Late last month, class of 2019 offensive lineman Jake Hornibrook received what he called a game-changing offer from Clemson.
Last week, the Malvern (Pa.) Prep prospect quietly traveled to check out Clemson for the first time.
“It was really impressive,” Hornibrook told The Clemson Insider. “I had never seen Clemson before, so it was very great to see the campus, see the facilities and meet the people, which is most important.”
Hornibrook (6-4, 275) didn’t announce his intention to visit Clemson on social media like many prospects do with planned visits, as he was busy last week and wanted to keep it under wraps in order to avoid attention.
So he flew under the radar to Clemson (literally) on Wednesday night with his mother. They spent all of Thursday on campus before departing Friday morning.
Head coach Dabo Swinney, offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and others associated with the program made a strong impression on Hornibrook.
“Definitely the people,” he said of what stood out most to him. “I got to sit down with coach Swinney for about 20 minutes after lunch, and he was really impressive. He’s a great guy and a great guy to play for. And then also spending the whole day with coach Caldwell, it was great getting to know him.
Hornibrook has collected close to two dozen scholarship offers in 2018, including offers from Stanford, Oregon, Tennessee, Louisville, Northwestern, Minnesota and Clemson this spring. The Volunteers became the latest to offer last week.
The Tigers offered Hornibrook on April 25 after Brent Venables evaluated him in person at his school.
“They really want me and they think I’d be a great fit there,” he said of Clemson.
Hornibrook is now shifting his focus to making a decision. He said the Clemson visit will likely be his last visit anywhere before he commits.
“I’m thinking late May, maybe early June,” he said of his commitment timeframe. “Kind of whenever I get all my final thoughts in about the schools.”
Stanford, Northwestern, Boston College, Duke and North Carolina have also played host to Hornibrook this spring.
Where does Clemson stand following its visit?
“They’re definitely going to be one of my top choices,” Hornibrook said. “They were really impressive, so it was great to get down there on a visit.”
Hornibrook is teammates at Malvern Prep with 2019 linebacker Keith Maguire, who committed to Clemson on April 27.
“I was really happy for him,” Hornibrook said. “I think he’s a great fit. Coach Swinney was very pumped up. He was talking about him for a little bit. So yeah, I’m happy for Keith.”
Clemson views Hornibrook as an offensive tackle who could move to guard if needed.
As a junior last season, he earned first-team All-Inter-Ac honors and helped his team win its first outright Inter-Ac title since 2011.
His older brother, Alex, is the starting quarterback for Wisconsin. The younger Hornibrook doesn’t currently have an offer from the Badgers.