A week after rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the first round of the GHSA Class 7A playoffs, Clemson running back commit Phil Mafah ran for well over 100 yards and three more scores on Friday night to help Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) roll to a 42-21 win over East Coweta (Sharpsburg, Ga.) in the state quarterfinals.
The Clemson Insider caught up with Mafah following his team’s victory. Grayson (11-1) is seeking to win its second state championship in the last four seasons.
“It felt really good,” Mafah said of earning another W on Friday. “We’re just trying to achieve this goal and I’m just happy that we got the win.”
Mafah, a four-star prospect in the 2021 class, gave his verbal pledge to Clemson while on campus for its season opener versus Georgia Tech in late August. Since then, he has returned to Death Valley a couple of times for the Florida State and Wake Forest games.
“I feel like it’s really the place for me,” Mafah said, “and I love the people over there and I can’t wait to be there in a couple years.”
Mafah explained what set Clemson apart from the other two dozen-plus schools that offered him during the recruiting process, including Georgia, LSU, Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida State, Michigan, Texas and Texas A&M.
“Just the people there and how I felt, how it made me feel,” Mafah said of Clemson. “I just thought it was the best plan for me to be able to go somewhere where I can not only play football but prepare for my future, have a great plan for my future.”
Mafah is confident he will be able to develop his game at the next level under the direction of Clemson running backs coach Tony Elliott.
“He’s a really smart guy, he’s a great coach, and he really knows the game and he’s taught me new aspects of the game that I didn’t know about,” Mafah said. “So, I’m happy I get to learn from him.”
Elliott is excited about what Mafah will bring to the table for his running back corps in the future and knows the Tigers are getting another high-character individual off the field as well.
“He likes that I’m a big back, he says I have good speed and if I work then everything will pay off,” Mafah said. “He likes my personality, my grades, just me as a person.”
Mafah is stoked to suit up for Dabo Swinney’s program in a couple of years.
“Very happy. I can’t wait,” he said. “Like I said, I can learn so much over there not only from football, but mentally and spiritually. I know it’s the best place for me to do that and I’m just so happy that I have the opportunity to go to Clemson.”
What can the Clemson faithful expect from Mafah when he joins the team ahead of the 2021 campaign?
“I’m going to really give it my all,” he said. “I’ll work for everything I do and I’m going to earn it. Best fans in college football, so I just can’t wait to be there.”
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