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December 30, 2012
"Recruiting has been going down. I haven't had any contact with any coaches for the past month now," Pagano said. "I'm going to see Clemson a week after the Army All-American Bowl. That's it so far. I just keep in touch with Clemson once a week and that's about it."
The last school beside Clemson to contact him was Texas about a month ago.
"I haven't had a phone call or a Facebook message for about a month," Pagano said. "Thank goodness."
The 6-3, 280-pound standout took time this summer to visit several schools, and it was after the trip across the South that he knew he found his college destination.
"This summer going on my visits with LSU, Alabama, Florida, and Clemson, Clemson felt like more of a family and I felt more welcome," Pagano said. "I also got to spend three days there and I fell in love with Clemson."
In addition to the family atmosphere he felt around the Clemson program, being on the East Coast also allows some of his family to watch him play.
"I have family that lives in Greenville and also in Easley," Pagano said. "I also have a lot of family up on the East Coast in New York and North Carolina and Georgia and also in Charleston and Columbia, so a lot of my family can come watch me play."
Pagano is ranked No. 157 in the Rivals250 and No. 12 among defensive tackles. He is one of three Clemson commits playing in the 2013 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
When he made his decision, his family being close was not a big factor, but he admits that has changed over time.
"It was a factor but not like a big one until I really thought about it and realized they could all see me play," Pagano said.