College Sports

Clemson lands Dorman’s PJ Hall, top basketball recruit in South Carolina

Clemson was viewed as the favorite to land the top player in the state of South Carolina each of the previous two years, only to watch Zion Williamson and Josiah James opt to go elsewhere on decision day.

The Tigers finally got their “hometown hero” on Wednesday as P.J. Hall, the top player in South Carolina for the class of 2020, committed to the Tigers during a ceremony at Dorman High School.

Hall chose Clemson over his other finalist — Virginia Tech. He also held offers from Tennessee, Florida, Georgia Tech, South Carolina and others. The commitment of Hall is a huge pickup for Tigers coach Brad Brownell, who sold Hall on the vision of staying home and doing something special.

“He told me hometown hero a few years ago, and I never forgot that. Hometown hero sounds great to me,” Hall said. “Being here, knowing my parents can get to every home game, my brother can get to every home game, just knowing that I have two real families now, one at Clemson and one at my house... It just felt like I was supposed to be there.”

Hall took an official visit to Clemson in September, a trip that played a big role in the 6-foot-9 power forward ultimately choosing the Tigers.

He still took official visits to Florida and Virginia Tech after his trip to Clemson, but neither school did enough to overcome the Tigers.

“I knew that that was my favorite right then, and I knew that if I went to the other schools I would see if there was another school I could be at,” Hall said of his official visit to Clemson. “But in the end I knew that there was nothing else once I got finished with my visits.”

Hall is rated as a four-star recruit and the No. 61 overall player in the country, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. In addition to being rated as the top player in the state, Hall is also the No. 9 power forward in the country.

He had connections to Virginia Tech as the Hokies are coached by former Wofford coach Mike Young, and Florida as his sister, Thayer Hall, plays volleyball for the Gators. But in the end his heart was set on Clemson.

“The decision was tough whenever I was going through the process,” he said. “I knew once God gave me that vision, it was the hardest and the easiest decision of my life. It’s hard to tell them no, but it’s very easy to tell Clemson yes... This is not a four-year decision, this is a 40-year decision. I wanted to make sure this is where I’m going and I wanted to love it. I know I will.”

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Matt Connolly is the Clemson beat writer and covers recruiting and college sports for The State newspaper and The State.com
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