No. 1-ranked DT for class of 2020 pledges to Clemson

Clemson landed a commitment from 2020 defensive tackle Bryan Bresee on Tuesday, adding another top prospect to its class. Bresee is the No. 4-ranked prospect overall and chose the Tigers over AlabamaGeorgiaMichiganOhio State and Penn State.

Adding the No. 1-ranked defensive tackle in the class gives Clemson three defensive line recruits ranked in the top six in the past three classes, with Bresee joining Xavier Thomas and K.J. Henry, who signed in 2018.

“Everyone talks about that feeling when you know it’s the right school for you, and I just got that feeling from Clemson,” Bresee said.

He didn’t always have that feeling with the Tigers program, though. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound recruit from Damascus High School in Damascus, Maryland, was heavily recruited very early in his high school tenure and in the beginning held Penn State as his top school. Bresee said the Nittany Lions were then replaced by Georgia and eventually Ohio State as the program with the best chance of landing him.

That was partially because his initial visit to Clemson did not leave him with a feeling that the staff wanted to recruit him. Bresee visited in the spring of 2018 for a junior day, and because Clemson focuses more on the current recruiting class, he didn’t receive the type of attention he received at other programs.

“That was probably my seventh or eighth visit, and I get down there, every other school I visited I’ve gotten an offer from and got a lot of face time with the coach,” Bresee said. “I was getting spoiled and getting used to being a top priority, but when I went to Clemson for that junior day, it was just different and they were focused more on the older guys. I was used to everything else and they didn’t offer on the visit, so I was like, ‘Oh, well this is the last time I’m coming to Clemson.'”

Bresee said he felt the coaches weren’t as interested in him as other programs were. He said he wasn’t necessarily expecting to be treated a certain way but was trying to figure out which staff really wanted him to join its team.

After the visit, though, Bresee called the Clemson coaches and cleared things up. The staff offered him a scholarship, and he and his family decided to take a few more trips to see the Tigers later in his process.

The more research he did and the more time he spent around the program, Bresee started to feel more and more comfortable with the staff and what Clemson had to offer, especially on the defensive side.

“I really started to look into the defense after I met Coach [Todd] Bates and Coach [Brent] Venables,” Bresee said. “Coach Bates is just a real genuine guy who really seems to care about his players, and I’ve always gotten that feeling from him. To get to learn from someone you’ve seen produce all these top players, it definitely added on a little bit.

“But, even if he didn’t have any first-round picks, just because of how I feel with him and how comfortable I am with him, he’s just a genuine guy. It gave me a little boost on what I was thinking about, but that’s not why I decided to commit there.”

Bates and Venables have produced first-round picks, though, and now Bresee is adding to the number of top prospects heading to Clemson.

With Bresee on board in this class, Clemson has 11 ESPN Junior 300 commitments, which is tied for second with Alabama, only one behind LSU.

Clemson has never landed the No. 1-ranked recruiting class under Dabo Swinney, but the prospects committed in this class are making a concerted effort to try to get as many top recruits in the class to try get that top spot.

ESPN Jr. 300 quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei, wide receiver Julian Fleming and defensive end Jordan Burch, are all at the top of the list of players the current Clemson commits are recruiting to join the class in hopes this Tigers class will finish No. 1.

“This will be the year for that,” Bresee said. “I just think when you’re committed, you want to have good players and good people around you. I want to go after who I think is going to make the team better. I don’t really care about the number [ranking], but if it happens to be a higher-ranked recruit that I think will fit with us, then I’m going after him.”

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