Clemson Football Lands Ari Watford, Number One Edge Rusher in Strong 2025 Class

Clemson football received great news on Wednesday, picking up a commitment from Ari Watford, the number one rated edge rusher in the 2025 recruiting cycle.

Watford, from Norfolk, VA, is a consensus 4-star recruit on 247 and rated as the top edge rusher on the class by On3. At 6’5″ and 230 pounds, he has the speed and strength to be a future star along the Tigers’ defensive front. For new defensive ends coach Chris Rumph, Watford is also the first major recruiting win for the decorated coach.

Watford chose Clemson over Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Syracuse.

“Clemson is a very unique place,” Watford said. “The people there and the family-oriented culture Coach Swinney has built stood out to me. People that go to Clemson go for the right reasons and that’s something I’ve wanted to be a part of growing up.”

Ari Watford

Part of Watford’s scouting profile on On3 notes that he has a quick first step with good instincts and is fast to the ball, which allows him to maneuver around opposing offensive linemen. He is adept at using his frame to seal off the edge.

Watford joins fellow defensive lineman and number one recruit in South Carolina, Amare Adams, as part of the Tigers’ 2025 class that is shaping up to be a dandy.

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