The Clemson Insider takes a look ahead at Clemson’s top linebacker targets in the class of 2018.
After losing B.J. Goodson and Travis Blanks at the conclusion of the 2015 season, Clemson signed a trio of linebackers in February: Tre Lamar, Jamie Skalski and Shaq Smith.
Ben Boulware is the only senior linebacker on Clemson’s roster.
Rock Hill (S.C.) Northwestern four-star linebacker/defensive end Logan Rudolph and Calhoun (Ga.) three-star linebacker Baylon Spector are committed to Clemson as part of the 2017 class.
Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star linebacker Mike Jones is Clemson’s lone commitment in the class of 2018.
Here are the biggest names at linebacker in the 2018 cycle we’re keeping tabs on right now:
Teradja Mitchell – Virginia Beach, Va.
Clemson offered Mitchell, a five-star prospect from Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School, in January 2015. Mitchell visited Clemson in late July and came away very impressed. “Clemson is a great school and program overall,” Mitchell told TCI after the visit. “I will be back.” Mitchell also said he is a big fan of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables. Mitchell already has 30-plus offers, with the latest coming from Stanford on Sept. 9. The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder most recently visited West Virginia on Sept. 3.
Eriq Gilyard – Jacksonville, Fla.
Clemson offered Gilyard in June. The three-star product of Trinity Christian Academy also holds offers from prominent schools such as Alabama, Michigan, LSU and Nebraska, and ACC schools Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, N.C. State and Virginia Tech. Gilyard has strong bloodlines. His father, Rashard Gilyard, played cornerback for Auburn in the early 2000s, and his godfather, Eric Sampson, played linebacker at Clemson under Tommy Bowden. There is significant mutual interest between Clemson and Gilyard.
Jake Venables – Central, S.C.
Venables is another name to keep an eye on. The son of Brent Venables, Jake has offers from Clemson, SMU and Texas Tech. He is also reportedly receiving interest from North Carolina, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Georgia Tech and N.C. State.
J.J. Peterson – Moultrie, Ga.
Peterson, a four-star from Colquitt County High School, owns offers from Clemson, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina among other schools. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is one of the best prospects in the state of Georgia. His recruitment remains open at this time.