When Zach Giella signed his letter of intent Friday to play football at Clemson, it set in motion the realization of a dream that began as a child.
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman completed his commitment to the Tigers during a signing ceremony at Augusta Christian.
“It’s been my dream to play college football and I’m living it right now,” Giella said. “It’s such a great feeling. I’ve been blessed to be able to have this and I’m really excited.”
Giella signed before his senior season because he intends to enroll early at Clemson. He has been taking summer classes and plans to graduate before the end of the year. He said coaches told the incoming class to expect to play early.
Giella said he was recruited as an offensive tackle, but he will also get reps at center.
The Augusta Christian lineman considered other major programs, including Louisiana State, before deciding on Clemson because of the atmosphere set by the coaches. He said his recruiter, offensive coordinator Chad Morris, was a big influence.
“It’s a family atmosphere,” Giella said. “The coaches are great guys, great Christian men, and I really felt they can mold me into a better man.”
Augusta Christian coach Keith Walton said improved footwork and better speed have developed Giella into a blocking force for his program.
“He’s a hard worker, and he is our block that we build on,” Walton said. “Coaches throw out those intangibles, and he’s got them all. He’s the first one there, last one to leave. He made a commitment to get better.”
That commitment showed when Giella recently attended a Clemson camp.
“When they watched him put his hand down in front of what would be their top recruits defensively, and he didn’t just handle his business, he dominated, coach Morris said the place went nuts,” Walton said.