Demetrius Mauney broke onto the recruiting scene as a sophomore last season, when he showed his versatile talent and ability to play on either side of the ball at the next level.
Clemson is among the major programs tracking the four-star prospect from Forest City (N.C.) East Rutherford, who was invited to and attended the Tigers’ spring game last month.
“It was a very exciting game-day atmosphere there,” Mauney told The Clemson Insider recently. “There was lots of competition, and I like how coach (Dabo) Swinney spreads the ball out, puts the running back out in the flats and throws it.”
Mauney (6-0, 180) could end up at running back, outside linebacker, nickel or safety in college. In 2016, he rushed for 989 yards on 157 carries (6.3 average) and recorded 45 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack and one interception on defense.
Besides Clemson, he is attracting attention from North Carolina, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Virginia Tech.
Former Clemson defensive tackles coach Dan Brooks conveyed strong interest to Mauney before retiring at the end of last season. Todd Bates is now heading Mauney’s recruitment.
“I talked to him a little bit (at the spring game), and he said he was impressed with my size from what he’s seen on my film,” Mauney said. “He said I was bigger than he thought I was and he said that he’s looking forward to keeping recruiting me.”
Mauney named North Carolina his hardest recruiter right now.
He plans to return to Clemson for a full three-day session of the Swinney Camp in June and possibly make another unofficial visit before then.
Swinney, along with the atmosphere in Death Valley, appeals to him the most about about Clemson.
“Definitely the game-day atmosphere and then coach Swinney,” Mauney said. “He is so hard on academics. That’s a big thing in my world. That’s my priority first.”
Mauney, who is ranked by 247Sports as the 2019 class’s No. 8 athlete in North Carolina, said an offer from the Tigers would be “a blessing.”
“I’ve always dreamed of a big-time school like Clemson, so it would be a blessing,” he said.