Asked how special it will be to see his son in a Clemson uniform, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables flashed a big smile.
Venables’ face lit up as he talked about the chance to coach his son Jake, a four-star linebacker who is now officially a member of Clemson’s football program.
“I’m blessed beyond belief to be able to have an opportunity to do that,” Venables told The Clemson Insider recently. “What Dad gets to do that…”
Jake committed to Clemson on Dec. 18, 2016 — his dad’s birthday. A top-five prospect in South Carolina per 247Sports, Jake was one of 15 players who signed with Clemson last month on Dec. 20, the first day of the early signing period for college football recruits.
Brent, who recruited Jake, got a little bit sentimental as he imagined what it will be like to share experiences with his son as part of Clemson’s program.
“The X’s and the O’s and practice, that’s going to be just incredible time to share and experience together,” he said.
Venables is used to telling parents of recruits about how Clemson can positively impact their kid’s life, not just their football career.
Now, Venables will get to see Clemson’s program impact the life of his own kid, and that is what he is most excited about.
“I’m most excited about how this program is going to influence his life,” he said. “There are so many people of influence that are going to touch his life every day.
“Being a coach, it sounds like it’s a recruiting pitch, but I believe it in my heart of hearts. So now to see it come to fruition for my own child is going to be pretty cool.”
Jake was named to the All-Region I-AAAA team as a senior this past season. The Daniel High School standout logged 70 tackles, including 22 tackles for loss and five sacks. He had an 85-yard interception return for a touchdown against Westside early in the season, and tallied a season-high 15 tackles against Pickens in October.
Brent said Jake comes to Clemson with a set of tools that should help him transition well to the college level.
“Jake is very natural using his hands and getting off of blocks,” Brent said. “He moves well, moves with quickness and good change of direction.”
Jake will enroll at Clemson in the fall, and Brent is excited to watch him grow as a Tiger in the future — perhaps over the next five years.
“I’ve sold Jake on the fact that you can come in and be a “five-year guy,” Brent said. “I’ve always believed in that if you can do it. And we’ll see how it all works but, but he’s a guy that’s looking forward to the whole process and the development in every way.”