Clemson has made an impression on 2025 DL Isaiah Campbell. And a strong one at that.
From head coach Dabo Swinney all the way down to the fan base, the 4-star prospect is feeling the love from the Tigers.
After working out at Dabo Swinney’s high school camp over the summer and being one of the first recruits in his class to pick up an offer, Campbell made his way back to Clemson for the Tigers’ upset win over Notre Dame.
“Oh man, I love the fans. I love them. I love the fans,” Campbell told All Clemson Tigers. “I mean it was filled out to the nosebleeds. And Clemson was 4-4 and it was packed. I met some IPTAY people, and I was just so amazed. And some of the alumni. They really love the football. They really believe in coach Swinney and his philosophy. And I do, too. I really love the coaches and the people, and coach Swinney, he was fast running down that hill. I was like dog-gone. He’s got some burners on him.”
In fact, Campbell, who is a Top 100 talent and one of the 10 best defensive linemen in the country, called it one of his best visits yet.
“Whenever I go to Clemson, it just feels like this real place,” Campbell said. “And overall, for me, it is good for the development of the defensive linemen and I feel like the coaches build good football players, but also at the same time they build good characteristics for great men. I was talking with coach Swinney and it’s his aspect of just developing players and not just going to the portal to replace them. Letting his players develop. Honestly, Clemson is up there for my commitment. I really like Clemson. I really love Clemson.”
Campbell has 30 offers already and has taken game day visits to Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee and NC State. Once the season concludes, he plans to hit up numerous junior days early next year, including one at Clemson, and then make a decision in the spring.
As Campbell goes through this process, one thing he places great value on is culture, and what he has seen at Clemson in that regard has really piqued his interest.
“It’s important because once all the recruiting is done and you are at that school going to early A.M. workouts, you’re just out there by yourself and around the people that you really want to be around in the culture you want to be around,” Campbell said. “Where you want to see yourself down the line. Everybody wants to get to the SEC or the ACC, but it’s about how do you want to do it. Do you want to do it the right way or do you want to take shortcuts? Or do you just want to go for the money?”
“Or you can do it for just the love of the game like me. I just love the game of football. I’m glad I’m blessed to have this chance and the opportunity to just go out there play a sport I love, develop at a high level and just play some great football. Be a better person, know myself more. Have great experiences. And I think for Clemson that just sums it up right there.”
In today’s world of college football that includes NIL, culture doesn’t always factor into decisions as prominently as it used to. However, Campbell is one who places a great deal of importance on culture. NIL is fine and all, but he isn’t playing for money. He is playing for his love of the sport itself, and he doesn’t see a scenario in which a dollar figure is a deciding factor in where he goes to college.
“I’d like to get paid but at the same time, I’m not playing this sport just to get paid,” he said. “That’s not really my biggest thing. My biggest thing honestly would be to get developed overall, be in a great system that I love at the college that I want to go to. Not just play for money. That’s one of my big things because that money is going to go. That money will be gone. It’s actually about the sport. Do you play it just for money or the love of the game and I play it for the love of the game. I just love the grind. I love to work and give it my all. Money’s good and everything. It’s cool to have a little change to get your family to and from school so they can see your games. But honestly, NIL… it’s there but I’m not going to a school just for that.”
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