Like other prospects all over the country, Trussville (Ala.) Hewitt-Trussville four-star defensive end Justice Finkley has had to adapt to life as a recruit during the ongoing NCAA dead period, which was instituted in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic and remains in effect through at least the end of this month.
Finkley (6-2, 255), a top class of 2022 recruit, had planned to make some college visits this spring and build relationships with various coaching staffs in person. But with no face-to-face contact currently allowed, all Finkley has been able to do is stay in touch with college coaches through his high school coach.
“It’s been different,” he said. “Getting adjusted to being away from the school is a challenge. However, my high school coach informs me that there are schools that would like to talk to me, and we communicate through him.”
There is mutual interest between Clemson and Finkley, who showed well while working out at the Dabo Swinney Camp last summer and then returned to campus for the Florida State game in the fall.
“They have been showing interest,” he said of the Tigers. “I’m highly interested in Clemson. They have an awesome academic and athletic program.”
Clemson is one of the schools Finkley plans to visit again after recruits are given the green light to get back on the road.
“I have a few lined up such as Michigan, Auburn, Clemson, Kentucky,” he listed.
Asked what he hopes to see or experience at Clemson that he wasn’t able to during his previous visits there, Finkley answered, “I would definitely want to learn more about some of the other coaches and develop relationships with them. More about the program including training, nutrition and academic opportunities.”
Finkley feels Michigan is showing the most interest right now among the schools on his offer list, which also includes Auburn, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Florida State, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Nebraska and Arkansas.
How would Clemson factor into Finkley’s recruitment if the Tigers choose to offer him in the future?
“If they were to offer, they would definitely have my serious consideration,” he said, “and I would look forward to the recruiting process with them.”
As a sophomore last season, Finkley was credited with 64 total tackles, including 16 for loss and eight sacks. He is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 11 weakside defensive end and No. 165 overall prospect in the 2022 class.
A great gift for any Tiger fan. Just one of many great items available from Clemson Variety & Frame