By Ashley Denny.
6-3, 290 pound offensive lineman and first 2012 commitment for the Tigers, Jay Guillermo opens up to TCI about his Junior Day visit to Clemson and why committing to Clemson was such an easy thing for him to do.
Jay, first of all how does it feel to be Clemson’s first class of 2012 commitment?
It feels great to commit to play for Clemson. It was really special to be one of the first offered and I’ve loved Clemson and have wanted to play there for a long time so it was a great thing to commit. You see it all starts with the center, and I think Coach Swinney and the rest of the coaches saw a leadership quality in me.
Also, I think the coaches saw that I was a hard worker. My grandfather coached football for 36 years and taught me that in order to excel in what I do I have to work hard and that nothing comes easy. So I’ve taken that to heart and all of my high school coaches have noticed that and Coach Swinney and the Clemson coaches have too.
In a previous article written by TCI, you said that you’ve been a Clemson fan your whole life. Do you have a past or present favorite player for the Tigers?
I’d have to say Dalton Freeman. I play the same position as him and he is really just a monster. And when I met him, he is just an all around nice guy. I think he’s going to be something special.
Now when you came and visited Clemson on Junior Day, what would you say was the highlight of your visit?
It’s hard to say seeing that my Junior Day visit was my fourth visit to Clemson. I attended the NC State, Miami and South Carolina games last season. But I have to say, it gets better every time I visit Clemson. The best part about my Junior Day visit though was probably having more one on one time with the coaches and players. There weren’t as many guys there as there are on Game Day.
Which coaches did you spend the majority of your time with at your Junior Day visit?
I’d have to say Coach Brad Scott and Coach Dan Brooks. Coach Brooks is my area recruiter. But I also got a chance to meet with Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris and I really liked sitting down with him. He told me all about Clemson’s new offense and it’s very similar to the offense we run at my high school.
Did you get to meet new Offensive Line coach Robbie Caldwell?
No, I didn’t get to meet him on Junior Day however I’ve spoken with him since then and I really like him. He’s a Country Guy and I am too so we have a lot in common.
Did you get a chance to hang out with any of the current Clemson Players on Junior Day or other recruits?
I spent a lot of time hanging out with Dalton Freeman and other offensive linemen. As for other recruits I spent most of my time with Oliver Jones and Patrick De Stefano.
What is it about Clemson that made you a fan so early on and want to come play football here?
I love everything about Clemson. The atmosphere on Game Day is electrifying. ESPN says that the Clemson Tigers running down the hill is the most exciting 25 seconds in College Football and I’d have to agree. Just watching them running down the hill is exciting I can only imagine how great it will be running down the hill as a Clemson Tiger.
The main reason why I wanted to come to Clemson so badly is because of the coaches, they aren’t just great coaches but great men. When I leave Clemson I won’t be leaving just a better football player but a better man myself and I think that’s why I need to be at Clemson.
Also the facilities in Clemson’s West End Zone are the biggest and best I’ve ever seen. I’ve been on other college visits and no other facilities have compared to Clemson.
Are you planning on taking any other visits to Clemson or other universities?
I can honestly say that all five of my official visits will be going to Clemson. When I committed to Clemson, Coach Swinney told me that if I was going to commit I had to be 100% ALL IN and I believe I am. Clemson is where I want to be and I cannot wait until I can call myself a Clemson Tiger.
What about graduating early? Is that a possibility for you?
I have to sit down and talk to my guidance counselor about it and see if I have all of the classes I need and everything but if it’s a possibility then I definitely would like to. I want to get an early start to college so that I’ll be adjusted to the new lifestyle once football season comes.