“I’ve cancelled my official visit with Duke. I’m not going there. I’m done. I’m going to Clemson on January 14th, and that’s it. I’m a Clemson Tiger now,” said Etta Etta-Tawo Wednesday afternoon. “Coach Bowden thanked me for driving up to see him. We talked in his office, and he told me that he wanted me to come line up on his defensive line next year, and I told him I would. It was me, Coach Bowden and my high school coach (Jim Dorsey). We went out and toured Vickery Hall and the stadium and the new locker rooms. It was a first class outfit.”
Earlier in the recruiting process the McEachern standout entertained offers from Oklahoma and Auburn.
The 294-pound lineman chose Clemson today over current offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Purdue, Illinois, Stanford, Kentucky, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt and Duke.
“I can get off the ball quickly. I can make things happen. I think I’m fast enough to play defensive end, but Clemson is looking at me as a defensive tackle, and that’s fine with me. With my size, defensive tackle is probably more of a normal fit for me anyway,” said Etta-Tawo.
A three-star rated selection, and regarded as the nation’s 39th defensive tackle prospect, the Peach State star becomes Clemson’s 19th verbal commitment of the 2004-05 recruiting season, and the latest in a long line of pickups for defensive line coach Ron West who stopped by to see Etta-Tawo on Tuesday.
“We talked for awhile. He came to my school a little bit after 7:00am, and it was me and him and my coach. He wanted to get a look at me, and my footwork. He said he was very impressed with me, and wanted to go ahead and get me committed, but he wanted me to see Coach Bowden first. He said Coach Bowden wanted to meet me before everything was final,” offered Etta-Tawo. “Clemson has a tradition of great defensive linemen, and they have put those players in the NFL. They have recruited a lot of great players on the defensive line over the last couple of years, so I’m just happy to be a part of that mix.”
The Clemson coaching staff may take just one more defensive tackle commitment. The staff wants to sign 24-26 prospects next February.
Clemson commitments to date
1. Durrell Barry (TE 6-5, 242, 4.7) Summerville - Fork Union, Va.
2. Phillip Merling (DL 6-5, 265, 4.8) Memphis, TN - Fork Union, Va.
3. Barry Humphries (OL 6-3, 291, 4.96) Belton-Honea Path
4. Rendrick Taylor (WR 6-2, 210, 4.6) Bennettsville - Marlboro County
5. Tyler Grisham (ATH 5-11, 183, 4.45) Birmingham, Ala. - Spain Park
6. Tony Nelson (RB 5-10, 190, 4.5) Germantown, MD - Northwest
7. Paul Muse (TE 6-5, 245, 4.8) Jacksonville, Fla. - First Coast
8. Haydrian Lewis (DB 6-0, 180, 4.55) Goose Creek - Stratford
9. Quentez Ruffin (OL 6-4, 287, 4.9) Tallahassee, Fla. - Leon
10. Thomas Austin (OL 6-4, 286, 5.1) Camden
11. Jamarcus Grant (OL 6-5, 320, 5.1) Mullins
12. Josh Miller (LB 6-1, 215, 4.5) Manning
13. Kavell Conner (S 6-2, 210, 4.49) Midlothian, Va. - Manchester
14. Jacquez McKissic (DL 6-7, 280, 4.9) Opelika, Ala.
15. Elsmore Gabriel (DL 6-4, 260, 4.9) Fork Union, Va.
16. Corey Lambert (OL 6-7, 290, 5.0) Greenville
17. Terrell Smith (ATH 6-2, 205, 4.5) Chalkville, Ala. - Clay.
18. Ramon McElrathbey (CB 5-11, 174, 4.5) Atlanta, Ga. - Mays
19. Etta Etta-Tawo (DL 6-4, 294, 4.97) Powder Springs, Ga. - McEachern
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