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Clemson Football Recruiting

“The president watched my film” – Inside the journey & commitment of four-star AJ Hoffler

June 25, 2022
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Clemson added another blue-chip prospect to the 2023 class this week when 6'5, 235-pound DE/OLB AJ Hoffler‍ (College Park, GA) announced his commitment to the Tigers. Hoffler's journey to Death Valley was unique in many ways concluding with his announcement on June 21-- his mother's birthday.

During the 2020 COVID-19 shutdowns, Hoffler turned the pandemic into "the best thing that ever happened to me." When the nation first shut down, Hoffler weighed 180 pounds. By the time activities resumed in Atlanta, he was up to 225 pounds and in peak football shape.

After taking the field, he quickly earned the attention of prominent college coaches. The front-seven prospect made a name for himself due to his twitchiness, speed off the edge, and high-motor style of play. He racked up a career-high nine sacks in a spectacular campaign last fall.

"I never heard of a school president doing that, so it shows me how invested everyone is in the football program."
- AJ Hoffler

Heading into the summer, Clemson was recruiting Hoffler harder than any other school, which was impressive to the rising senior. 

Even University President Jim Clements got involved, "He was telling me how great the school is and how interested they were. He said he watched my film and had looked up my mom and stuff. I never heard of a school president doing that, so it shows me how invested everyone is in the football program. I definitely want to be a part of something like that."

After talking with multiple current players, Hoffler felt comfortable committing to the newly-shaped Clemson defensive coaching staff. Star defensive end Myles Murphy hosted Hoffler's official visit to Clemson. Murphy and his teammates delivered a simple message about recent coaching changes, "there is definitely not going to be a drop-off from Coach Venables- and it might even be better."

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After a surge of June commitments, the Clemson 2023 class is ranked No. 3 nationally by 247sports.com. Hoffler is confident in the group and even Tweeted:

He expounded on the claim, "If everyone can do what they're supposed to do on and off the field, there's no doubt in my mind that we will definitely bring back a national championship, just because of how talented a group of guys we are."

Luke's Take:

AJ Hoffler is an extremely athletic pass rusher that I expect to contribute to Clemson's front seven as an underclassman. In high school, he's been able to consistently beat linemen due to his uniquely dynamic combination of size and speed. As Hoffler refines his technique under a Clemson staff that has historically developed his position well, I expect him to become an NFL Draft Day 2-3 pick. He is a significant addition to this recruiting class and gives the coaches another high-ceiling defensive prospect from the Peach State.

 

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“The president watched my film” – Inside the journey & commitment of four-star AJ Hoffler

1,258 Views | 1 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by lukewinstel
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