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Clemson Football Recruiting

Explosive four-star defensive end Zaire Patterson signs with Tigers

December 16, 2020

★★★★ Zaire Patterson - 6’6, 225 - Winston-Salem, NC, Winston-Salem, NC

Clemson’s recruiting continues to bring in top-level prospects as four-star defensive end Zaire Patterson‍ sent in his paperwork to the Tigers just moments ago.

The 6’6 defensive end brings tremendous length and athleticism to Tiger Town. The first thing that shows up on film is his explosive first step. Once Patterson adds some additional muscle mass, he is going to be a handful off the edge. 

His length is going to allow him to win more battles off the edge than most and a year on campus will serve him well in the weight room, but he gets in the backfield in a blink.

Patterson, a Winston-Salem native picked the Tigers over Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, South Carolina and others.

During a post on his Instagram account, Patterson opened by thanking God for the opportunity he has been given.

Then before revealing a Clemson shirt and grabbing an orange Clemson hat, Patterson said, "I want to thank my wonderful coaching staff for developing me into the player that I am. I want to thank my friends and family for their love and support through this process," Patterson noted. "In saying that, I'm All-In." 

Overview: National top 100 player according to 247Sports, which listed him as the nation’s No. 97 overall player, the sixth-best defensive end and the sixth-best player from North Carolina … also top 300 player nationally according to … rated as a four-star recruit by and 247Sports … invited to play in the Under Armour All-America Game … did not have a fall 2020 high school season due to the COVID-19 pandemic … had 181 career tackles, 43 tackles for loss, including 25 sacks, three interceptions and 10 caused fumbles in 21 games over two seasons … in 2019, had 129 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss and nine sacks … also had three interceptions for 78 return yards … recorded a remarkable nine caused fumbles … had his best game against Bishop McGuinness when he recorded a career-high 20 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks and three caused fumbles … also had 14 tackles, including five tackles for loss, against West Columbia that year … had 69 tackles in his last five games of the 2019 season … had 52 tackles, including 16 sacks, and three blocked punts in nine games as a sophomore in 2018 …  also played three years of high school basketball … averaged 5.4 points and 7.2 rebounds in 2019-20 … committed to Clemson on May 26, 2020 … recruited by Lemanski Hall and Mike Reed … played for De’Ron Middleton at Winston-Salem Prep … born Oct. 22, 2002.

Reminds us of:

K.J. Henry



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Explosive four-star defensive end Zaire Patterson signs with Tigers

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