Clemson freshman tight end Jake Briningstool will always have a cool story to tell from his recruiting process about the day he informed head coach Dabo Swinney of his decision to be a Tiger.
Briningstool – the No. 1 tight end nationally in the 2021 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings – had the unique opportunity to commit to Swinney in person at Swinney’s home on Jan. 26, 2020.
Briningstool and his family were in town for Clemson’s elite junior day recruiting function that weekend and went over to Swinney’s house, where Briningstool told Swinney that he wanted to be a part of his program.
“It was pretty cool because we all came down for the junior day,” Briningstool said during a video from Clemson featuring its midyear enrollees. “A lot of us were here and we were just hanging out and having a good time on the visit. And then it was that night when I went back home that I decided that I wanted to be a part of this. So, I texted Jordan (Sorrells) and we set it up to go over to Coach Swinney’s house, because he was flying out the next morning. So, my family came over. Coach (Danny) Pearman, Jordan was there, Swinney and his wife were there, and then we just went into his living room and I just told him that I wanted to be a part of it, and everybody was just happy and cheering about it.
“It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Briningstool, a native of Brentwood, Tenn., inked with Clemson during the early signing period in December before enrolling early at the school in January.
The 6-foot-6, 215-pound athlete played both ways at Ravenwood High School as a tight end and linebacker. As a senior in 2020, he recorded 39 receptions for 774 yards and 12 touchdowns on offense while also tallying 38 tackles, seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and a forced fumble on defense.
Briningstool, the son of former Michigan State linebacker Tony Briningstool, believes the experience he gained playing linebacker in high school was beneficial and helped him become a better tight end.
“Playing both sides of the ball was fun for me because just helping my team out any way I could,” he said. “It also gave me a different perspective of offense to kind of see what the tight end does and then see how the linebacker can try and stop him. And then it kind of gave me an advantage playing tight end to see what the linebacker’s thinking and what they’re going to try, and beat him and make it better.”
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