5-star 2016 defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence committed to Clemson on Monday afternoon at Wake Forest High School's auditorium with over five-hundred people in attendance.
The lights were turned out in the auditorium for a few seconds and then Lawrence put on a Clemson hat to signify his commitment to Clemson.
He chose the Tigers over his other finalists: Alabama, Ohio State, Souther Cal, Florida, North Carolina and North Carolina State. He is one of the highest-rated recruits ever to commit to Clemson alongside former Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers.
It was a team effort as Robbie Caldwell, Dan Brooks and Brent Venables all had an important role in securing the commitment.
Swinney was asked about Lawrence's 5-star commitment today by the media before practice.
"I can't wait for spring practice to get here," Swinney said holding Lawrence's financial aid agreement in his hand. "He is an unbelievable talent. He is our kind of guy. He will show up here as a mid-year and be ready to go. This is Christmas coming early."
Lawrence is the #1 player in the state of North Carolina, the highest rated NC prospect since 2012 (D.J. Humphries) and one of the top defensive lineman in the entire country for the 2016 cycle.
He took an official visit to North Carolina State over the weekend but it was not enough to sway Lawrence to stay in-state with the Wolfpack.
He had national offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Boston College, Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Stanford, Syracuse, Tennessee, USC, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and others. Clemson was his first offer.
Lawrence is an elite prospect and a consensus 5-star recruit by all the major recruiting services and will be playing in the 2016 Army All-American game on Jan. 9th at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. He was also the News Observer Player of the Year in 2014.
He finished his senior season with 91 tackles, 13 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. His team was undefeated and was ranked #1 in the state before losing in the second round of the playoffs.
As a junior, Lawrence accounted for 55 tackles, ten sacks, 25 tackles for loss, three blocked kicks and three forced fumbles. In his sophomore campaign, he had 19 tackles for loss.