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Clemson lands star 2025 DL recruit

Caleb Browder, Alum
The Clemson Tigers raise their helmets prior to their 2019 game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tigers nearly escaped defeat at the hands of the Tar Heels with a 21-20 win.

Dabo Swinney continues to impress on his 2025 recruiting trail, thanks to newly hired defensive ends coach Chris Rumph.

Rumph and Swinney landed a commitment from 2025 edge rusher Ari Watford on Wednesday, Jan. 24. Watford held offers from very notable programs, including Ohio State, Penn State and Florida State.

Watford is listed as a top 30 overall recruit, the No. 4 edge prospect in the 2025 recruiting cycle, according to 247Sports Composite rankings.

The Maury High School (Norfolk, Virginia) product stands at 6-foot-5 and weighs 220 pounds. He is now Clemson’s highest-rated recruit in the 2025 class, and for good reason, as he was named a second-team Max Preps All-American during the 2022 season and also earned first-team All-State honors.

In an interview with 247Sports, Watford’s father mentioned what helped give Clemson the edge in landing the star prospect.

“Just the family feel, it’s unique, it’s different than a lot of universities.”

This commitment bumps Clemson’s 2025 recruiting class up to the No. 5 spot, according to 247Sports’ rankings. The Tigers now have eight total commitments in the 2025 cycle. The addition of defensive end coach Chris Rumph to Dabo’s staff was well received when the news broke, and he has done well so far.

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Jose Zarraluqui, Senior Reporter
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  • B

    BeaJan 30, 2024 at 1:20 pm

    Love Tigers!!! Hopeful for next season. BTW, great reporter!!!

  • J

    JZ SrJan 29, 2024 at 12:59 pm


  • A

    AngelaJan 29, 2024 at 12:41 pm

    Great article! Keep going Tigers!

  • J

    JohnnyJan 28, 2024 at 6:23 pm

    Keep going Tigers!