Clemson is setting the stage for a big junior day event Jan 26. The Tigers are bringing in several key 2020 targets including Carrollton, Ga., linebacker Kevin Swint. And as things stand with him right now, Swint is strongly considering becoming a Tiger commitment on that visit.
“I hear from Clemson almost every day,” Swint said. “They say I am the top guy in the class of 2020 and they want me to be that guy that comes in and help fill in the missing linebacker pieces that will be leaving in a couple of years. Right now they are the top school for me, that’s really about it. They are the top school. I think they have a big lead on everybody else.”
Swint has watched the Clemson defenses dominate most people in recent seasons under Brent Venables. The way Venables constructs his defense and runs in is appealing to Swint.
“They run like a four man front and the D-line takes up most of the gaps,” Swint explained. “You really have one gap. It’s not like a regular 3-4 defense where the defense is all spread out. And coach Venables, what he’s doing right now, he’s taking over the defensive game on the college level. Why wouldn’t you want to go to a team that’s locking people down. They held Alabama to like 15 or 17 points. Why wouldn’t you want to get coached by a guy like him?”
Swint also has been talking with USC coach Will Muschamp and he’s been looking at Florida and Wisconsin. But Clemson is the big leader for him going into his next visit.
Last season Swint had 120 tackles with six sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.
Back to Bama
Clemson took wide receiver Justyn Ross out of Phenix City, Ala. for the 2018 class pulling him away from Alabama and Auburn, and he showed the nation why he was so highly coveted with his performance in the national championship game. The 2020 class presents the Tigers with another talented receiver target in Phenix City in E.J. Williams (6-foot-3, 183 pounds) and they have made him a priority.
“Coach I have the strongest relationship with is coach Jeff Scott,” Williams said. “We talk every day about how I would fit in at Clemson. I feel like if I go there I can make an immediate impact. They told me I would be the “nine” man, what Tee Higgins and (Justyn) Ross play. I’d be the boundary receiver.”
Williams attended two Clemson home games this past season and he was in for a visit last weekend.
“I always get the same vibe from Clemson,” Williams said. “I always go up there and they show me a good time. They don’t have to put on a face because they see oh, that’s EJ, we’ve got to act this type of way. They are going to act like that even when I’m not there, I know that. They give me that vibe every time I go there. I have a good time every time I go up there.”
Williams, of course, has kept in touch with his good friend Ross and watched with interest as he emerged as a major component of the offense in his first season.
“They develop players real well,” Williams said. “When Justyn was coming out of high school, I wouldn’t think he’d go for a thousand yards his freshman year and have the most receiving yards on the team. That just shows that they have a great offense and they know how to throw the ball and spread the field.”
“He tells me he has a lot of fun,” Williams continued. “It’s not always just about football. They are teaching him life lessons on how to apply for jobs and things like that. It’s just not all about football, it’s about having fun and preparing you for more than football.”
Like Ross, Williams said he would have no problem leaving the state. He also has visited Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Florida State and Florida. He will visit Georgia this weekend and Clemson on January 26th. He also plans to visit in the coming weeks Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State and Florida. He will not announce a decision until the December signing day.
This past season Williams had 40 catches for 368 yards and nine touchdowns.
▪ Per a source, First Baptist tailback Michel Dukes will take an official visit to Clemson this weekend. The Tigers not yet offered but they are very high on Dukes who also is a basketball prospect. He has taken official visits to Syracuse and East Carolina. Dukes has been one of the state’s top running backs rushing for over 4,100 yards and 63 touchdowns the last two seasons.
▪ Clemson offered Miami 2020 wide receiver Xzavier Henderson (6-foot-4 185).