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Recruiting

Looking Ahead: Linebacker

Clemson football recruiting for the class of 2018 continues to heat up, but it’s never too early to take a peek ahead at the crop of prospects for 2019.

In this part of our “Looking Ahead” feature, The Clemson Insider looks at where the Tigers stand right now with their current top linebacker targets:

Owen Pappoe, Loganville, Ga. (Grayson High):

You don’t want to put too much stock into a single visit, but it’s safe to say Clemson picked up substantial traction with Pappoe when the Tigers got him on campus in June for the first time since the Louisville game last October. After the visit, Pappoe said on social media that Clemson caught his attention “BIG TIME”. He spent the day with defensive coordinator Brent Venables and safeties coach Mickey Conn, his former head coach at Grayson, and was able to watch film with Venables for about two hours. He told TCI it was like watching himself on film and he feels Clemson’s defensive scheme is a good fit for him.

In May, Pappoe (6-0, 207) announced a top 10 of Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Nebraska, Ohio State and Tennessee. He standing pat with that list right now, at least publicly, not naming any favorites among the aforementioned schools. A decision is expected to come sooner than later. Clemson’s next step is getting him in for another visit with his parents.

Mikel Jones, Hialeah, Fla. (Mater Academy):

Clemson offered Jones (6-2, 205) in May 2016, and he made his first visit to Clemson in April for the Orange & White spring game with his mother, sister, grandparents and aunt. He told us after that “it was definitely one of the best visits” he had been on to that point, citing Clemson’s family atmosphere, the sincerity of Venables and Dabo Swinney and the football operations facility as some of the things that stood out.

Jones (6-2, 205) holds other offers from schools such Georgia, Louisville, LSU, South Carolina and West Virginia. Since the Clemson visit, he has been to Georgia, Louisville, West Virginia and Notre Dame. Clemson and Georgia are the perceived leaders among his current offers, while Miami would be a factor should it get involved.

Shane Lee, Baltimore, Md. (St. Frances Academy)

Lee (6-2, 230) added an offer from Clemson during his visit for the Tigers’ junior day in March. His list of other offers includes Alabama, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.

Lee most recently visited Wisconsin in June after tripping to Florida State and Notre Dame in the days prior. Ohio State is believed to be the early frontrunner, though there is a long way to go in his recruitment, and the Tigers are in the hunt.

Anthony Solomon, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (St. Thomas Aquinas):

Solomon likewise visited Clemson for its March junior day after receiving an offer from the Tigers in January.

Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee and Virginia Tech highlight his lengthy list of other offers. Michigan has been the heavy favorite since he visited Ann Arbor in February.

Other linebackers in the class of 2019 we’re keeping an eye on include Greer (S.C.)’s Quack Cohen, Roswell (Ga.)’s Tyron Hopper, Homerville (Ga.) Clinch County’s Trezman Marshall and Nashville (Tenn.) East Magnet’s Jashon Watkins. Marshall picked up an offer from Clemson in January.

 

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