didn’t get to see everything an athlete would see because everyone wasn’t there,” he said. “So with me going to Clemson and seeing the atmosphere, and obviously the games are crazy and it’s packed, but I want to be there and see a game. I want to see how everyone reacts and interacts with the players and supports the team. That’s the one thing that’s left. I want to see the atmosphere.”