Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian three-star linebacker Eriq Gilyard, the godson of former Clemson linebacker Eric Sampson and the son of former Auburn cornerback Rashard Gilyard, visited Clemson for the first time on Saturday.
“It was good,” Gilyard said during a recent interview with The Clemson Insider. “The atmosphere was nice.”
Sampson played at Clemson during the Tommy Bowden era, while Gilyard’s father played at Auburn in the early 2000s.
Clemson offered Gilyard in June, and the 5-foot-11, 220-pounder also cites offers from Alabama, Colorado, Duke, Georgia Tech, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech and several others.
One of the coaches Gilyard had the chance to speak while on campus was Jeff Scott. What did Gilyard hear from him?
“He was just excited to have me up there,” Gilyard said.
Gilyard said that is what he likes about Clemson’s staff.
“I like how excited they are about me,” he said.
Overall, Gilyard likes Clemson’s tradition and the Tigers’ track record of sending players to the next level.
“It meant a lot to get offered by a top program like Clemson,” Gilyard told TCI in September. “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.”
Naturally, Gilyard has heard a lot about Clemson from Sampson.
“Eric told me it’s a really great program,” Gilyard said, “and a family for life.”
Gilyard has also visited N.C. State this season.
The playing field in his recruitment is even right now, he said.
“All are about the same now. A lot of schools making a push,” Gilyard said.
“Clemson stands equal with all the other schools making a push,” Gilyard added.
Right now, Gilyard 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 told TCI earlier this year, “and one that allows for a great education to set myself up for the future.”