Among the 18,690 people in attendance for No. 1 Clemson’s game vs. Boston College at Death Valley last Saturday was a standout prospect – Jihaad Campbell, a defensive end from Timber Creek High School in New Jersey.
Campbell, a class of 2022 recruit, enjoyed watching the Tigers overcome an 18-point first half deficit to defeat the Eagles, 34-28.
“It was a great comeback by Clemson,” he said. “They made a way to clean up their mistakes. And stayed disciplined in the fourth quarter.”
Due to the ongoing NCAA dead period that has been in place since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Campbell and other prospects cannot make recruiting visits to college campuses.
So, Campbell, who received a scholarship offer from the Tigers in early August, decided to simply make a normal visit to Clemson in order to see a game in person, not as a recruit but as a regular spectator.
“I’m highly interested in Clemson and their program,” he said. “So, I just wanted to get a feel and check out the game and the environment.”
Although Campbell couldn’t spend time with Clemson’s coaching staff, tour the facilities or do everything he would have been able to during a typical recruiting visit under normal circumstances, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior came away impressed by his experience at Death Valley.
“Visit was great, even though I couldn’t see other things,” Campbell said. “But the game was definitely great. The atmosphere was amazing. Enthusiastic fans and people just cheering on with Clemson.”
Campbell made the long-distance trip to Clemson from his hometown of Sicklerville, N.J., with his mother, who likewise had a great time at the game.
“She said it was very nice,” Campbell said. “She loved the environment and the game atmosphere.”
While Campbell was not allowed to speak with any coaches while on campus because of the dead period, he has been communicating with members of the staff over the phone.
“They’ve been talking to me about the academics of their program, what their program builds and them wanting me to become a Tiger,” he said.
Campbell, who owns two dozen total offers from major programs around the country, narrowed down his recruitment earlier this week when he announced a top 12 schools list that includes Clemson along with Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Campbell says he hasn’t decided when he will make his commitment in the future, but his trip to Clemson certainly helped the program’s chances in his recruitment, and the Tigers are in a great spot with him at this time.
“Right now, for me the Clemson Tigers are on the top of the charts,” he said.
Another championship season is underway for the Tigers. It’s time to gear up for another year of Clemson football.
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