Paint him orange!

ROEBUCK, S.C. - Patrick DeStefano had his mind made up weeks before his commitment to Clemson was made public.

On Monday afternoon in the football stadium press box at Dorman High School, he announced his commitment to the Tigers.

"I knew where I wanted to go. I just figured it was time to get it all over with," DeStefano said. "I know where my family is at now."

He selected Clemson over South Carolina, Duke, Arkansas, Penn State, Florida and Stanford.

When he enrolls in January of 2012, Destefano will join a few other Dorman Cavaliers. Offensive tackle Brandon Thomas is already on campus with walk-on linebacker Ryan Pruitt and walk-on long snapper Michael Sobeski. Wide receivers Charone Peake and Adam Humphries will be there later this summer.

While flying back from an unofficial visit to Penn State in April, Destefano decided that he too would make Clemson his home.

"On the flight home--I hate flying, by the way--it just occurred to me that I loved Penn State, but they just couldn't beat Clemson out," he said.

A week after the Penn State trip, his recruiter of note to Clemson, wide receivers coach Jeff Scott, was informed of the decision. Former offensive line coach Brad Scott, who now serves on the support staff, was also let in on the secret.

But the commitment wasn't revealed to head coach Dabo Swinney until a few weeks later.

About a week after Swinney was notified, DeStefano began contacting his other suitors, to inform them of his decision. And there were plenty of coaches for him to call.

Herding coaches through the halls of Dorman has become an annual event for head coach Dave Gutshall.

"The last few years, we've been through this, once after another. It's a good. It's a good problem to have," he said. "I don't think it's a distraction. It's been a distraction for three years in a row, with Charone, Adam and the year before, Brandon Thomas. We're getting used it, but we're getting a little spoiled."

Gutshall admitted that he was surprised with the timing of the decision.

"I'm surprised that he made the decision a little early," he said. "I'm one of those guys, if the kid's happy, I'm happy."

DeStefano's father, Frank, is also pleased. The elder DeStefano was an offensive lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints after an outstanding career at Duke.

"I told him I'd rather him go for his five officials. I'm still waiting for Hawaii to come through," the elder Destefano joked.

All kidding aside, Frank had no problem letting his son make the decision for himself.

"As we went through the process, every unofficial was compared to Clemson," he said. "I told [Patrick], ‘Why do you want to drag it on? You're on the o-line. You're not a glory seeker. Why do you want to drag this out?' And he didn't want to drag it out. After Penn State, he decided this was it."

None of the 20-plus options that DeStefano had to chose from could compare to what Clemson had to offer. And he was proud to make that declaration.

"There's nothing any other college could have done to sway me," he said.

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