Tour of Champions: Coach says best days are ahead for Constantin

Tour of Champions: Coach says best days are ahead for Constantin

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Tour of Champions: Coach says best days are ahead for Constantin

BATON ROUGE, La. — University Lab High School head coach Chad Mahaffey has an anchor on his team’s defense in four-star linebacker Bryton Constantin.

The Clemson Insider visited University Lab on Thursday as part of our Tour of Champions and caught up with Mahaffey about the Class of 2019 Clemson commitment.

“Bryton’s in his third year starting for us. Very instinctive player,” Mahaffey said. “He’s a guy that is just difficult to block. I think as he’s still physically maturing, he’s still got a big ceiling ahead of him. But you can tell this year he’s moving around faster. He’s relied a little more on instinct, but now he’s got a little more speed. So, I think he’s going to be able to be a big playmaker for us.”

Mahaffey uses Constantin in multiple ways defensively, and Constantin’s versatility is one of the aspects of his game that attracted Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

“He’s kind of unique,” Mahaffey said. “He plays inside linebacker primarily for us, but at the same time, in pass-rush situations we’re able to put him down there. He’s really good with his hands, and I think the versatility is something that Coach Venables is very excited about. So, I think he’s got a lot to offer.”

Constantin committed to the Tigers in April over offers from Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, TCU and others.

He held offers from only two Power Five programs, Kansas and Kansas State, when Venables extended his third offer from Clemson in February.

“Coach Venables came down, and the secondary coach came back the second time,” Mahaffey said. “I know when he came down, he made a special visit, wanting to come back and see Bryton when he saw him on film. So, that’s the thing that probably stood out to Bryton, was just that the defensive coordinator had a very specific interest in you, had a really specific role he felt like you could fill. So, that’s comforting for me is I feel like he’s going to get a great opportunity there.”

Constantin loves football and enjoys playing the game, and it shows according to Mahaffey.

“Bryton’s got a big personality,” he said. “But he’s a guy that has fun out there every day at practice. I think as he’s gotten older, you’re starting to see some of that maturation process happen. But again, he’s a fun guy out there, and he loves football. He’s really excited about this year, but really excited about his future as well.”

As a junior in 2017, Constantin recorded 104 tackles, 23 tackles for loss, six sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and an interception that he returned for a touchdown. He was named the Class 3A Most Outstanding Defensive Player and earned first-team All-State honors for his efforts as well.

Constantin is ranked as high as the No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 92 overall prospect in the 2019 class per Rivals. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder is committed to play in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

“Bryton still has a lot of upside physically that’ll come,” Mahaffey said. “I think he may be not done growing, so I think to some extent, there’s a little bit of ‘let’s see how his body goes.’ But like I said, he’s tough to block, instinctive, very competitive, and I think could be used in a lot of different roles. So for me, that’s probably the most intriguing thing is seeing kind of what position he sticks at, where he lands… I’m excited to have one of our guys play at a program like Clemson.”

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