With the recruiting dead period set to expire at the end of May, prospects across the country are beginning to set and announce their official visit schedules, and that includes 2022 Portland (Ore.) Westview wide receiver Darrius Clemons.
Right now, Clemons - the nation's No. 132 overall player on the 247Sports composite ranking - is planning on visiting Auburn official for the first weekend in June, USC over the second weekend and he will be visiting Michigan and Penn State to close out the month.
Notre Dame is still in the discussion for Clemons' final official visit, but the 6-3, 205-pounder could practically lead campus tours around South Bend by himself with how much he's already been on campus.
“I don't know if I'm going to take an official there because I've already been there two or three times,” Clemons told Irish Breakdown. “I'm definitely going to go back there for an unofficial visit at some point I think. The architecture of the whole place, everything looked like a Roman church almost. The atmosphere there is like nothing else. When you walk into the stadium, you just feel like that place is special. It's full of tradition.”
As Notre Dame works to fill out its 2022 recruiting class, Clemons is one player that the Fighting Irish are staying in close communication with as he could be a quality fit for the program's offense moving forward given his size and unique skill set.
“I talk to Coach [Brian] Kelly a good amount,” Clemons said. “They said they love big receivers and they like to throw the ball up on post and fade routes to big receivers, and you've seen that on display especially in the Clemson game that they won. They were throwing tons of deep balls. They had a lot of big receivers too, so I could tell they weren't just telling me fluff, it's facts. I could see it.”
Last Fall, Clemons transferred to Pleasant Grove (Utah) because the likelihood of his junior season in Oregon was up in the air, and the big-bodied pass catcher had an opportunity to show off his strengths for his new squad. Though he played in a run-first offense, Clemons hauled in 38 catches for 817 yards and 10 touchdowns, so his propensity to make big plays translated well in his eight-game season. That is exactly the type of transcendent talent that Notre Dame and other schools are hoping to add come National Signing Day.
As for the other programs that Clemons has official visits scheduled to, the Notre Dame target broke down why each location makes sense for him to explore further.
Auburn: “When the coaching staff was at Boise State, I had a good relationship with Coach [Bryan] Harsin,” Clemons mentioned. “Now that they're at Auburn, which is a little bit of a bigger schools, obviously an SEC school, I definitely want to get down there and see what it's like because I've never been to that part of the country let alone live there. Playing in the SEC is a really good opportunity because you're competing with the best week in and week out.”
USC: “That is Wide Receiver U. As long as I go there and work hard, USC can definitely produce receivers.”
Penn State: “Each and every year they're a powerhouse in the Big Ten. They got a new receiver coach who is in his second year. He's done it himself. He was a Biletnikoff semifinalist in his career at Purdue, so getting coached by someone who's done what you want to do is a pretty good way to go about it.”
Even though Notre Dame is not locked in as an official visit for Clemons quite yet, the talented wideout holds the Fighting Irish in high regard after multiple visits and a clear vision for how he'd be utilized at the next level. The fact that Clemons wants to take an unofficial to South Bend even if he doesn't chose ND as an official visit location speaks volumes about his interest in the program, so the Fighting Irish are still in good position for this recruitment.
Right now, Clemons does not have a firm timeline for his commitment as he'd like to take quite a few visits before committing. Instead, the top 150 recruit is lifting weights and working on becoming a better, more technical route runner before his senior season begins.
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