Recruiting was becoming somewhat of a distraction for Horn Lake (Miss.)’s Nakobe Dean. With a list of close to 30 scholarship offers, the five-star linebacker was being contacted by college coaches on a daily basis.
The recruiting process was cutting into Dean’s first priority — academics. Receiving a plethora of calls and text messages from recruiters, the country’s No. 2 middle linebacker found himself having less time to focus on his schoolwork.
So, Dean decided to cut down his recruitment in order to lessen the amount of aforementioned calls and texts. On March 7, he eliminated nearly half of the schools on his list when he announced his top 15.
Dean (6-1, 215) named Clemson, Alabama, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Stanford and Texas A&M as the programs he wants to focus on moving forward.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Dean, who explained why Clemson made his top group less than two weeks after offering him on Feb. 22.
“Even though their offer came kind of — well, I feel their offer came kind of a little late — I’m really interested to see what Clemson has to offer,” Dean said. “I want to go down there and see for myself.
“I feel like it’s a great school. I didn’t really know too much about the program until a couple years ago, but they haven’t ceased to disappoint me.”
Dean said he is likely to visit Clemson this summer.
When he checks out Clemson for the first time, he will be interested to see a couple of things in particular.
“I’ll just be hoping to see how the people are around there,” he said. “How the people are and what kind of academics they have to offer.”
In the meantime, Dean is hearing often from Clemson. He said that he speaks with Clemson defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venables “every other day.”
“We’ve just been talking about the school, the system, how I’d be a good fit in Clemson’s defense,” Dean said.
Dean isn’t sure when he will further narrow down his recruitment, but expects to do so “sooner than later.”
He is planning to make his decision after his senior season and preparing to enroll early in his school of choice.
“Education is always a big factor, but also I am looking for a place that will feel like home and help me succeed in life and also on the football field,” Dean said.
So far this year, Dean has made visits to Alabama, Ole Miss, Michigan State, LSU and Georgia. He is looking to get to schools such as Florida and Florida State along with Clemson.
Dean is ranked as the No. 1 prospect in Mississippi and No. 25 overall prospect in the 2019 class according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.