Four-star Florida OL on Clemson:
Tate is shown here on a visit to Clemson

Four-star Florida OL on Clemson: "That's where Marcus is meant to be"

by - Staff Writer -

Clemson is where elite 4-star offensive lineman Marcus Tate is meant to be.

The Clemson coaching staff picked up its second offensive line commit for the 2021 recruiting cycle in two days Tuesday when Tate, out of Ft. Lauderdale (FL) University High, gave his verbal pledge to Clemson via Twitter.

Tate picked the Tigers over several other high-profile programs, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Auburn, LSU, Michigan, Penn State, Texas A&M and Tennessee among others.

Clemson offered in June when Tate and his family visited the Clemson campus for head coach Dabo Swinney’s high school camp, and it was on that visit that Tate knew Clemson was his landing spot.

“My decision started sometime in early June or late May when I visited the first time. After I left, I started thinking about putting schools in there,” Tate told TigerNet. “At that time, they became one of my top schools because they talked about family, life after football, life period, internships. They hardly talked any football with me, so that was good for me. That put them at number one after I left that visit.”

Tate was back in Clemson for a visit for the Texas A&M game a few weeks ago.

“Three months later, I went to the A&M game and when I got there I was able to talk with Coach (Robbie) Caldwell, Coach (Brent) Venables and everybody,” Tate said. “There was a moment when I was on the field just looking up at the stands and we got to see them on Tiger Walk. When I was at Tiger Walk, I knew that is where I wanted to be. I knew Clemson was the place for me and it just made sense. I knew I wanted to be there after the first visit, but the second time I went there, I was just like, 'I'm a Clemson Tiger. That's where Marcus is meant to be.’”

Tate called the Clemson coaches last week to let them know his decision.

“It was last Wednesday, I think, that I told Coach Swinney, but the first person I told was Coach Venables,” Tate said. “He didn't see it coming. He knew I had high interest but he didn't see it coming. He was very happy for me. He's my recruiting area coach so I talk to him regularly. He was very excited to hear it from me. It was good news.”

Swinney gave Tate the “are you sure” talk as soon as Tate made the call.

“He gave it to me. That was also a big thing for me because I knew I was ready to stop visiting other schools, stop talking to other schools,” Tate said. “The only school I want to go to, talk to or visit is Clemson. He gave me the talk and I told him Clemson is where I want to be.”

Tate already feels a connection to Clemson’s current crop of offensive line commits, including Ryan Linthicum, the nation’s top-ranked center who committed to Clemson Monday. That and Clemson’s family atmosphere helped seal the deal.

“It's great. As soon as I committed, Ryan was on my phone instantly,” Tate said. “Walker Parks was already at my phone. I got that from Clemson. It was a family atmosphere for sure. That's one thing I'm big on is family. I'm always there for my family so I was big on that. I could definitely see the brotherhood that's going to come as time passes by with this class. The big thing for me was my momma. When I was there, I saw a look on her face that not any other school put on her. That made me happier.

“My momma to me is everything, so that was something that Clemson got on me. Also, the internships and PAW Journey program. That program is second to none. Education is important to me and I really want to graduate with my degree. That's something that is really important to me. Just being able to the opportunities to network and the opportunities they give you is important.”

What is Clemson getting in Tate?

“They're getting someone who is passionate, someone who wants to learn, and mature. They're getting someone who wants to be a Clemson Tiger,” he said.

Tate is rated as high as a top-79 prospect overall and the No. 14 offensive tackle in the nation.

Clemson now has five ESPN Jr. 300 members committed for 2021 with Tate, center Ryan Linthicum, linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, running back Phil Mafah, and wide receiver Dacari Collins.

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