Five-star 2019 defensive end Nolan Smith has been committed to Georgia since January, but other programs are making their pitch to flip him.
Clemson offered the Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy standout in May and got him on campus for a visit last month.
“It was a real good visit, and I enjoyed my time up there,” Smith told The Clemson Insider. “Me and my mom and my dad really had a fun time, and coach (Brent) Venables is a really good guy.”
Smith spent time with Venables and defensive line coach Todd Bates.
Clemson’s defensive coordinator had a message for him.
“He was just preaching that of course we want you here, but you’re a real good person, real good student-athlete, and you’d be perfect for the Clemson program and things like that,” Smith said.
Smith said he could see himself suiting up for a coach like Venables.
“He has a lot of energy, and I could play for a D-coordinator like that,” he said.
Smith hails from Savannah, Ga., and has a strong relationship with fellow Savannah native and Clemson tight end Milan Richard.
He has built has a similar bond with IMG teammates and Clemson commits Xavier Thomas and Mike Jones.
“Xavier’s the other D-end on my team, and that’s my dog,” Smith said.
Both Jones and Thomas are staying in his ear about the Tigers, especially the former.
“I swear, I kid you not, Mike Jones almost texts me every day or calls me every day just checking on me,” Smith said, “and that check-up usually leads to Clemson and talking about Clemson and stuff like that.”
Smith is solid on his pledge to the Bulldogs, but he has stated that his recruitment remains open. He is still visiting other schools, though said he doesn’t have any more trips planned before his junior season begins.
The nation’s top-ranked defensive prospect in the 2019 class came away from his Clemson visit very impressed.
“It’s really family,” he said. “Most schools tell you that it’s a family atmosphere when you come here and most people say that, but it’s really family.”
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