There continues to be a strong mutual interest between Clemson and one of the nation’s top linebackers.
Many (La.) 2023 four-star LB Tackett Curtis has been on Brent Venables’s radar for a while now. The Tigers defensive coordinator offered Curtis (6-2, 205) back on June 1 and the Louisana native, who already had his recruiting tour schedule for the summer mostly full, made sure to take some time to get down to Clemson for an unofficial visit.
Jess Curtis has had the opportunity to join his nephew on the recruiting trail this summer. He’s accompanied Tackett across the country, including Clemson, where the entire family was left impressed with what the program had to offer.
And while Jess and Tackett are blood-related, Jess also happens to be his nephew’s head coach at Many High School.
Jess caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding his nephew’s Clemson visit and his current recruitment.
“It’s been great, Tackett’s like a son to me, that’s my brother’s son,” Jess said. “I’m lucky enough to be his uncle and his head coach. It’s been great to get to meet these coaches at these different schools. It’s important, here in September when they can start really contacting, it’s important to meet the coaches, shake their hand and see what the plan was for him. These trips were very, very important for him.”
One of those more important trips was making it down to Clemson and having the orange carpet laid out for them by Venables.
“Clemson’s a special program,” Jess said, “It was neat to get to meet Coach Venables and the coaching staff. We got to see the beautiful campus. Just really enjoyed the trip and just wish we had a little more time there. Coach Venables got to size him up and got to hear what their plan would be for him. It was a very, very good trip.”
Unfortunately for the Curtis family, they were in and out of Clemson in one afternoon. The unexpected offer came through and 11 days later, they were on campus, meeting with Venables. They were able to split the day between Clemson and Georgia and while they would’ve liked more time in Clemson, they got everything done that they needed to, Jess added.
Being the head coach of a Louisiana high school powerhouse, Jess has been on plenty of recruiting trips with his own players. They’ve wanted him to accompany them because he feels like he can tell what a program’s interest level is in a particular player.
Coming along on the ride with Tackett and the rest of the Curtis family is nothing new for Jess. But these visits are a bit different. Tackett is blood, he’s family. Jess is doing a bit of double-dipping, while he tries to help find the right for his nephew and star linebacker.
What exactly would a program, like Clemson, be getting in Tackett?
“He’s a great kid, extremely driven,” Jess said. “He’s a 4.0 kid, who does his business in the schoolroom. But, just a completely committed football player. This kid, his hobbies are football everything, he’s [always] lifting weights.
“He’s completely bought in on being the best player he can be. This is a dream for him, to be blessed with the ability to do what he loves. He’ll probably be a football coach when he’s done, he loves the game of football. You’re gonna get a kid that’s gonna bring the wood.”
Tackett is a physical, do-everything linebacker. He has a blend of speed and physicality, which is rare in today’s football, according to Jess.
“He’s a kid that can play on the back end and cover well, but yet his size really fits him in the box in a lot of schemes, as well,” Jess added. “He’s kind of like a swiss army knife and that’s why he’s blowing up with all these offers, it’s because he can do a lot.”
Tackett sounds exactly like the kind of linebacker that Venables looks for to command his defense.
That being said, Jess is very aware of how Clemson operates, especially when it comes to a recruiting class that’s beyond this year.
“It was big because Clemson’s different in how they do their thing and their approach and they let us know that from the jump,” Jess said of Tackett receiving his Clemson offer. “We were cool with that and respected that. Every program is different and it meant a lot to us when they gave us the offer. It’s a big offer and for them to give an offer in ‘23, they haven’t really thrown a ton of those out. It was very much appreciated and made Tackett feel pretty good.”
When it’s time for Tackett to sit down and make his decision, Jess believes that his nephew will be looking at the plan the coaching staff has for him and the connection with the staff/program.
He’s just a throwback guy,” Jess said. “He just wants to feel good about where he’s going with the commitment of the coaches and the belief in him. He’s gonna be a war daddy for someone.”
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