Clemmings Likes Notre Dame

Former Notre Dame football player Anthony Fasano works out at Sports University. Incoming Irish linebacker Carlo Calabrese also gets his lifting and conditioning in at the top-notch facility.

On Tuesday, perhaps another future Notre Dame player started working out at Sports University.

T.J. Clemmings.

Recently ranked as a four-star defensive end by Scout.com, and the 101st best player in the country overall, the 6-foot-6, 260-pound Clemmings decided one of the best ways to take his game to the next level would be to start getting his workouts in at Sports.

"You go up there and they have everything," Clemmings said. "They have trainers that can help you. Whatever you think of, they have it up there."

Working out with one of the trainers today, Clemmings was asked who he has scholarship offers from. The Paterson (N.J.) Catholic High standout responded Notre Dame, Maryland, Rutgers, Duke and Syracuse. The trainer pointed to Calabrese, who was on the other side of the room.

"I went over there and just asked him what it was like up there," Clemmings recapped. "He said it's a nice place and beautiful place up there. I'm going to give them a visit and see what it's about."

Clemmings doesn't think he'll make it to Notre Dame until the summer, but he has remained in regular touch with assistant coach Frank Verducci, since he was offered by the Irish in February.

"He's checking in and seeing how I'm doing and what not," Clemmings said. "I let him know I'm alright and everything. We're just talking like that.

"I can't wait to meet him in person. For me to talk to him over the phone, he sounds like a pretty cool guy."

Verducci was one of the first coaches to identify Clemmings as a prospect. Up until this past fall, Clemmings never played football, focusing on a basketball career that led to a few Division-I scholarship offers from places like Seton Hall, Providence and Massachusetts. However, after the constant prodding by Paterson head football coach Benjie Wimberly, Clemmings finally gave in and tried it his junior year.

Clemmings was a natural. Verducci saw a player on tape that racked up 20 tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Since then, Clemmings and his family have decided to put all the marbles in the football basket, and joining Sports University was just one of the things he is doing to better himself on the gridiron for next fall.

"I've been watching football during the season and after the season," Clemmings said. "My channel doesn't change from the NFL network. I've been learning how to read formations, are they going to run the ball or pass the ball? I've been watching the defensive ends, and what kind of moves they make. I'm much more aware of what to do in a football game. I know the game much better than last season."

That could be scary for the opposition.

Like Verducci, Calabrese was quickly impressed by Clemmings.

"He's a cool kid," Calabrese stated. "He's big kid.

"He asked me how Notre Dame was. I said it was beautiful, the most beautiful campus in the nation."

Clemmings plans on making his college decision during his senior season. He said Notre Dame will definitely be in his thoughts.


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