Although he is only a rising junior, Daleville (Va.) Lord Botetourt offensive lineman Gunner Givens is already starting to see his recruitment kick into high gear as one of the nation’s top prospects in the 2022 class.
“Recruiting right now, it’s been kind of crazy even though I’m 2022,” Givens told The Clemson Insider. “I can’t necessarily text coaches. My head coach at my high school, he told me he’s been getting blown up. Like he can’t even open his phone without getting like 15, 10 consecutive messages. So, everything’s been going good. Still got a few offers that I’m waiting on. But other than that, everything’s going pretty smooth.”
This month alone, Givens (6-6, 275) has garnered offers from Notre Dame, Oklahoma, LSU, Georgia, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Maryland, Purdue and Oregon to go with prior offers from Virginia Tech, Virginia, Florida State, Miami, NC State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, South Carolina and Penn State among others.
Givens has racked up over two dozen offers in total, but there are still several schools in particular he hopes to receive offers from moving forward.
“Definitely Clemson,” he said. “I loved Clemson when I was down there. It was amazing. I’ve been talking to Ohio State, LSU and Alabama recently, too, so those are the four main offers I’ve been waiting on.”
Givens made an unofficial visit to Clemson on March 9, when he was able to check out the facilities, watch a spring practice and talk with coaches, most notably offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
“I love that guy, man,” Givens said. “I like the coaches that aren’t the type to kind of like BS you. He just tells you how it is, and I like that in a coach. At the end of the day, he always cares about you, but he’s not (afraid) to hurt your feelings or anything. He’s just telling you what you need to do.”
Clemson appeals to Givens on multiple levels when he thinks about the program and school.
“Clemson is national contenders every year, great football program and when I went to the academic center, everything over there was really nice. It seemed like they had all their stuff straightened out,” he said. “So, that’s what I really liked at Clemson.”
Virginia Tech, Virginia and South Carolina are the only schools besides Clemson that Givens has been able to visit so far. He had a bunch of trips scheduled for April, though they were all cancelled when the NCAA suspended all in-person recruiting due to the coronavirus.
The recruiting dead period is in effect until at least May 31, but there are a number of schools Givens is looking to get to after prospects are allowed to take visits again.
“Ohio State, I was supposed to go up there, Penn State … I was supposed to take a trip down to Florida to try to hit a couple Florida schools, so Florida, Florida State, maybe Miami,” he said. “I definitely want to get up to Alabama and LSU sometime, but it’s a trip from here.”
Givens wants to return to Clemson, as well.
“Definitely as soon as possible after all this ends,” he said. “Me and my dad, as soon as we left there the first time, we were like we’re going to get back down there as soon as possible. So if the season doesn’t get postponed or whatever, I’ll definitely be down there for a game.”
Givens primarily plays tight end and defensive end for his high school team, but Clemson like most other schools views him as an O-tackle at the next level.
What will the team that lands his commitment in the future be getting in him as a player?
“Definitely a hustler and a guy that’s going to bust his butt for four quarters,” he said. “I mean, I don’t stop blocking until the whistle blows. If I throw a guy into the stands, I throw a guy into the stands. It’s just how it’s got to be.”
Givens is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 15 offensive tackle and No. 137 overall prospect in the 2022 class.
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