Clemson beats Bama, Ohio State, others for top Northeast linebacker

Clemson beats Bama, Ohio State, others for top Northeast linebacker

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Clemson beats Bama, Ohio State, others for top Northeast linebacker

Keith Maguire commits to Clemson: 'It felt like the best fit'

Clemson has landed a verbal commitment from Malvern (Pa.) Prep linebacker Keith Maguire.

Maguire chose the Tigers over finalists Alabama, North Carolina, Notre Dame and Ohio State during a noon-time announcement Friday.

Prior to his announcement, Maguire was kind enough to speak with The Clemson Insider about his decision.

Maguire (6-2, 215) is the top-ranked linebacker in Pennsylvania for the class of 2019.

“It’s really exciting,” Maguire said. “I’ve built a great relationship with the coaches, and I really love the school, the team. I love what they’re doing at Clemson. I love the idea of how to build a team there. So, I liked what they were doing, and it felt like the best fit for me.”

Maguire, who has more than 20 scholarship offers, explained what separated Clemson from the pack.

“It’s really just that family,” he said. “All the coaches, the players, they all have that one mindset. It’s not just about football, it’s about your whole life, and they really do a good job of teaching it to everyone there. I just love that. I love how close they were, how real they were.

“And obviously it’s a great football team and a great school, so that just added on to it.”

After receiving an offer from Clemson in February, Maguire attended the Tigers’ junior day on March 3 and returned to campus for the Orange & White spring game on April 14. He also made visits to Ohio State and Alabama in late March and early April, respectively, after going to Notre Dame in Janury.

Having evaluated his options, Maguire is convinced that Clemson is the right choice and saw no need to delay his commitment decision.

“I felt it was right,” he said. “I didn’t think I really needed to wait any longer. I didn’t think I needed to visit any other schools, so I figured why wait if I know what I want to do.”

Clemson defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Venabales serves as Maguire’s primary recruiter.

“He’s really a great guy, apart from his coaching,” Maguire said. “He’s a really personable guy and always energetic, which is really cool. He’s a great football coach. We often talked some football. I just really got to like the way he coached and his approach to that. We call every week, so it was pretty easy to build a nice relationship.”

What can Clemson fans expect from Maguire on the field in the future?

“Hopefully a future Butkus (Award) winner,” he said. “I’ve got strong goals, big goals, so I’ll be working my butt off to get there.”

Maguire was a first-team All-Inter-Ac selection at both linebacker and wide receiver in 2017.

As a junior, Maguire caught 19 passes for 278 yards and five touchdowns, including this highlight-reel catch that made SportsCenter’s Top 10. Defensively, he intercepted three passes and was a problem for opposing offenses as he helped Malvern Prep win the Inter-Ac title.

Maguire becomes the 11th member of Clemson’s 2019 recruiting class, joining safety Joseph Charleston, wide receiver Brannon Spector, tight end Jaelyn Lay, punter Aidan Swanson, linebacker Bryton Constantin, quarterback Taisun Phommachanh, safety Lannden Zanders, wide receiver Frank Ladson, running back Chez Mellusi and cornerback Sheridan Jones.

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