What are Clemson’s chances with 5-star linebacker recruit?

Five-star Jefferson (Ga.) High School recruit Sammy Brown ranks as the No. 1 linebacker in the class of 2024.

Five-star Jefferson (Ga.) High School recruit Sammy Brown ranks as the No. 1 linebacker in the class of 2024.


Sammy Brown, a five-star linebacker recruit in the Class of 2024, has been going to Clemson football camps since he was 10 years old.

He’s bonded with Tigers defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin, his primary recruiter, over their shared love for hunting and fishing.

He’s taken advantage of Clemson’s proximity to Jefferson (Ga.) High School, having made that 70-mile drive to Death Valley at least seven times the last year.

And he’ll officially visit Clemson on June 3, he told On3Sports’ Chad Simmons.

Those are all feathers in the cap for the Tigers’ recruitment of Brown, a three-sport athlete who ranks as the No. 1 linebacker recruit in the 247Sports Composite and is also being heavily courted by in-state Georgia, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Tennessee, among others.

Will it be enough?

Brown’s the type of can’t-miss prospect who could seriously help — or hurt — Clemson’s recruiting Class of 2024 depending on where he commits later this year, in the same way that five-star 2023 defensive tackle commit Peter Woods jump-started things for the Tigers last July.

His top contenders should get some clarity in the near future. Brown’s father, Mike, told 247Sports last week that the linebacker — who has nearly 30 Power Five offers to date, per the website — is planning to release a list of top schools “soon.”

That would put Brown in a position to officially visit each of his finalists in June before making a verbal commitment in July following his wrestling and outdoor track and field seasons — a timeline he’s been sticking to for months in hopes of a normal-as-possible senior year.

“It’s winding down,” Brown’s father told 247Sports. “I think he kind of knows who the five (finalists) are. He’ll have a tough time with the decision. Probably more so telling people no than telling people yes.”

Clemson traditionally doesn’t offer recruits scholarships until the summer of their junior year, but the Tigers make a few exceptions per cycle. That included Brown: Last March, coach Dabo Swinney extended him Clemson’s first scholarship offer for a Class of 2024 player.

The Tigers have only offered three other linebackers to date.

“The coaches’ messages are always super positive,” Brown told The Clemson Insider last month. “I’m their guy. They want me. They’ve only offered one other true inside ’backer in my class. So, they’ve definitely backed up that claim.”

The success of Clemson sophomore linebackers Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. last season also made something else apparent:Tthe Tigers should have plenty of starting linebacker snaps up for grabs in 2024.

Carter in 2022 became only the third Power Five linebacker since 2019 to record 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions in a season, while Trotter was the only Power Five linebacker to earn a grade of 80-plus as a pass rusher and coverage defender in Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. Both are garnering early 2024 NFL Draft buzz.

As a junior at Jefferson, Brown had a career-high 113 tackles (63 solo) in 11 games. He also had one sack, one tackle for loss, three pass deflections and an interception while racking up 1,705 total yards and 24 touchdowns as a running back/H-back on offense.

His primary recruiter at Clemson is Goodwin, who is entering his second season as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Brown also has a strong relationship with Oklahoma coach and former Clemson DC Brent Venables.

Another major contender for Brown is Georgia, which routed TCU last month to become college football’s first back-to-back national champion since Alabama in 2011 and 2012. Coach Kirby Smart’s program is a bona fide powerhouse that rarely misses on top in-state talent.

247Sports also reported “things have really been picking up” with Brown and Ohio State since the Buckeyes poached former letterman James Laurinaitis from Notre Dame’s staff last month to coach their linebackers. Laurinaitis was a three-time All-American at OSU.

As he approaches the final months of his recruitment, Brown ranks as the No. 1 linebacker recruit and No. 14 overall recruit in the 247Sports Composite, which factors in multiple websites’ rankings. He’s even higher in the Top247 rankings, sitting at No. 6 nationally.

Clemson 2024 football commitments

  • 4-star Marian Central Catholic (Ill.) TE Christian Bentancur

  • 4-star Carrollwood Day (Fla.) S Tavoy Feagin

  • 4-star Troup County (Ga.) S Noah Dixon

  • 4-star Meadowcreek (Ga.) DL Champ Thompson

  • Hough (N.C.) K Nolan Hauser

Related stories from Charlotte Observer

Chapel Fowler has covered Clemson football, among other topics, for The State since June 2022. He’s a Denver, N.C., native, a 2020 UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus and a pickup basketball enthusiast with previous stops at the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer and Chatham (N.C.) News + Record. His work has been honored by the Associated Press Sports Editors, the North Carolina Press Association and the Associated College Press.

Source link

Leave a Comment