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Recruiting

Venables likens 2020 linebacker to Boulware

Clemson hosted 2020 linebacker Korey Smith for his first unofficial visit to the school on Friday.

He was accompanied by his father and spent much of the day with defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

“I loved the visit,” Smith told The Clemson Insider. “I was with coach Venables the majority of the day, and we went to see all the academic buildings and all of the football facilities.

“My favorite part was going to the lake. Coach (Andrew) Warwick showed us around, and it was awesome just because I’m a country boy from Virginia so I enjoy being out on the water and fishing.”

Smith, a rising sophomore, transferred to Hightstown (N.J.) Peddie School this offseason from Woodberry Forest (Va.) School.

In his first season on varsity in 2016, Smith led Woodberry Forest with 13 tackles for loss and finished third on the team with 78 tackles despite missing a game and playing part of the season with a cast on one hand.

Smith (6-1, 230) is emerging on the recruiting scene and receiving early interest from power conference programs such as Penn State, Rutgers, Virginia and Virginia Tech.

“Those are some of the bigger schools that have reached out to coach Chris Malleo about me and requested transcripts and film,” Smith said.

Venables has expressed his interest in Smith, as well.

Smith said Venables sees him in the mold of former Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware.

“He told me that he loves the way I play. He compares me a lot to Ben,” Smith said. “He told me to keep improving on my film and that I’m not just a recruit, but I’m a recruit who can play at Clemson University.”

How does Venables liken Smith to Boulware?

“We smack people,” Smith said. “We are like heat-seeking missiles on the field.”

Smith also recently visited Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State.

He named Clemson, Virginia Tech and Penn State as schools he hopes to get offers from in the future.

An offer from Clemson, he said, would be a dream come true.

“An offer from Clemson would mean everything,” Smith said. “I always dreamed of playing in Death Valley and I would love to call it home one day.”

 

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