Although schools are still in the heart of the 2018 recruiting cycle, it’s never too early to start building relationships and scouting top talent for next year.
Clemson’s staff has already begun recruiting at the offensive line position for 2019. Riley Simonds out of Buford (Ga.) is currently in the conversation for a Clemson offer down the road.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound junior currently holds a half dozen offers from several Power Five conferences, but said Virginia Tech looks like the favorite right now. Simonds plans to visit Alabama later this week but is not sure when he will be able to get back to Clemson.
Simonds told The Clemson Insider he loves the family environment surrounding the Clemson program and wants to establish a better relationship with the coaches next time he visits.
According to Simonds, Virginia Tech and Florida are recruiting him the hardest right now, with Virginia Tech in the lead.
Simonds said there are several things that make Tech stand out to him.
“Their campus is beautiful and I really like the acting program they have there,” he said.
However, a Clemson offer could make that decision a little tougher for Simonds.
“Definitely, but Virginia tech is up there right now and I love them both. It would be a hard decision if Clemson offers,” said Simonds.
Simonds said the Tigers do not have anything else to prove to him for them to be considered one of his top schools other than giving him an offer.
“It’s great at both places I’d just have to pray on it and ask God,” he said. “He’ll show me the way there both amazing places.”
A possible connection that could end up having a factor in his decision is teammate and fellow lineman Harry Miller, who just received an offer from Clemson last month.
“Lord yeah we’re really good friends and love playing together on the same side,” said Simonds. “We talk about it some, but what’s best for us is what we’re gonna do.”
Simonds still has about a year to narrow things down if more offers come his way as he plans to commit “about this time next year.”
The lineman said when he visits a school, he looks closely at “the environment and academics,” two areas where Clemson excels.
Simonds can envision himself fitting in on a Clemson line that has quietly excelled over the last several years. All he needs is an offer.
“I feel I’d be great because we all have the same goal to be the best and to win in life and on the field,” he said.
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