|Pagano's second trek to Clemson reaffirms his commitment|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 4:22 PM||
Pagano is the 2013 defensive tackle prospect out of Honolulu (HI) Moanalua, the 262nd-ranked player in the ESPN Top 300 who committed to the Tigers last July after a visit to the campus with his family.
The 6-3, 279-pounder recently took his second official visit to the campus, getting the chance to take in more of the facilities and spend more time with the entire coaching staff, and he told TigerNet the visit went extremely well.
“I had a great time on the visit,” he said. “I got there and went to the WestZone and met my host – Josh Watson – and I talked to him a lot. It was really cool, because I got to spend time with Malliciah Goodman, Tajh Boyd, Jonathan Meeks, Xavier Brewer and Nuk Hopkins. It was good company, and it was fun. They told me what to expect my first year at Clemson, and how to keep up the grades.”
Pagano also spent a good deal of time with the coaches.
“I talked to Coach [Dabo] Swinney, Coach [Brent] Venables, Coach [Marion] Hobby, Coach [Dan] Brooks and Coach [Mike] Reed, the new defensive backs coach,” he said. “They were just telling me that they really wanted me at Clemson, and that Clemson is a special place. In the future, they feel like they are going to the BCS National Championship and stuff like that, and they feel like I can impact that right away by coming in and getting good playing time as a freshman. I got good advice from them the whole weekend.”
Pagano said that the visit to Clemson reaffirmed what he felt on his visit in July.
“Clemson has a family atmosphere, and everyone welcomes you,” he said. “It felt good being there. I knew that Clemson was the place I wanted to be all along.”
Pagano played in the U.S. Army Bowl back in early January, where he played well despite the wrong analysis of one scouting website reporter who mistakenly placed Pagano on the field during a goal line situation when Pagano was, in fact on the sidelines.
“It went really well. I actually had a good game, even though I faced double teams the whole game,” he said. “I had four tackles. People were saying I got my butt kicked, but I don’t worry about that. I was never in on the goal line – only around the middle of the field. I was never in a goal line situation. I don’t know where they got that information from.”
He said that his recruiting has slacked off somewhat, even though he still hears from some of the bigger programs.
“They know I am solid to Clemson, so it hasn’t been as crazy,” he said. “I was hearing from Texas, LSU, Florida and Alabama, but I told them I am really solid to Clemson, and since then nothing has really happened.”
Pagano expects to graduate on May 17th, and will be on Clemson’s campus again to start classes on June 23rd.
In the meantime, he is looking forward to getting to Clemson and helping the Tigers reach the next level.
“It’s amazing, because before the bowl game, people were telling me that Clemson was going to get smashed by LSU,” he said. “Clemson can play with any team in the country, and they showed that when they pretty much man-handled LSU.”
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