Why Clemson? Newest commit says Tigers do it the right way


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Bockhurst says talk is cheap, but Clemson does things the right way. <span style=Photo: StudentSports">
Bockhurst says talk is cheap, but Clemson does things the right way. Photo: StudentSports

Why Clemson?

Opposing coaches have asked 2017 4-star offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst that question for weeks and his answer has been consistent throughout the entire process: other places can talk about family, but talk is cheap. Clemson is the real deal.

The Cincinnati (OH) St. Xavier standout gave his verbal to the Clemson coaches during a junior day visit Saturday afternoon, and he told TigerNet that there were many reasons why Clemson is the place he wants to play college football.

“If I really gave you the rundown of what made me pull the trigger, we'd be talking all night to be honest. You talk about Clemson football and Clemson University and I don't think you can find a better place with better people and a better mix of academics and football,” Bockhorst said. “What they have going on at Clemson, I can honestly say that there's nothing else like that in the country. Talking to Coach Swinney today he said our goal is just to get guys down on campus because once they get to campus Clemson sells itself and that's true. What makes a university is the people that are there and when you go to Clemson you realize how invested everybody is in the university and how everybody wants you to succeed - that's the coaching staff, I was able to meet with some academic advisors like Col. Edge from the business department.

“I went through the whole thing this weekend. I really wanted to get a close look. I have no doubt in my mind that Clemson is the place for me. It's just awesome, and there's no other place like it. Not to mention that my older brother John plays football at Furman University, which is under an hour away. He and I are really close and my family is extremely close. We have a younger brother Patrick, as well. There were so many things that made Clemson jump off the page for me. It was almost a no-brainer. When you start getting you recruited - I had quite a few schools and coaches looking at me and everyone has cool facilities. Everybody has this and that and everybody wants championships, but Clemson is special. It's kind of hard to put into words how to describe it, but I love it.”

Bockhorst is a consensus 4-star recruit by all the major recruiting services and was named First-team all-state and First-team all-district his junior season. He has offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Duke, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, North Carolina, Penn State, Toledo and Vanderbilt.

However, it was Clemson that stood out and he was able to break the news to head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.

“They were quite excited. I think that may be an understatement,” Bockhorst said. “Coach Caldwell is just an amazing guy. He knows what he's doing. He's a hard-nosed, old school offensive line coach. People have described my playing style as old school because I may not be the tallest guy on the field or I may not be a 5-star, All-American but I'm going to get after you and put my hand in the dirt across from yours and it's going to me against you. That's how I play football and that's the attitude I take not just in football but in life, and that's how Coach Caldwell is, too. Coach Swinney cares about his players. He doesn't just care about winning. He cares about developing young men and I couldn't think of a better man to play for than him. When they heard the news, they were excited. It was great. It was a fantastic day. I had a two-day visit and that was icing on the cake right there. I'm just excited to be part of the family.”

Bockhorst is already trying to recruit Blake Vinson and Trey Smith, and he said both prospects will find out he is persistent.

“Absolutely. There are probably a couple of words that I would use to describe myself and persistence is definitely one of those words. Whether it's in recruiting, for myself. If a coach says he wants me to call and I call and he doesn't answer, I'm going to keep calling until he answer because that's just kind of how I am,” he said. “It's gotten me places because if you want something you go and get it. I want those guys to be a part of the family. You want to be surrounded by guys that are better than you. You want to be surrounded by guys that are going to push you to your limit. You're going to be playing with guys who are going to be in your wedding down the road - they are great guys who get it. I'm going to do what I can to make sure that this 2017 recruiting class is as good as it can be.

“I'm going to recruit and I'm a very straight-forward guy and I'm going to tell guys that Clemson is different and once you get on campus you'll see it. I know they saw it this weekend. I will be recruiting quite heavily because I like to win. I don't know what drives me more - how much I like winning or how much I hate losing, but either way it's still the same outcome, so whatever I can do to increase Clemson's chances of making another title run, that's what I'm going to do.”

It was a big recruiting weekend for the Tigers – the coaches had tons of 2017 talent on hand while also trying to close out the 2016 class – but Bockhorst said he didn’t think it was an unusual weekend around campus. Why? Because Clemson is the real deal.

Rashan Gary being around, I don't know if that changed the vibe. You go to Clemson and you talk about Clemson. It's a true family no matter who is on campus,” he said. “Some coaches would ask me once I kind of knew where I was at, 'Why Clemson?' When I tell them that it's family they would say, 'Well, we have a family, too." I don't want to be disrespectful or anything but everyone wants to say they have a family and the way I look at it, talk is cheap. Clemson doesn't just talk about it, they do it. You can tell with the coaches’ wives and kids all there, the whole nine yards. They've got it covered and they know how to do things right. They do it the right way and that's why you see that they have the success not only on the field, but in the classroom, community service. It was a great atmosphere. I was able to meet a lot of the players and other recruits, so it was a great time.”


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