Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy four-star linebacker Mike Jones became Clemson’s first commitment in the 2018 class when he pledged in the summer of 2016. Since then, he has seen 11 other players join the Tigers’ historic class.
On Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period, all 12 of Clemson’s 2018 commits signed their letters of intent.
Jones recently spoke with The Clemson Insider and said signing day would be extra special for him as the first member of the group.
“It’s crazy to think I was the first one,” Jones said. “Now, it’s great to see, man. I already know some of my best friends are going to be in the class with me. I can’t wait to get with those boys. It’s like family, and it’s crazy to think I was kind of like the first one to start it off.”
Jones (6-1, 210) picked up an offer from Clemson toward the end of his freshman year. He committed to the Tigers during the Dabo Swinney Camp in June 2016 when he was a rising junior.
“When I came to Clemson, it was all family,” Jones said. “It was nothing but love. I feel like it’s the perfect place for me to be.”
His experience at the camp that summer made it easy for him to pick Clemson over a number of other major college offers. Jones didn’t plan to commit that day, but after getting on campus he couldn’t wait to do so.
“I had no thoughts at all of committing,” Jones said. “I get there, and by the end of the day I come up to my dad and say dad, I’m about to commit to Clemson. I knew that was 100 percent what I wanted to do, and I stuck by it.”
A native of the Palmetto State, Jones grew up a Clemson fan. His mom is from Greenville, while his dad is from Columbia.
Jones remembers mimicking Clemson players when he was a kid playing football in the backyard.
“Me and my cousins, we used to play football. I used to say I’m Sammy Watkins, I’m Tajh Boyd, so I’ve liked Clemson for a while,” Jones said.
After signing on Wednesday, Jones’ dreams of playing for Clemson are close to becoming reality.
“This is something I have dreamed about since I was a child,” he said. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for years, and it’s crazy to think (Wednesday) I’ll put pen to paper and make it official.”
Jones, an early enrollee, will arrive to Clemson next month. He is ranked as a top-250 prospect nationally.