The NCAA has suspended all in-person recruiting until at least April 15 due to the coronavirus, but coaches and prospects can still communicate via phone calls and text messages.
One recruit whose phone has been blowing up during quarantine is Oak Park (Mich.) four-star Rayshaun Benny, a highly regarded lineman in the class of 2021.
“Everything’s going good really,” he said of his recruitment. “It picked up over the last week or so with this whole virus and everything. Everybody’s got time to talk.”
Clemson offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is among the coaches that have been in contact with Benny, who plays on both sides of the line for Oak Park High School.
“He just checks on me,” Benny said. “Makes sure everything’s good here, makes sure my family’s good, everybody’s good.”
With Clemson showing interest, Benny had arranged a visit date to check out the school and program earlier this month but wasn’t able to make the trip after the NCAA instituted the dead period in response to COVID-19.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pounder does intend to reschedule the visit when recruits are allowed to hit the road again and believes an offer from the Tigers may come in when he gets on campus.
“They’re very much interested in me,” he said. “We’ve just got to get down on the visit for the offer. We had something planned, but this virus is messing everything up. But it’s cool.”
Benny, who boasts over 30 offers, released a top 14 last week comprised of Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State and Tennessee.
Of that group, a handful of programs are standing out to Benny.
“Ohio State, Michigan, MSU, Kentucky, Arkansas, Iowa, schools like those,” he said. “And then once I actually get Clemson, that’s definitely going to be a strong interest. That’s my favorite college actually.”
Benny explains one of the reasons why he is high on Dabo Swinney’s program.
“I like Coach Swinney, honestly, how he cares about his players,” Benny said. “I remember watching him on the sideline when they were losing to LSU. He wasn’t hard on the players, he was actually checking on them to make sure everything was cool with them. Because you’re losing and that’s your final game, he’s checking on them, he’s not actually yelling at them or anything like that. He’s trying to make sure they’re cool, and he actually cares about his players.”
Benny named Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Tennessee as some of the schools he has been hearing the most from. Along with Clemson, he is looking to visit schools such as Ohio State, Iowa, LSU and Kentucky after the dead period ends.
According to Benny, the majority of his suitors are telling him he could play on either side of the ball at the next level.
“Most of the schools are recruiting me as just a lineman to where I can play offense or defense,” he said. “My decision, really.”
Right now, Benny has no timetable for his commitment.
“I just plan on doing it on my own time, whenever I feel comfortable and not pressured to do it,” he said. “I don’t want anybody rushing me. It’s not anybody else’s decision but mine. So, whenever I’m comfortable.”
Benny is considered an offensive tackle by all the major recruiting services. He is ranked as high as the No. 14 OT and No. 83 overall prospect in the 2021 class by Rivals.
Get your official Clemson gear right here!