CLEMSON — The Tigers are on a roll. For the third separate time this week, Clemson has landed a commitment for the class of 2022 when Toriano Pride pledged to Dabo Swinney’s program.
Ranked No. 187 overall in the 247 Sports Composite, the St. Louis Lutheran North product becomes the second defensive back to join Clemson’s 2022 recruiting class. The Tigers were able to score a head-to-head win over Ohio State on the recruiting trail.
Clemson has added a true cornerback player to their roster. After struggling on the perimeter last season, defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed are hoping this four-star cover guy can help improve the play on the outside.
Clemson enters the 2021 season with six scholarship cornerbacks on the roster — Andrew Booth Jr., Fred Davis II, Mario Goodrich, Malcolm Greene, Sheridan Jones, and Nate Wiggins. However, just one of them will be a senior.
Goodrich is entering his final year after starting four games as a junior, but the Missouri native does have an extra year of eligibility remaining due to COVID-19 if the veteran would like to be a super senior in 2022. However, Booth is getting some first-round buzz in the mock draft community. This could be the former five-star recruit’s final season in college.
After that, the classes are spread out. Jones would be a senior in 2022 while Davis II and Greene would be juniors. Highly praised newcomer Wiggins would be a second-year player. This is a good position room for Pride to walk into.
Clemson has some class balance at cornerback but needed a quality option in the 2022 recruiting haul. Pride meets that requirement.
After taking a quick look at the tape on Pride, the athleticism catches your eye. This is a player that played both ways in high school and was a terrific big-play receiver for Lutheran North. On the defensive side of the ball, Pride is under six-foot but has the traits to succeed as a high-level corner.
The prospect has the speed to keep up with receivers in man coverage but is also very comfortable in off coverage. In zone drops, Pride could be a terrific option as the rising senior possesses some legit short-area quickness to go along with his long speed. This is a willing tackler that can thrive in multiple coverage looks.
The blue chipper will be a versatile piece for the Clemson coaching staff to use at corner. The prospect could play outside or be used as a slot cornerback in nickel and dime defenses.
Clemson has recruited at a very high level at cornerback, and Pride is just another example of that. The 2022 prospect will be able to contribute right away when he arrives on campus after finishing his high school career. Venables can use this player in multiple ways.
Seeing how Pride will develop at Clemson will be something interesting to monitor. The top-five player in Missouri could conceivably play multiple spots. This is a versatile defensive back that can enhance the strength of coverages due to his ability to succeed in different facets.
This recruiting win is just what Clemson needed to address their roster management at cornerback.