So Brooks, the defensive tackles coach at Clemson, made a suggestion to offensive coordinator Billy Napier and head coach Dabo Swinney. He suggested they get a good long look at Taylor Ogle of Gatlinburg Pittman High School (Tenn.) and handed them his tape.
The look turned into an evaluation and the evaluation turned into a phone
call and the phone call turned into an official visit and the official
visit turned into an offer for Ogle to walk on at Clemson this summer as a
"Their offense is one that I like to run," Ogle said. "I talked to Coach
Napier for quite a while that night. I ate dinner with him. He was sitting
right across from me and we talked about everything. We talked about how
(the offense) is going to be run and when they wanted me to come down
there and what it is like to play college football."
Ogle turned down walk-on offers from Tennessee and Virginia after visiting
Clemson during spring drills. In fact, he was on hand for the second
stadium scrimmage and then later talked with Swinney and went out to
dinner with Napier.
"(The visit) definitely jumped Clemson to the top," Ogle said. "Virginia
is such a great academic school and it was such a hard school to turn
down. It came down to where I was going to be the happiest, and it came
down to Clemson."
Swinney was one of the main reasons why he felt coming to Clemson was the
right place for him.
"Coach Swinney is a terrific guy," said Ogle, who plans to enroll at
Clemson in late June in order to begin workouts during second summer
session. "His faith is important to him and so is winning football games.
He puts his faith on the field and I love that. He is just a great coach
and a great man."
Ogle also admires Brooks, a guy who became a family friend years ago when
he first got to Tennessee.
"When he coached at Tennessee he became real good friends with my uncle,
Jim," Ogle said. "They became good friends and Jim became good friends
with the coaching staff. They got really close."
Ogle first got close to Clemson when his father, David, was a graduate
student at Clemson years ago. While in elementary school, Ogle's Dad took
his son to a Clemson game and from that moment - though he grew up a
Tennessee fan - he was hooked on Clemson.
"At the beginning of the process my dad asked me if there was anywhere in
the country that I would want to go and honestly, I said Clemson. It was
my dream school," said Ogle, who threw for nearly 3,000 yards in his
career and more than 30 touchdowns. "We went and watched a game and right
when I step foot on campus, I loved everything about it. I watched one of
the games and I just fell in love with it.
"After I took my official it just made me love it more."
Ogle will now love the competition he will face at Clemson. He will come
in this summer as the fifth quarterback on the depth chart behind, in no
order, Kyle Parker, Willy Korn, Michael Wade and Tajh Boyd.
Though he plans to redshirt this season, the two-time All-Conference and
All-County quarterback says he is looking forward to the challenge.
"The quarterbacks that they have are really good and they are all going to
be really good players that will be competing next year," said Ogle, who
stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 195. "It might take a year for me to put on
some weight, but what I bring to the table is definitely height.
"I'm pretty accurate and I think people will like to see if I can move or
not. I think I move pretty well and I think I'm pretty smart with the
Ogle threw for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns to just five interceptions
last year despite the fact he played part of the year with a broken finger
on his throwing hand. The Tennessee standout hopes to up his weight to 220
pounds by the end of next spring so he will be ready to compete next fall.
"I'm more about staying in the pocket and making the throw," Ogle said.
"If I get hit that's okay. I'm going to make the throw. I can run when I
Walk-on QB excited to be a Tiger
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