On Sunday, the rest of Clemson’s historic 2018 signing class will join the team on campus and get started with their careers as Tigers.
Among the eight incoming freshmen that will formally enroll at Clemson tomorrow is former Daniel High School (Central, S.C.) linebacker Jake Venables.
Venables has been working toward this time in his life for, well, really all of his life.
“I don’t think I could be more excited,” Venables told The Clemson Insider. “I’ve been preparing my whole life for these next four to five years. I’ve got a lot of work to do and I’m ready to get it rollin’.”
As a senior at Daniel, Venables posted 70 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and five sacks en route to All-Region I-AAAA honors.
The former four-star prospect hasn’t stopped working this offseason and feels ready to go from a physical standpoint, thanks in part to the workout plan provided by Clemson to its incoming freshmen.
“I started the training program in May for Summer 1, and I feel like I’m in great shape and I’ve gotten a lot faster and more explosive,” Venables said. “I love the weight room… I’ve been in there and on the field or in the stadium every day.”
Venables checks in at a sturdy 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.
“I was about 232 before I started Summer 1 but then lost some bad weight,” he said. “I feel good at 225. I want to be 235 by the time the season comes around.”
Venables, who is of course the son of Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, has been around the program a lot over the years. He knows exactly what to expect coming in and has already developed a good rapport with the players in the linebacker corps.
“We’ve been watching film together and training some too,” Venables said. “I’m very close with everybody.”
Venables is All In and intends to give it his all as a Tiger, starting this year.
“Really just to do everything with no regrets,” he said when asked about his freshman goals. “Give 110 percent in everything I do. I want to maintain a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA throughout the year. I’m not sure what’ll happen in terms of redshirting or playing yet, but I’ll see how things play out this fall camp. I just can’t wait to get started.”
Venables committed to Clemson on Dec. 18, 2016, his father’s birthday. He signed with the Tigers on Dec. 20, 2017, just two days after his dad’s birthday.
What is Brent’s message to Jake as he gets set to start the next chapter of his life?
“Just to enjoy every moment and buy in to the system,” Jake said. “Hold nothing back and be relentless.”
Jake was a three-year starter at Daniel and played for the South Carolina squad in the Shrine Bowl last year. He was ranked as the sixth overall prospect in the Palmetto State and 29th best linebacker in the country by 247Sports.
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