By Robert Macrae
Just hours after signing another top 15 recruiting class, Clemson received a franchise commitment from the nation’s top 2015 offensive lineman, Mitch Hyatt. The 6-5, 275 pound junior announced his commitment to the Tigers during the Signing Day Ceremony at North Gwinnett High School in Gwinnett, Ga.
That nation’s No. 4 overall player for 2015 according to ESPN picked the Tigers over an impressive offer list that included Ohio State, Georgia, Auburn, Southern Cal, Michigan, Texas, UCLA, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Miami and many others.
The All-American visited Clemson along with his family over the weekend for Junior Day. During the visit Hyatt got answers to all of his remaining questions and quickly decided he was ready to go public with a commitment on Wednesday.
Hyatt is the nephew of former Tiger Dan Benish who played for Clemson from 1979-’82.
Earlier this week Benish spoke with TheClemsonInsider.com about what Hyatt would be bringing to the Tigers.
This season Hyatt went against 2014 All-American Lorenzo Carter, who signed with Georgia on Wednesday, and last season he shined against the nation’s top recruit Robert Nkemdiche.
“He shines in the biggest moments,” said Benish, who was Hyatt’s youth coach as well. “He went against Lorenzo Carter twice this past year and I think he had really good games both times. Lorenzo may have had a sack one time, but it was on a play where Mitch was not blocking him. When he is lined up against someone like that, they tend to move him to the other side or somewhere else on the defensive line.
“He doesn’t shy away from those moments. As a sophomore he went against Robert Nkemdiche and he took Robert and threw him down on the ground one time. He almost did like a cartwheel when he went down on the ground. He does not shy away from it.”
One of Hyatt’s regrets will be that he will not be able to face former South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney once he is a Tiger.
“I told him, ‘The only bad thing is you are not going to get to play against (Jadeveon) Clowney until you get to the NFL.’ It’s too bad he did not get a chance to do that,” Benish said.
His uncle knows Hyatt will be very happy at Clemson.
“He is going to love Clemson,” Benish said. “I can tell you one thing he is going to be the hardest working guy on the team. He is not going to take any plays off. He is going to practice like he plays.”
What type of player is Hyatt?
“I kind of taught him from the ground up and he has really taken off,” Benish said. “I have been coaching youth football for a long time and four or five years at the eighth grade level. You have kids and you try to teach them the fundamentals of things.
“Some kids really grasp it and run with it and some don’t get it at all. Mitch got it from the very beginning and it is engrained in him right now. That is one of the things, I think, the coaches like about him now. You don’t have to waste time on all the little things. You can really focus on the bigger picture and what you need to get done because you know Mitch is already there from a fundamental standpoint.”
Hyatt becomes the sixth commitment for the Tigers’ 2015 class.