In 2015, a standout cornerback by the name of Mark Fields signed with Clemson out of Hough High School in Cornelius, N.C.
Fast forward to the present, and the Tigers are keeping tabs on another talented corner from Hough – Mario Love Jr., a member of the 2021 class.
Love (5-10, 173) is being recruited by Mike Reed, the same coach that helped Clemson land Fields.
“I’m really close with Coach Reed,” Love told The Clemson Insider. “That’s my guy. We have a really good relationship.”
Love says he personally knows Fields, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent in April following his senior season at Clemson in 2018.
“Me and Mark are pretty close,” Love said. “Me and his younger brother, Tyus, used to be teammates before he left. But yeah, me and Mark are pretty close. Every time he comes back from Kansas City, we work out a little bit, he shoots me some tips and just helps me out.”
Love, a rising junior, owns a double-digit offer list that includes schools such as NC State, North Carolina, Duke, Georgia Tech, Penn State and Tennessee.
Reed and the Tigers are showing interest in Love, who knows that Clemson does its homework and takes its time before pulling the trigger on any given offer.
“He likes me, but their evaluation is a little different, and I like the way they do it,” Love said. “They really watch you to make sure that you’re a Clemson guy. Everybody is not a Clemson guy, so they make sure they evaluate you really good. And then if you’re their guy, they’re going to pull the trigger.”
Love participated in a full three-day session of the Dabo Swinney Camp his freshman year and also camped at Clemson for a day last summer. He visited Death Valley for the game against Auburn in 2017 as well.
“One thing about Clemson that’s so great is the solid atmosphere – like you feel it all through the crowd, the players, Coach Swinney,” Love said. “But it’s just the feeling of being at Clemson is different than most places.”
Love is looking to visit Clemson again this season, while he named UNC, Duke, NC State, West Virginia, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia Tech as other schools he might make trips to in the fall.
According to Love, he is in no hurry to commit to a school.
“I’m just enjoying my recruiting process,” he said. “You only go through this one time. I want to make the first decision my last decision. After I commit, I want the coaches to know I’m 100 percent in.”
Love says his recruitment is “wide open” right now.
“Enjoying every minute of it,” he said.