247Sports five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei is rated the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 1 edge-rusher, so he has plenty of suitors.
Given his status as arguably the nation’s top defensive recruit and the fact that he’s the younger brother of former five-star prospect and Clemson starting quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei it would be a natural conclusion that Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff would be all over the bluechip prospect.
But that’s not the case, according to Matayo’s father, “Big Dave” Uiagalelei, who shared his frustration on social media Tuesday evening.
“I haven’t heard from one coach at (Clemson football) yet,” he wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted. “No DC, no D-line or D-end coach. I don’t understand, do you even want Matayo???”
Told by a Twitter user that "the sky has been falling in Clemson" and that he should "keep it moving," Uiagalelei expressed that his son's recruitment has carried on without the Tigers.
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end, out of California powerhouse program St. John Bosco (Bellflower), projects as a future first-round NFL Draft pick.
So, why the lack of attention?
Uiagalelei has expressed on multiple occasions that NIL opportunities could play a significant part of the recruiting process for high school athletes going forward.
While he has not directly linked those conversations to Matayo's recruitment, it seems plausible a program who hasn't been in communication directly with the family might think NIL deals are a deciding factor.
And if that were the case, it could get expensive.
The Athletic's Stewart Mandel recently reported that a 2023 five-star recruit received $8 million in an NIL deal that all-but-secured his commitment to an SEC school.
In terms of potential star power, Uiagalelei projects to be nearly as good as any player in the country.
So, who is in the mix?
The Southern California product has visited both USC and Oregon on multiple occasions and has also previously visited Alabama and Clemson, but perhaps the Tigers are fading.
Many programs are still in the hunt, and "Big Dave" was quick to point out Oregon is all-in.