Clemson picked up their 13th commitment of the 2021 recruiting class on Tuesday when defensive end Zaire Patterson pledged to the Tigers. Patterson, who is 6’6 and 230 pounds, is out of Winston Salem, NC, and chose Clemson over the rival South Carolina Gamecocks.
Patterson’s pledge now gives Clemson two commitments at defensive end, as Cade Denhoff, another four star, Top 100 prospect, committed to the Tigers back in January.
Clemson has been rumored to be only taking two ends this cycle. If in fact that is the case, that would mean there is no longer a spot for Korey Freeman, the number one player in the country who at one time was committed to Clemson before backing off that commitment in favor of taking more visits. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. Could the coaching staff choose to oversign at the position if Foreman wanted back in the fold?
As for Patterson, the recruiting services are all over the map when it comes to ranking him.
- 247 Sports has him as a top 100 player overall, and as the 8th best WDE prospect in the country.
- ESPN ranks him as a four star as well, but only as the 266th best player overall and the 29th best at his position.
- Rivals has him even lower, as they rank him as just a three star prospect and just 33rd best at his position. They do not even have him ranked nationally.
- In the Composite Rankings, which is what we prefer to use here, seeing as it takes all of the rankings at the different services into account, he is a four star and ranked at 245 overall and at 18 at his position.
Patterson does have more than 20 offers, including Alabama, Auburn, and Notre Dame, so regardless of where he is actually ranked, it seems the coaches see his potential and very high upside.
Check out some of his film and judge for yourself.