Florida LB with Clemson tie loves the tradition


Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian 2018 three-star linebacker Eriq Gilyard has strong football ties in his family, including a connection to Clemson.

Gilyard’s godfather, Eric Sampson, played linebacker at Clemson during the Tommy Bowden era. Gilyard’s father, Rashard Gilyard, played cornerback at Auburn in the early 2000s.

Clemson offered Gilyard in June. The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Gilyard, who said the offer “meant a lot” to him.

“It meant a lot to get offered by a top program like Clemson,” Gilyard said. “I like how they have a great tradition of great players that are produced into the NFL, and I have never heard anything bad about the Clemson program.”

What has Gilyard heard about Clemson from Sampson?

“Eric has told me it’s a really great program,” he said, “and a family for life.”

Gilyard visited N.C. State this season, and he plans to make it to Clemson for the Tigers’ game against the Wolfpack on Oct. 15.

It will be his first visit to Clemson, so he is looking to see a couple things while on campus.

“Seeing the atmosphere,” Gilyard said, “and how the coaches interact with me.”

Along with Clemson, Gilyard holds offers from Alabama, Duke, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina and Virginia Tech, among others.

The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder doesn’t have any leaders at this time.

“Right now I do not have a favorite,” Gilyard said.

Gilyard said he plans to commit sometime during his senior year.

“I’ll be looking for the program that gives me the best opportunity to play early and make an impact,” Gilyard said, “and allow for a great education to set myself up for the future.”

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