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Recruiting

4-star IMG ‘backer a big fan of Venables

Charles Thomas is quite familiar with Clemson, having visited four times since last April, and the four-star linebacker from Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy expects to be back this summer.

“I will be sure to visit sometime in June,” he told The Clemson Insider.

Thomas made his first trip to Clemson for the spring game in 2016 before being offered by the Tigers last June. He returned in August, attended the N.C. State game in October and most recently visited with a tour group of IMG teammates last month.

He is well acquainted with Clemson’s campus, facilities and program, so what does he hope to get out of his next visit?

“Really just to continue building a relationship with the coaching staff,” Thomas said. “I have been there multiple times so there is not much I have not seen.”

Thomas had a chance to chat briefly with defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables when he and his teammates visited on March 4.

“I spoke to him a little about things that were not football related,” he said.

Venables has certainly earned the respect of Thomas.

“He is an aggressive and intense coach,” Thomas said of what he likes about Venables. “I love his energy. It is obvious by his facial expressions that he is always tuned in and focused while coaching games. He is definitely one of the best in the business.”

Along with Clemson, Thomas has offers from Auburn, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Tennessee, Toledo, Tulane and West Virginia.

He also has two teammates that are committed to Clemson in four-star linebacker Mike Jones and Clemson’s most recent pledge, five-star defensive end Xavier Thomas.

“I’m proud of him,” Thomas said of his fellow Thomas. “He made the decision that was best for him.”

Charles is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 4 inside linebacker and No. 194 overall prospect in the 2019 class.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder transferred to IMG from Langston Hughes High in Fairburn, Ga., following his sophomore season. He totaled 234 tackles in his first two seasons.

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