Last week, the Clemson men’s basketball program pulled the trigger on an offer to Jai Smith, a class of 2022 power forward out of Bull City Prep in Durham, N.C., who originally hails from Syracuse, N.Y.
The Tigers extended the offer to Smith (6-10, 235) on Wednesday, Nov. 11, the same day they signed three players in the 2021 class – including Wake Forest (N.C.) Heritage guard Lucas Taylor, whom Smith has a good relationship with.
The Clemson Insider recently spoke with Smith about his new offer from the Tigers.
“It was great,” Smith said of receiving the offer. “It’s been a long talk about that one, especially with my guy, talking with Lucas Taylor and stuff like that.”
According to Smith, playing with Taylor in college is something he has thought about and is interested in potentially doing.
“He’s my guy,” Smith said of Taylor. “He’s just a dog on the court. He’s a good dude, also, and he just loves to play hard.”
South Carolina followed Clemson’s offer to Smith with an offer of its own on Thursday, joining Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, LSU, Maryland, Marquette, Memphis, Missouri, NC State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Wake Forest, West Virginia and many others on his list of 30-plus offers.
Smith named a handful of the schools that are standing out to him at this point in his recruiting process.
“Kansas, South Carolina, Houston, Memphis, and a lot more,” he said.
How does Clemson factor into Smith’s recruitment now that it has entered the mix with an offer?
“They fit in pretty huge,” he said.
Smith says he hasn’t given much thought to when he will make his commitment decision down the road, though he is looking to narrow down his recruitment in the not-too-distant future.
“I’m not really worried about that,” he said of commitment timing, “but definitely cutting the list soon.”
Smith describes his game on the court as similar to a blend of a couple of NBA stars in forward Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons and guard-forward Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Basically a lot of Blake Griffin and like a Ben Simmons mix combination,” Smith said.
Smith is ranked as the No. 150 overall prospect in the 2022 class regardless of position by both Rivals and 247Sports.
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