Linebacker is an important position for Clemson in this recruiting cycle, with the Tigers set to lose four linebackers following the 2018 season. So far, Clemson has picked up commitments from two linebackers in Malvern (Pa.) Prep’s Keith Maguire and Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab’s Bryton Constantin.
The Tigers are looking to take a couple more backers in the 2019 class, and one priority target they are pushing for is Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin four-star LaVonta Bentley.
Bentley told TCI he feels Clemson is recruiting him harder than any other program, including in-state Alabama.
“They want and need me,” Bentley said, “and want me to be the face of the 2019 class.”
The Tigers have further demonstrated their interest in Bentley during the spring evaluation period. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables and area recruiter Todd Bates visited his school last week, and Bates returned to watch his team’s spring game on Friday.
“It feels good that they want and need me,” Bentley said.
The interest is certainly mutual. Bentley visited Clemson twice in March and reaffirmed to TCI recently that Clemson remained his top school.
“I feel wanted, needed and also loved at Clemson,” Bentley said. “(They have a) good chance if they keep showing love like they do.”
Bentley, who received an offer from Clemson in January, is planning to visit again this summer. He named Alabama, Auburn and Oregon as a few other schools standing out to him.
Rivals ranks Bentley as the No. 5 inside linebacker and No. 151 overall prospect in the 2019 class.