CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
Even among tall people, Kissayi (left) stands out.

Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)


by - Senior Writer -

Clemson might one day have the tallest set of defensive bookends in the country on the field at the same time.

The Fort Hill Clemson Club Recruiting Wrap was held Wednesday evening in the Poe Indoor Facility, and in addition to head coach Dabo Swinney, all of the assistant coaches spoke about the members of their respective 2024 position classes. When it was time for the players themselves to speak, it was defensive end Adam Kissayi who stood up and then just kept standing up as the crowd gave him an ovation.

Kissayi mentioned that he has continued to grow, and he now stands at 6-8 1/2 and calls himself the tallest defensive end in college football. Add in his fellow 2024 defensive end Darien Mayo, who checks in at 6-7, and the Tigers have undoubtedly the tallest defensive ends recruiting group in the country.

Defensive ends coach Chris Rumph grabbed the microphone and said that when it comes to claims about height and weight from high schools, he’s always dubious. The high schools will say that someone is 6-5 or 6-6, and then when the kid walks into the room, he’s 6-1. He said that when he went to meet Kissayi for the first time, “this giant walked into the room.”

I sent notes to Clemson football Sports Information Director Ross Taylor and the legend himself, Tim Bourret, asking for help. How many Clemson football players have had that height? Bourret said he was hard-pressed to remember many that were 6-7. Our own Brandon Rink remembers that former offensive lineman Isaiah Battle was listed at 6-7. Taylor said that he is still doing research but can’t imagine there are many, or even any, that match Kissayi’s height.

According to what I’ve found, the tallest player to play professional football was a 7-footer named Richard Sligh, who played defensive tackle for the Raiders. Offensive lineman Dan Skipper of the Lions slots in at 6-10, and tight end Morris Stroud played back in the '70s at 6-10. Ed “Too Tall” Jones was a DL for the Dallas Cowboys teams of Tom Landry and former Baltimore Raven offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden were 6-9. Alejandro Villanueva (6-9) was a lineman for the Steelers until a few years ago, and RT Caleb Jones (6-9) has been on the practice squad for the Green Bay Packers. That’s it, that’s the list of 6-9 and better, and then you get into guys like 6-8 Harold Carmichael, who played wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles back in the day.

College? That is going to take a lot more research.

However, height wasn’t the only thing mentioned, and we have a few other stories and notes to pass along. First off, none of the new additions appear to be the shy and retiring type. All appeared comfortable in front of the crowd and behind a microphone. It’s easy to see that running back David Eziomume and linebacker Sammy Brown are early leaders in the class, but kicker Nolan Hauser also deserves a lot of the credit (he grabbed the mic and said he was solely responsible for Brown committing).

*Eziomume was telling people that he currently weighs about 205.

*As it’s been noted, tight end Christian Bentancur hails from the town where the movie Groundhog Day was filmed. Tight ends coach Kyle Richardson said he was taking Garrett Riley and Dabo Swinney for their first visit to the town, and he asked Swinney if he had ever seen the movie. Swinney said he had watched it – again – a few days before with his sons. When he found out it was the town where the movie was filmed, he jumped out of the car and FaceTimed Kathleen, showing her all of the landmarks.

*Speaking of Bentancur, he finished his high school career with 231 receptions for 3,867 yards and 51 touchdowns. Those are amazing numbers, but he also plays basketball and is closing in on 2,000 career points. According to Richardson, Bentancur would be the first player in Illinois history to accomplish that 200 (receptions)-2000 (points) feat. Richardson said he sent Bentancur clips of Kobe Bryant playing and told him to stop passing to ensure he gets his points.

*Safeties coach Mickey Conn is high on safety Joe Wilkinson. He said Wilkinson loves to hit people and never slows down when he’s about to hit someone. Conn said if he had Wilkinson on the field in the Gator Bowl, the Wildcats would have never returned that kick for a TD because “Joe would have knocked him out.”

Wilkinson said he was out riding with a friend when Swinney called looking to offer. He reached Wilkinson’s mother, who called her son and said, “He’s calling! Him!” When he asked who, she said, “Dabo!” Wilkinson said he wanted to hurry home to talk to the head coach, but they had to drive slow because the person he was riding with had “too many points off the license.”

*Kissayi says this class is close and promised a National Championship.

*It’s also interesting to note how many recruits have legacies to either Clemson or the NFL or both, and how many have loved Clemson since they were smaller. Offensive lineman Mason Wade is one of those who said he grew up with Clemson stuff all over his walls. He committed to Duke, and his future was up in the air when there was a coaching change. He said he was sitting on his couch when his mom asked if he would consider Clemson if the Tigers offered, and he said of course, but he thought it was too late for that. Five minutes later, his phone rang with the offer.

Wade also drew a big laugh when he said that he was a quarterback when he was younger, but then, “I discovered food,” and before long, he was an offensive lineman.

*Ashton Hampton’s love of Clemson dates back to 2017 when Clemson flew into Tampa for the national championship game against Alabama. Hampton – then nine years old – was on the tarmac at the airport with his Pop Warner team when the Tigers and Tide arrived. Swinney and Clemson – who are known for their community service – took pictures with all of the football players who were at the arrival ceremony, while Alabama head coach Nick Saban didn’t allow his team to participate in the photo ops. On that day, Hampton’s mother said her son would never play for Saban, and the rest is history.

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spacer TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
TigerNet News®
spacer Good read DAVID with some cool player-related personal stories!
lightbulbbill®
spacer Logan Thomas is really tall.***
clemchem®
spacer Blast from the past.
talltater
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
T1ger4life74
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
Wrigley Field Tiger
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
orangecoloredglasses®
spacer Goods stuff, thanks.***
colberttiger®
spacer Vance Hammond and I started Clemson around the same time.
talltater
spacer He was a helmet taller than anyone else in the huddle at Dorman.
Lakedude®
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
kctigs81®
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DAVE31
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
djones73®
spacer Clemson had a walk-on offensive lineman that was listed 6'9"
McLovin
spacer I can see a lot of passes getting knocked down in the future!!***
Lespaw79
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
JimmyGreenbeans
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masked tiger
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clemvol
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Lexguy2003
spacer No videos?***
thetigerdaddy®
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CU1976
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
TigerinSptbg
spacer Re: TNET: Recruiting Wrap: Clemson has the tallest defensive end in the nation (and maybe two)
Orangetiger70®
spacer DLs Vance Hammond and Jamie Cumbie were both 67
twentytwofifteen
spacer Will one of the transfer to VT as a QB :)
Lakedude®
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djones73®
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curat®
spacer Brownlee will plunder and add to bb team.....
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