Most of the summer enrollees in Clemson’s 2019 signing class made their official visit to Clemson this past weekend.
Among the signees the Tigers played host to was four-star linebacker Keith Maguire of Malvern (Pa.) Prep.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Maguire (6-2, 210) about his official visit experience and much more.
“It was awesome,” Maguire said. “It was just great getting down there with a lot of the kids in my class. … It was awesome getting down there with all those guys and spending time with their families, with the coaches and just being at such a great place.”
Maguire made the 10-plus hour trip from his hometown in Pennsylvania to Clemson with his parents.
“They loved it,” he said. “They love it there. They’re excited for me to get there and I think they have the same type of feeling as me.”
The Clemson football team held its awards banquet Saturday night, and that served as one of the highlights of the official visit for Maguire.
“The banquet was a big part, hearing the players talk and hearing their stories,” he said. “Just realizing how great of a time they had made it really real and made me realize that (Clemson) really is everything that they talk about.”
Maguire also really enjoyed being on campus to witness the national championship victory parade and celebration at Death Valley that took place Saturday as well.
“It was a ton of fun,” he said. “It was a great atmosphere. It was a good experience. The fans were awesome as always, and hopefully we can get that parade going again soon.”
Clemson freshman linebacker Jake Venables, the son of defensive coordinator Brent Venables, served as Maguire’s player host for the visit.
“He’s awesome,” Maguire said. “We’re pretty good buddies. I’ve talked to him here and there. But he’s a great guy, great player. He was a good host for the weekend. He was really able to show me around and made sure I felt comfortable.”
Along with the signees enrolling this summer, Clemson welcomed one uncommitted official visitor to campus last weekend in Jackson (Miss.) Prep four-star running back Jerrion Ealy, who de-committed from Ole Miss last week.
Maguire said he had a chance to speak briefly with Ealy and it seemed as though he was having a good time in Tigertown.
“He was with (Clemson RB signee) Chez (Mellusi) a lot. He seemed like he was having a good time,” Maguire said. “I know he’s been there a good amount, so hopefully that was a good visit for him.”
Maguire is one of five linebackers that the Tigers signed during the early signing period in December, along with Birmingham (Ala.) Jackson-Olin’s Vonta Bentley, Baton Rouge (La.) University Lab High’s Bryton Constantin, Nashville (Tenn.) Christ Presbyterian Academy’s Kane Patterson and Swansea (S.C.)’s Greg Williams.
Bentley, Patterson and Williams also took their official visit to Clemson last weekend as summer enrollees (Constantin will enroll this summer as well but made his official visit in November with the mid-year enrollees).
Brent Venables met with the group while they were on campus and challenged them to be ready when they officially join the team this summer, as the Tigers are tasked with replacing several scholarship linebackers from last season (Kendall Joseph, Tre Lamar, J.D. Davis, Judah Davis, Jalen Williams, Chad Smith).
“We had a good player meeting with Coach Venables,” Maguire said. “They’re excited. They’re letting us know we’ve got to work hard and come in ready to go, especially on the linebacker side of the ball with losing so many linebackers. But they’re excited for us to get there, and they know we are too.”
Maguire committed to Clemson in April over offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State and North Carolina, among others. He can’t wait to enroll at Clemson this summer and start his career with the program that has appeared in four straight College Football Playoffs and won two of the past three national championships.
“It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling, honestly,” Maguire said. “Watching that game and how well they played and how well they were coached, it just shows that I’m in good hands.”
Ranked as the best player in Pennsylvania and No. 11 inside linebacker in the country by Rivals, Maguire had an outstanding senior season at Malvern Prep, leading his team to its third straight Inter-AC Championship with 106 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, five sacks and four interceptions. He also had 313 yards rushing and 314 receiving yards on the offensive side of the ball and scored 14 total touchdowns.
Maguire was recently named the ALL-USA Defensive Player of the Year for the state of Pennsylvania by USA TODAY High School Sports.