4-star Jihaad Campbell goes in-depth on his recruitment
The recruiting process is going well for Jihaad Campbell, though the four-star class of 2022 defensive end from IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) is eager to eventually be able to visit some of the schools he shares mutual interest with once on-campus recruiting opens back up.
Prospects everywhere such as Campbell haven’t been allowed to make unofficial or official recruiting visits since mid-March due to the ongoing NCAA dead period, which has been extended through at least April 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The recruiting process has been going good,” Campbell said during a recent Zoom interview with The Clemson Insider. “You know, obviously I want to visit most of the schools that are reaching out to me day by day or sometimes during the week or stuff like that. So, it’s definitely hard, but you’ve got to still communicate.”
This past November, Campbell trimmed his list of more than two dozen scholarship offers when he dropped a top 12 which featured Clemson along with Boston College, Duke, Michigan, Michigan State, Oregon, Penn State, Rutgers, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
The next step for Campbell in his recruitment process is further narrowing down his field of suitors, something he is looking to do in the near future.
“I think I’m going to update it (the top schools list) soon,” he said. “I was thinking probably like a top six soon, top five.”
Campbell explained why he is high on Clemson’s program and some of the biggest reasons the Tigers made the initial cut in his recruitment.
“I just like the culture,” he said. “Everything is different about them. The way they coach their players, the way they just go about everything – it’s very different and it’s very organized and structured properly.”
Clemson extended an offer to Campbell in early August, and he continues to communicate with defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall as well as defensive tackles coach Todd Bates and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
The Tigers hope they can visit Campbell at IMG Academy this spring if the dead period is lifted.
“They’ve just been telling me just keep working,” Campbell said of what he has been hearing from the coaches, “and hopefully they will get to see me in the spring.”
Although Campbell couldn’t make a recruiting visit to Clemson this fall because of the dead period, he and his mother made a regular trip to Tigertown in late October to watch the Tigers play Boston College at Memorial Stadium.
Campbell was impressed by the atmosphere in Death Valley despite the limited number of fans allowed to attend the game.
“We really enjoyed it,” Campbell said. “It was actually amazing. Especially during COVID, there’s not really a lot of people there, but it felt like there was a big crowd there.”
Looking ahead, asked when he plans to render his commitment decision, Campbell replied, “I would definitely say soon.”
Campbell is considering a wide range of factors as he evaluates the schools and programs that he is interested in.
“Just really examining everything about a school, which is the major I’m going to be majoring in, the environment, the culture, other percentage of players that get to the league,” he said. “Also, just about the whole environment and whether or not it’s a great environment to be around.”
Where do the Tigers stand with Campbell at this point in his recruiting process?
“I would say that Clemson is one of the top schools right now, at the top right now,” he said.
Campbell recently transferred to IMG Academy from Timber Creek High School in Erial, N.J.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound junior is ranked by Rivals as the No. 10 weakside defensive end and No. 203 overall prospect in the 2022 class.