Looking Ahead: Linebacker

Looking Ahead: Linebacker

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Looking Ahead: Linebacker

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Clemson holds commitments from a pair of four-star linebackers in Fort Valley (Ga.) Peach County’s Sergio Allen and Carrollton (Ga.)’s Kevin Swint.

Two is the number of linebackers the Tigers had planned to take in the 2020 class. But after losing Shaq Smith to the transfer portal, on top of the likelihood that Isaiah Simmons turns pro following the upcoming season, it’s conceivable Clemson could take one more linebacker in this cycle.

In our Looking Ahead feature, The Clemson Insider takes a look at the top linebackers on Clemson’s board in the 2020 class as well as some names to know for 2021:

One linebacker the Tigers have been keeping in touch with is Buford (Ga.) Lanier four-star Phillip Webb.

Webb visited Clemson for the South Carolina game in November, nine days after receiving an offer from the Tigers, and there’s a chance he could visit again soon. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder told TCI that he has been hearing from Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and area recruiter Mickey Conn. “We talked about a possible upcoming visit,” Webb said. “I’ll have to talk with my family about it.”

There is clear mutual interest between Webb and the Tigers, who would figure to have a good shot with him should they ratchet up their pursuit. Webb isn’t expected to commit until later on in the cycle, with Auburn and Alabama standing as a couple of the frontrunners right now.

Another linebacker on Clemson’s radar is four-star Trenton Simpson of Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound prospect visited Clemson for the spring game in April and recently received a spring evaluation period visit from the Tigers.

Earlier this month, Simpson released a top five of Auburn, Georgia, Miami, North Carolina and Tennessee. He is set to officially visit Auburn this weekend and scheduled for official visits to Tennessee and Georgia in June. The Tar Heels are thought to be the favorite for Simpson, who wants to make a preseason decision.

Simpson told TCI at The Opening combine in Charlotte earlier this spring that Clemson was the offer he was waiting for. “It would mean a lot,” he said. “I’m very interested in Clemson, knowing that they put a lot of players in the league. They develop players, and they make them better men also.”

Another linebacker we’re still keeping an eye on is Upland (Calif.) five-star Justin Flowe, who stopped by Clemson for a visit in March.

The No. 1-ranked outside linebacker in the 2020 class, Flowe announced a top 12 in April that included Clemson along with Miami, Florida, LSU, Georgia, Texas, Ohio State, Oregon, Arizona, Southern Cal, Alabama and Oklahoma. Flowe is expected to further narrow down his recruitment sooner than later, and Clemson looks likely to make the cut. The Tigers will need to get Flowe on campus for an official visit later in the cycle to have a true shot at landing the West Coast star.

Looking ahead, some of the linebackers in the 2021 class we’re keeping tabs on are Carrolton (Ga.)’s Chaz Chambliss, Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern’s Chief Borders, Birmingham (Ala.) Ramsay’s Jeremiah Williams, Virginia Beach (Va.) Princess Anne’s Jayden Truesdale, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha’s Greg Penn, Baltimore (Md.) St. Frances Academy teammates Clinton Burton Jr. and Aaron Willis, and West Lafayette (Ind.)’s Yanni Karlaftis.

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