#STRecruiting: #Clemson President Clements makes quite the impression on OL target

Fletcher Westphal

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t usually need help on the recruiting trail. But every now and then, a presidential favor might come in handy. And it certainly appeared to make an impression on one elite offensive lineman this past weekend.

OT Fletcher Westphal (6-7, 305) of Leesburg (VA) Tuscarora was on campus as the Tigers hosted more than 20 of the nation’s top 2024 recruits for official visits last weekend. In addition to Clemson, Westphal holds offers from Auburn, Georgia, Florida St., Michigan, and Wisconsin, among others. 

Westphal, who has the Tigers in his top five, noticed quite a bond inside the Tigers’ program.

“The family environment of Clemson stands out,” Westphal said. “Everyone’s connected, everyone’s close. It’s not just like one unit is connected, the entire team is connected.”

Meeting and spending time with Jim Clements also made an impression.

“I think kind of a big thing was on Saturday when we got to breakfast, and I was talking with the president of the university,” Westphal said. “Obviously the president of the university is going to know Coach Swinney and he’s going to talk to Coach Swinney. But he’s also talking with the players. He knows the players. Like I said, everyone is connected.”

Another highlight was the scavenger hunt that pitted position groups against each other. The offensive line group won, even though the defensive line prospects accused the offensive players of foul play.

“We cheated? That is false information,” Westphal said with a laugh. “They were actually the ones that cheated, and they wound up finishing last. But riding around the campus on a golf cart was nice. We were zooming around and trying to get things done and taking pictures. And then we had this event where you have this big slingshot and you’re trying to shoot water balloons into a target. And then the offensive line and the defensive line had a big water balloon fight. And then going to Coach Swinney’s house and watching the dunk contest was a highlight, too.”

Westphal still plans to take visits to Georgia, Florida, and Arkansas before the end of the summer, but those schools have a lot to do to catch up with Clemson.

“They stand pretty high,” Westphal said of the Tigers. “They set the ball really high for those next upcoming visits.”

Westphal will be at Georgia this weekend, Florida on June 16th and Arkansas June 23rd.

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