Over the past six months, Alex Taylor has become more than familiar with the Clemson program.
The 6-foot-2 wideout, out of Grimsley (Greensboro, N.C.), was the first receiver in the 2024 class to pick up an offer from Clemson last June, and has returned to campus multiple times since. Taylor visited for two games during the season, and was one of just two receivers to visit for last weekend’s Elite Junior Day.
This most recent trip allowed Taylor more time to bond with the coaching staff, but it also gave the talented wideout his first opportunity at meeting new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley in person.
“Just spending time with the staff all day was really the highlight,” Taylor told All Clemson. “Catching up with coach Grisham, talking to coach Riley a little bit. He hasn’t been there a long time but looking forward to seeing what his offense is gonna bring. Really explosive, making it to the national championship last year having one of the best receivers. So that’s exciting to see. I learned a lot more about coach Swinney and just spending time with other recruits.”
While Taylor admittedly is just starting to get to know Riley, he already feels like the newest member of the Tigers’ coaching staff is capable of helping develop him into an NFL caliber receiver.
“He seems like a great guy,” Taylor said. “Definitely a great offensive minded coach. I feel like he can help me get to the next level with some of the things that he runs in his offense. Seeing what he did at TCU. Next time, I get down, I will probably know more about the offense. He’s only been there about two weeks but so far I like him a lot.”
On Wednesday, Taylor trimmed his list down to seven schools, with Clemson, Virginia Tech, UNC, NC State, Penn State, Tennessee and Cincinnati all making the cut. However, when comparing what the Tigers have to offer to what some of the others have to offer, there is something that sets Clemson apart.
“Just the energy there, everything feels genuine,” Taylor said. “I don’t feel pressured to commit there right now. Everybody knows who I am. So definitely a family atmosphere. Even the president came out to the visit. Just seeing that, seeing how invested he is in the football program, it means a lot to me.”
Another thing that stands out about Clemson is head coach Dabo Swinney’s desire to have all of his players earn their degrees.
“I always knew that he wants us to get a degree going there, he’s always gonna push that,” Taylor said. “Even if we leave early, come back, get a degree. He has a lot of former players on his staff. So even if football doesn’t work out, I feel like you can come back there. Feel like Clemson’s always a home.”
When it comes to making a decision, nothing is set in stone just yet. Taylor said right now the plan is to take some official visits in June, with a decision possibly coming in July. However, he also would not rule out committing earlier.
When that time comes, though, he will be looking for a place that feels like home, and the culture at Clemson has certainly resonated.
“A place that feels like home to me, somewhere genuine,” Taylor said. “And of course being able to develop at that school, being there for the next three to four years, so on and off the field being able to develop. The people who’s around me. I’ve been talking to a lot of recruits… that doesn’t play a big factor but definitely knowing what I’m getting into going into it. That’s really the main parts about picking which school I want to go to.”
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