Country's No. 1 safety sets another Clemson visit

Country's No. 1 safety sets another Clemson visit


Country's No. 1 safety sets another Clemson visit


Southlake (Texas) Carroll four-star defensive back R.J. Mickens – the country’s top-ranked safety prospect in the 2020 class – had considered traveling to Clemson for its elite junior day in late January.

Mickens (6-1, 190) was unable to make arrangements to attend the junior day. However, he has now made plans to visit Clemson again soon.

“March 9 is the day I’m planning on getting back up there,” he told The Clemson Insider recently.

Mickens has been to Clemson a couple of times since receiving an offer from the Tigers in January 2018, most recently for the Louisville game at Death Valley last November.

The top-50 overall national prospect said he will be accompanied by his mother on the upcoming trip to Tigertown.

“I’ve already been two or three times, so I kind of have a feel for how it is,” Mickens said.

Mickens is the son of former Texas A&M All-American defensive back Ray Mickens, who went on to play in the NFL for the New York Jets and a couple of other teams.

Ray has visited Clemson with R.J. before and been impressed by Dabo Swinney’s program.

“I think he’s been to Clemson twice,” R.J. said of his father. “He likes Clemson a lot. He likes the coaches, that they’re good people up there and it’s a good all-around place.”

The younger Mickens has a valuable mentor in his dad, who went through the recruiting process himself and can offer advice.

“He’s just telling me to take my time and make sure I make the right decision, not make any decisions on impulse,” R.J. said. “He’s telling me to get comfortable with the schools that I like and when I go up there, hang out with the players, make sure it really is how they say it is and everything.”

Mickens is ranked by the 247Sports Composite as the No. 4 prospect from the Lone Star State, No. 1 safety nationally and No. 36 overall prospect in the class of 2020.

The Tigers envision him fitting into their scheme as a versatile defender capable of manning multiple positions in the secondary. He remains in regular contact with safeties coach Mickey Conn as well as defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

“They’re just talking about how I would fit in the scheme,” Mickens said. “Just being someone who can play more than one position, like playing safety and boundary, free, strong, nickel, possibly some corner — everywhere.”

Mickens has accumulated more than two dozen offers in total, with the likes of Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Stanford making up his list along with Clemson.

According to Mickens, he is working to narrow down his recruitment and getting close to releasing his top group of schools.

“I’m still working on that, but I think it will probably be out within the next — I’m getting an edit made soon — so probably within the next two weeks to a month hopefully,” he said. “I’ll come out with a top 10 probably.”

Mickens said he does not currently have any other visits scheduled besides Clemson, but mentioned Florida as another school he intends to get to soon after receiving an offer from the Gators last month.

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