On Thursday, a month to the day before he moves into Clemson, Clemson commitment Blake Vinson was paid a visit by head coach Dabo Swinney and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott.
While on the recruiting trail in Florida, Swinney and Scott met Vinson, his parents, sister, uncle and one of his coaches for breakfast at a local restaurant in Ocala, Fla., which is close to Vinson’s hometown of Citra.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Vinson, who said he spent about two and a half hours with his future coaches.
“It was really exciting,” Vinson said. “We went to this place in Ocala called Wolfy’s. They were on a tight timeline. They could only meet from 9 to about 11:30 because coach Swinney has such a busy schedule, so we just decided to go meet for breakfast in Ocala because I live about 35 minutes outside of it. So, we spent time with them just hanging out at the restaurant.”
Vinson said the conversations were casual and didn’t pertain to football as much as one might think.
“It wasn’t as much about Clemson football. We were just relaxed and talking about everything — Christmas, talking about what they do at Clemson on a day-to-day basis, kind of how coach Swinney grew up,” Vinson said. “Just talking about whatever came up. Wasn’t necessarily a recruiting pitch or anything like that.
“They know I’m committed, I’m All In, I’m not going anywhere else. I’ll be there in month, so it was more relaxed than a typical game day kind of talk.”
Vinson, who committed to Clemson in January, feels closer to the coaching staff each time he talks with them.
“It’s always good talking to them, and every time you talk to these coaches, you build your relationship up a little more, so it’s always good,” Vinson said.
The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive tackle from North Marion High has signed his scholarship papers and is set to enroll early at Clemson in January.
“It’s really exciting,” Vinson said. “It’s funny. (The coaches) were telling me that hopefully we’re not here when you move in because God willing we’ll be in Tampa playing for the national championship the next day. So, I thought that was pretty funny.”
Vinson will be roommates with Brownsburg (Ind.) quarterback commit Hunter Johnson.
“I like Hunter a lot,” Vinson said. “He’s a really good kid. He’s really focused and definitely has a mindset of what he wants to come in there to do, just like I do. So, I think it’s going to be a good fit.”
Vinson underwent surgery over the summer for a torn labrum in his shoulder suffered during spring practice prior to his senior season, and he continues to progress in his recovery.
“I’m back to 100 percent with my range of motion and what I’m allowed to do, but I’m still not there yet to where I was before I got hurt,” Vinson said. “There’s still a little bit of pain on some motions, but I can pretty much do everything, it’s just a matter of building it up again. Just have to keep working hard.”
Vinson can’t wait to get on campus, and when he begins working out with the team, he hopes the Tigers are working toward a second straight national title.
“I think it should be exciting,” Vinson said of the College Football Playoff semifinal matchup between Clemson and Ohio State. “Hopefully they go out there and get the win.”