Scott Pagano had narrowed his extensive list to LSU, Florida, Alabama and Clemson and planned to announce his commitment on Aug. 10.
After thinking about it for some time, the Honolulu (Hawaii) Moanalua four-star defensive tackle could wait no longer.
He wanted to make his commitment to Clemson and the 6-foot-3, 280-pound prospect said he's thrilled with his decision.
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"I will be playing football at Clemson," Pagano said.
"It just started with family. It felt so right being there. I was so comfortable and it felt like my high school right now. Coach (Dabo) Swinney and my coach are so much alike and being about team bonding and being about the team. They're both very religious, too."
Pagano, rated as the sixth-best defensive tackle, No. 104 prospect in the 2013 class and first in the Hawaii state rankings by Rivals.com, visited all four of his favorites and felt most comfortable during his Clemson trip.
He got along with the coaching staff, loved the players and decided the Tigers would beat out three SEC powerhouses for his pledge.
"It felt so comfortable," Pagano said.
"The players are awesome. I talked to them at the barbecue they had for the players. It was just awesome. The coaches are just so down-to-earth. You don't really see coaches reading the Bible in the morning when you walk in. It was very unique in many ways and felt comfortable."
The four-star defensive tackle also has family in the area so playing at Clemson makes sense so he has a sense of home.
"I have a lot of family in South Carolina and they can see me play so everything fit well together," Pagano said. "I'm just really excited.
"I'm ready. I just want to play right now. I have to go back to work with my teammates and win a state championship and then in the fall go to Clemson and go from there. I can't wait."