Among the official visitors that Clemson hosted this past weekend was West Columbia (S.C.) Gray Collegiate Academy quarterback Hunter Helms, a class of 2020 prospect with a preferred walk-on offer from the Tigers.
Helms (6-2, 205) gave the official visit high marks in an interview with The CIemson Insider.
”Oh my gosh, man, I haven’t stopped thinking about it,” he said. “Everything about it was just incredible. As soon as we got in to the second we left, it was all first class and red-carpet treatment. My family and I couldn’t have made up a better situation.”
Helms said the highlights of the visit were spending time at Dabo Swinney’s house and participating in a cook-off between the official visitors and their parents.
“Going to Coach Swinney’s house was awesome,” he said. “That place is just massive and amazing. That was Friday night for dinner. We had a little cooking competition Saturday around lunchtime, and that was pretty cool. So like I said, the whole trip was just phenomenal.”
During the visit, Helms spoke with Swinney about the Tigers’ quarterback situation following the news last week that Chase Brice has entered the NCAA transfer portal.
“We talked for a little bit on Sunday and just kind of talked about how slim their quarterback room is,” Helms said. “It just got a little bit more slim I guess with Chase leaving. That just makes for more opportunity. Nothing’s guaranteed, everything’s earned, and that’s how I’ve kind of lived my life, really. Everything’s really earned.
“So, I definitely enjoyed all the conversations I had, and if Clemson’s the place that my family and I decide to be, I’m definitely going to walk in there with my head down, ready to work as hard as I can and stay humble and just work my tail off.”
The official visit also gave Helms a chance to get to know some of the Clemson signees that he could be teammates with in the future.
“I was with all the guys that were there on the official,” he said. “We hung out and got pretty tight with pretty much all of them. If I had to single out one person, I’d probably say Ajou Ajou, the new wide receiver who’s from Canada. He’s funny and we actually got pretty tight.”
Helms told TCI that his recruitment is down to Clemson and South Florida. He will announce his decision in two weeks on the Feb. 5 National Signing Day.
Jeff Scott extended a scholarship offer to Helms shortly after becoming USF’s new head coach in December.
“As soon as he got down there, he offered my wide receiver, Omarion Dollison,” Helms explained. “He’s actually there now. He early enrolled. He had about 20 or so offers, and he’s a heck of a player. We kind of flipped him. He was actually going to Cincinnati, and we kind of got him to go to South Florida. But yeah, he called me a few days after he offered him and offered a scholarship.
“Just to touch on Coach Scott a little bit, what an unbelievable guy, a great coach and like I just said, a better person in general. But he’s going to definitely do a lot of good things down there. He’s going to make a great culture and definitely get that program going.”
Helms appreciates the preferred walk-on offer from Clemson and plans to follow his heart as he makes his college decision.
“I’m grateful for that,” he said. “Clemson has been my dream school since I can remember. But like I said, I’m grateful for the PWO. If Clemson’s the place to be, I’m going to go in there and work my tail off, and we’ll see what happens.”
As a senior this season, Helms was the leading passer in the Palmetto State with 4,126 yards and 48 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
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