June has ended, but the train rolls on nonetheless.
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And this is a big ol’ caboose.
McDonough (Ga.) Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy four-star offensive lineman Zechariah Owens has announced his commitment to Clemson. Owens had been a screening to Clemson by Tigerillustrated.com.
Owens (6-6, 355), ranked No. 182 nationally by Rivals.com, picked Clemson over Penn State and South Carolina. He also had offers from UGA, Alabama, Florida State, Tennessee, USC, Auburn, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Miami and others.
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“When I went there, everything Clemson stands for is what I wanted for the next four years of my life, and it’s something I can come back to when I go back home,” Owens told Tigerillustrated.com during the spring. “They have 27 returning players right now on campus who used to play for the program. That just shows you how much of a home it is. I don’t want to go to a college where I’ll be treated like a piece of I want to go somewhere I know that when I come back, I’ll be treated like family.
“One of coach (Dabo) Swinney’s famous sayings is, we’re a village. And that’s something I want to be apart of. I want to be apart of that village.”
South Carolina was regarded as the frontrunner until Clemson made its move via an offer at its March 5 junior day.
Owens had competed at the Dabo Swinney Camp the previous summer, but the staff wanted to see him drop weight after working out at nearly 380 pounds.
He called Clemson his leader after that junior day visit. But Owens still needed to experience the process before his recruitment truly stood to reach its conclusion.
Penn State gained momentum later in the spring, as his father lives in New York.
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But a return trip to Clemson with his mother for the official visit weekend served as the predetermined moment for Owens to lock in his pledge quietly to the staff.
Tigerillustrated.com issued a projection for Owens to Clemson at the conclusion of his official visit.
He had a Penn State official visit on the books for June 24-26 but summarily cancelled.
Owens marks new offensive line coach Thomas Austin’s second major acquisition within a week, as Odessa (Texas) Permian four-star interior lineman Harris Sewell announced for Clemson last Wednesday.
Sewell and Owens combines with Austin (Texas) Vandegrift four-star Ian Reed to give Clemson three linemen for the class, with one scholarship spot still available.
The Tigers remain at No. 4 in the Rivals.com team recruiting class rankings for the cycle, trailing only Notre Dame, Ohio State and Texas.
Owens becomes the 16th member for Clemson’s class, joining Sewell and Reed, Rome (Ga.) four-star defensive tackle Stephiylan Green, College Park (Ga.) four-star defensive end AJ Hoffler, Alpharetta (Ga.) four-star linebacker Dee Crayton, Warner Robins (Ga.) four-star defensive lineman Vic Burley, Birmingham (Ala.) Briarwood Christian four-star quarterback Christopher Vizzina, Atlanta (Ga.) St. Christopher four-star corner Branden Strozier, Warminster (Pa. ) tight end Markus Dixon, Riverview (Fla.) Sumner four-star safety Kylen Webb, Atlanta (Ga.) Westlake four-star corner Avieon Terrell, Hoschton (Ga.) Mill Creek four-star linebacker Jamal Anderson, Rockwall (Texas) four-star receiver Noble Johnson, Washington (DC) St. John’s College four-star end David Ojiegbe and Naples (Fla.) tight end Olsen Henry.
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