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Recruiting

Dream come true

Clemson 2017 signee Chase Brice, who compiled a 40-7 record and won a state championship as a four-year starting quarterback at Grayson High (Loganville, Ga.), committed to Clemson after his junior season in December 2015.

The four-star and top-200 prospect pledged fairly early in his recruiting process, and was committed for over a year before signing with Clemson two weeks ago. Still, looking back on it, Brice isn’t sure why he waited as long as he did to announce for the Tigers.

“To be honest I probably waited too long,” he told The Clemson Insider after signing, “because I knew Clemson was the spot for me.”

It’s all in the wash now. Brice officially became a Tiger on Feb. 1’s national signing day, and he’s excited to live out an experience he has dreamed about for most of his life.

“What made it so special was knowing that I accomplished something that I had dreamed for since I was 6,” Brice said of signing, “and that was to have an opportunity to play college football.”

Brice, a top-10 quarterback nationally by Rivals, is part of Clemson’s 2017 signing class that ranks as high as 10th in the country by ESPN despite having only 14 signees. The class’s 3.86 average star rating according to Rivals is the highest Clemson has had since the recruiting service began keeping track in 2002.

Brice believes the class has the potential to make a big impact for Clemson’s program in the future, however it may be.

“I feel like our class will help out a lot, whether that’s some of us playing as a true freshman, being scout team, special teams, or whatever else they need us at,” he said. “I think what helps out a lot is how close we are as a class. We get along great and have strong friendships already.”

Brice played the first three years of his high school career under his uncle and former longtime Grayson head coach Mickey Conn. The two lost just three total games with the team in 2014 and 2015, and led the charge for a 2015 Rams squad that went 13-1 and made it to the Class 7A state semifinals.

With Conn now a co-defensive backs coach at Clemson after joining the staff in 2016 as a defensive analyst and being promoted in January, Brice is looking forward to reuniting with him.

Though they’re family, it’s business as usual when they step on the football field.

“Me and him have a unique relationship I think compared to others,” Brice said. “When he coached me I never viewed him as family or my uncle. He was ‘Coach Conn’, not ‘Uncle Mick’.

“Me and him are very similar. We are reserved and independent, we understand each other very well. We like to stay low and out of the spotlight. And with him being at Clemson, it won’t be any different than it was at Grayson. He’s still going to be Coach Conn.”

Brice saved his best football for last as a senior in 2016. He was incredibly efficient as he guided Grayson to just its second state title in school history, completing 173 of 269 passes (64 percent) for 2,830 yards and 33 touchdowns against just three interceptions.

Overall in his career, Brice went 524-of-848 passing for 7,977 yards and 89 touchdowns to only 25 picks. He was an all-state, all-county and all-metro selection.

Brice will enroll at Clemson in June. Before that time comes, he said he’ll do everything he can to be ready.

“I am going to try to get in the best shape possible before I report,” Brice said. “I will attend as many spring practices that I can, of course. I’ll work with my QB coach a lot to get ready, do the workout plans that Clemson will give me and study any play sheets that they’re allowed to send me. That’s about all I can do, and then in June I’ll be ready to compete.”

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