Clemson’s 2024 class added their first defensive end commitment. Darien Mayo out of Maryland joins the already star-studded class. He is 6-foot-7 250lbs and said that Clemson will give him a chance to play both (strong and weakside) DE spots.
He is a top 200 recruit by 247 (178) and On3 (168). With a .9298 rating, he is solidly a four-star prospect. With all four starters on the defensive line likely departing after this season (Xavier Thomas and Justin Mascoll at DE and Tyler Davis and Ruke Orhororo at DT) the addition of Darien Mayo is critical.
The 2022 and 2023 classes netted defensive ends Jaheim Lawson (2022), David Ojiegbe (2023), AJ Hoffler (2023), and TJ Parker (2023). The Tigers will still look to add one more DE commitment in the 2024 class, but they’ve now ensured a strong future for the position.
Looking forward, Cade Denhoff appears likely to become a starter in 2024. Beyond him, the competition will likely be wide open. I wouldn’t expect Darien Mayo to get a ton of snaps as a freshman, but he should be in a position to compete for major playing time in 2025. As explained in this video by Jason Magni (I highly recommend his YouTube channel), he could be a menace in setting the edge and stopping the run.
Mayo was expected to visit Michigan the weekend of June 24th but canceled and committed to the Tigers. He previously visited Clemson, Ohio State, Texas, and USC and it was a battle between Clemson, Ohio State, and Michigan. He was on hand for Clemson’s big junior day and was impressed with the culture — a common thread among Clemson commits. He comes from the same Maryland high school (Good Counsel) as Dorian O’Daniel. Check out the video at the top of the video for more on Darien Mayo.
Following the good news on Darien Mayo, four-star safety Ricardo Jones, who was deciding between Clemson and FSU, canceled his FSU visit and scheduled his commitment for June 27th. After surprising everyone watching on Instagram Live by revealing a Tennessee shirt and donning a Vols hat, he ditched both to reveal a Clemson shirt, cementing his commitment to the Tigers.
Ricardo Jones is out of Warner Robbins, Georgia down near Macon. It is equidistant from Clemson and FSU. This one felt especially good because of Florida State’s recent hype. Their success in the transfer portal has brought success on the field which in turn should bring success in traditional high school recruiting. At least for now, Clemson is still dominating the Seminoles in that regard.
A look at his tape shows great speed and physicality. He also displays good hands which explains how he hauled in 5 INTs in just 7 games as a junior. There are a few plays in his highlights where he didn’t wrap up on the tackle, but generally, you see him in the right place at the right time and taking good angles to make the tackle. He has a fearlessness about attacking ball carriers head-on when needed. You love to see that kind of physicality, especially when paired with his speed and sense for the game. He’s also on the high school basketball team, highlighting his impressive athleticism. It's another big win for Clemson over Florida State in the high school recruiting circuit. Hopefully, these wins are too much for the Seminoles to overcome with their strong portal moves.
For more, check out the video below: