BATON ROUGE, La. — Clemson linebacker commitment Bryton Constantin lives right in LSU’s backyard and attends University Lab School, which is located on LSU’s campus.
Constantin is just a stone’s throw away from LSU’s Tiger Stadium, which is popularly known as “Death Valley”. However, he knows the real Death Valley lies about nine hours away from his hometown, on Clemson’s campus.
While there has been a lot of debate about that, the fact is that Clemson started using the Death Valley moniker almost a decade before LSU ever did, and Constantin says there’s no question about which Death Valley is the original one.
“I mean, clearly Clemson has the real Death Valley,” he told The Clemson Insider during our Tour of Champions visit to University Lab School on Thursday. “I argue with my teammates every single day about it, and they hate on me non-stop. In my opinion, Clemson has the real Death Valley. They were the first ones to have it.”
Constantin will arrive to Clemson and begin playing in the real Death Valley next year. Unfortunately, he will have graduated by the time the ACC’s Clemson Tigers and SEC’s LSU Tigers square off on the field several years down the road.
Last month, the two schools announced a home-and-home series for the 2025 and 2026 seasons.
“Once I saw that, I was disappointed,” Constantin said. “But at the same time I was happy because I’ll be able to go to both of those games and get on the sidelines and look at the future Clemson Tigers. So, whenever I saw that they were playing in 2025 and 2026, I was like, ‘Man, I really wish I could play and just come back home one more time,’ but it is what it is.”
Constantin (6-2, 210) received an offer from Clemson in February and committed to Dabo Swinney’s program in April over offers from Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, TCU and others.
Clemson’s head coach is a big reason why the four-star recruit chose to leave the state of Louisiana and play his college football at Clemson.
“Coach Swinney’s one of the most heartwarming coaches I’ve ever been around,” Constantin said. “He keeps it real honest with you. He’ll tell you everything from the jump. He won’t sugarcoat anything. He’ll tell you what he means and it’s coming straight from his heart. So, that means a lot to me.
“A lot of coaches I would talk to would kind of beat around the bush a little bit. So, just knowing coach Swinney and meeting his wife and everybody that he knows just shows me that who he hangs around is kind of who made him the person he is, and I want to do that too.”
Clemson’s one-of-a-kind football operations complex served as another incentive for Constantin to commit to Clemson.
“The facility is one-in-a-million,” he said. “I’ve been to a lot of facilities around the country, and I haven’t been to a facility yet where they have a slide that goes down to the weight room. So, that just kind of shows that they’re not just strictly football, they also have the little fun side to them… Everything there is state of the art.”
While the slide, bowling alley, arcade and other fun features inside Clemson’s facility get the most attention, one of Constantin’s favorite parts of the facility is the “PAW Journey” area.
“Me and my family’s reaction, we were kind of blown away by it because we know that a lot of schools in the country try to push that upon kids,” he said. “They try to copy Clemson with the PAW Journey and everything like that. So, whenever I saw where it started in Clemson, I saw every good attribute from that PAW Journey. So, it showed me that I want to come here because not only will be I good for football and building myself as a man, but I’ll be good for 40 years after.”
Constantin is All In with Clemson and plans to take an official visit to the real Death Valley this year before he signs in December.
“I haven’t planned out my official visit yet, but my official visit will either be during the season or right when the season ends,” he said. “But my next visit is my last.”
In the meantime, Constantin will be pulling hard for the Tigers this season, and believes they have a great chance to win the national title again behind Dexter Lawrence, Christian Wilkins and a dominant defensive unit.
“They should win it, in my opinion,” he said. “I know Dex, I know everybody on their D-line… They’re unstoppable. Nobody can block them one on one, and I feel like if their D-line does their job… I don’t know the quarterback situation, but whichever one he puts in is going to do an amazing job. They have true freshmen that come in and make an impact, and in my opinion, defense wins championships and they have one of the best in the nation.”