Analyzing impact as 4-star cornerback Toriano Pride commits to Clemson

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CLEMSON — Clemson’s 2022 secondary stayed hot on the recruiting trail on Friday afternoon.

Just a day after picking up a commitment from Virginia safety Sherrod Covil, the Tigers picked up a pledge from a St. Louis defensive back with the commitment of four-star cornerback Toriano Pride.

It’s a huge win for defensive backs coach Mike Reed and the Clemson defensive staff. With plenty of St. Louis connections at Ohio State, the Buckeyes were thought to be a favorite of Pride’s for much of his recruitment. But the Tigers kept chipping away at their relationship with the top-200 player throughout the dead period. He visited both Ohio State and Clemson this month with the return of on-campus visits, traveling to Clemson last weekend for the Elite Retreat. With visits scheduled to Auburn and Arkansas later this month, Pride called this off and announce he was committing Friday.

He had all of his questions answered over the visit to Clemson, and now the next time he returns he’ll be committed. ClemsonSports.com is breaking down what his commitment means for the Tigers and the national recruiting scene.

Toriano Pride-Clemson Tigers-Clemson Football

Toriano Pride is the No. 23 overall cornerback in the 2022 class. (Toriano Pride/Twitter)

What Toriano Pride gives Clemson on field, means for 2022 class

Toriano Pride has the look of a prototypical cornerback prospect. With a 5-foot-11, 172-pound frame he matches the makeup wanted in Clemson’s secondary.

With a reported time of 7.13 in the 60-meter dash at the Missouri High School Indoor Series Championship in February of 2020, Pride has the speed to compete at a high level. The 4-star from St. Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North High School is one of the top match-and-mirror defensive backs in his class thanks to his speed and impressive hips that allow him to change directions quickly.

Although the recruitment was mainly a Clemson-Ohio State battle, Pride held offers from 27 schools including Alabama, Oregon, Georgia, Oklahoma and Notre Dame. Ranked as the No. 23 overall cornerback in the class, his number of offers proves he has a much higher-ceiling than his rating suggest. He’ll continue to develop physically once he arrives at Clemson, but playing in a competitive environment in St. Louis should have him prepared for the adjustment.

Now that the No. 4 prospect out of Missouri is committed, he can start helping Clemson put together the rest of its 2022 class. The Tigers have picked up three verbal commitments this week, brining the total to seven total. And after months of not boasting a single defensive commitment, the Tigers now have two.

How Toriano Pride commitment impacts 2022 recruiting rankings

The Tigers move into the No. 19 spot in the 2022 class rankings behind Southern California and ahead of Oklahoma State, and they are now sitting at No. 9 in the per-player average (91.69), according to the 247Sports Composite rankings, with Florida State (91.78; eight commitments) and the Trojans (92.66; 12 commitments) now holding a slight lead. Alabama’s 95.05 per-player average leads the class. The Tigers overall ranking will continue to rise as they land more commitments; nearly every school in the top 10 has commitments in the double digits.

In the ACC, Clemson closed in on Florida State’s lead. The Seminoles currently boast the top class with a composite score of 160.44 with eight commitments. Clemson is now at 142.61, trailing second-place Boston College, which stands at 154.03 with 12 commits. The Tigers have captured the ACC recruiting crown four-consecutive years.

Clemson’s 2022 recruiting class is led by quarterback Cade Klubnik, wide receiver Adam Randall and offensive linemen Collin Sadler receiver and Blake Miller. The two recent pickups of safety Sherrod Covil and specialist Robert Gunn this week have boosted Clemson’s class rankings.