One of the key visitors to Clemson over the weekend was OT Andrew Dennis (6-5 275) of Mount Pleasant, MI. The former Michigan State commitment made his official visit with the Tigers, his second since going back onto the market following the dismissal of Spartans coach Mel Tucker in late September. Clemson offensive line coach Thomas Austin has made Dennis one of his remaining targets for the spots he has open in the 2024 class, and Dennis felt the love coming from the Tigers
“One of the big things for me was the family atmosphere,” Dennis said. “We spent a lot of time with the staff along with their families. We were really impressed by P.A.W. Journey, how they have you set up for success on and off the field. After your time at Clemson, whether that’s after football at Clemson or after the NFL, they make sure you graduate and then make sure you’re set up well to be successful in life.”
Dennis was sure to focus on Austin and the offensive linemen during the game with North Carolina, which turned out to be a highly productive one for the offensive unit.
“A lot of his teachings are very similar to what I get now, but it’s just fine tuned,” Dennis said. “He goes a lot more in depth. Watching the game, 250 yards rushing, over 200 yards passing, no sacks. You see the extra effort. Some of those plays, the running backs were met at five yards, and the linemen would get up. It’s all about effort, and that five-yard gain turns into seven or ten. That was really evident watching the game.”
Before departing Clemson Sunday morning, Dennis had his one-on-one conversation with head coach Dabo Swinney who reinforced the argument they are making that there’s a need and a spot for Dennis in the program.
“He just kind of talked to me about finding the best fit, and he believes it’s there,” Dennis said. “A lot of it was even more personal, not much even about football, which was really cool for me, and I know it meant a lot to my family as well.”
The visit to Clemson for the first for Dennis, and it put Clemson in a prime contending spot as he works his way through the rest of the process.
“It’s one of the top schools,” Dennis said. “All of the schools I’m visiting right now, there’s reasons why I’m visiting. I’m not just going to see schools to see schools right now. With everything that’s happened in the last couple of months and with my recruitment reopening, it’s a shortened timeline, so everything is hand-picked. Everything I’m doing right now has a reason behind it.”
Dennis took his official visit to Michigan State in the summer and said the Spartans are still in play as he watches what they do with their head coaching position. This coming weekend he will visit Illinois and will take his final visit to Purdue the following weekend. As he checks out his schools, Dennis is taking notice of which ones check most, if not all, of the boxes with him.
“Culture is a big thing for me,” he said. “Having that family atmosphere. I’m very close to my family, and that’s a big part of the decision, as well as winning and academics. I probably carry a 4.0 GPA, so I value academics a lot, so that’s a huge contributing family. And I’m competitive, so I want to go somewhere, and I want to win.”
Dennis said he’s planning to sign in December but won’t announce his decision until the All-American Bowl in January.