In January, Clemson offered Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin four-star Lavonta Bentley, one of the country’s top linebacker prospects for the class of 2019.
On Saturday, Bentley visited Clemson for the first time. He attended the program’s junior day and had a memorable time in Tiger Town.
“I’ll say there’s something different about Clemson from other schools, like the feel,” Bentley told The Clemson Insider. “I love the campus. They have many things for the players to do after practice or after studying. The school is big and I like their dorm rooms.”
Bentley made the trip with his brother and cousin. His brother, an Alabama alum, picked up a similar vibe while on campus.
“My brother went to Bama. He said he likes it, there’s something different about Clemson and the feeling,” Bentley said. “He said he is willing to go back.”
Another aspect of the visit Bentley enjoyed was being able to watch the Tigers’ spring practice.
“I loved it, especially the contact part,” he said. “They all were competing and having fun, and even had parents and fans to watch.”
Clemson defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, Bentley’s area recruiter for the Tigers, extended Clemson’s offer to him in on Jan. 26. Bates stopped by Jackson-Olin to check in on Bentley two days later and has been recruiting him hard since.
Bentley spent plenty of time with Bates on Saturday and continued to build a relationship.
“I was mostly with coach Bates,” Bentley said. “He was showing me a lot of things and wants me to come back.”
Bentley (6-2, 220) saw his recruitment skyrocket in January. After entering the month without an FBS scholarship offer, Bentley racked up offers from Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Louisville, Oregon and others. He now owns over a dozen offers.
Clemson is in strong early shape in Bentley’s recruitment after getting him on campus.
“They’re in the top five,” he said.
Bentley is ranked as the nation’s No. 5 inside linebacker and a top-200 overall prospect in the 2019 class.