Venables sees 4-star LB playing Simmons-esque role

Venables sees 4-star LB playing Simmons-esque role


Venables sees 4-star LB playing Simmons-esque role


Brent Venables certainly has his eyes set on a do-everything linebacker from the state of Louisiana. 

Many (La.) 2023 four-star LB Tackett Curtis has been a prime target of Clemson’s defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for quite some time now.

Curtis was first introduced to Clemson’s coaching staff in mid-May. He spent an hour and a half with the entire defensive staff on FaceTime, which was the first time he met them.

“They told me they had a lot of interest in me and they’re looking at me and just letting me know that I was on their board,” Curtis told The Clemson Insider.

About two weeks later came an official scholarship offer.

I think it was June 1, that’s when Coach Venables called me and he offered me a scholarship,” Curtis said. “That’s when we decided we were gonna go see them this summer. We already had our whole summer schedule already done and they’re just such a good school that we had to add them in there. We only had half a day there, so we had to split them with [Georgia], but we still got to see them and it was awesome.”

As Curtis’ uncle and head coach, Jess, told TCI earlier this week, they got what they needed to get done.

The facilities were the best of the best,” Curtis said. “We got to see the stadium, the weight room, the rehab center. You can tell they really invest a lot of money in that place. And, of course, they’ve got the best coaches. Coach Venables, Coach Swinney, all those guys. It was awesome getting to talk to them.”

Curtis mentioned that Venables could easily be a head coach with the “snap of a finger,” so it meant a lot for him to be able to chalk it up with one of the best defensive coordinators in the country.

Clemson, of course, is unlike any other program when it comes to recruiting. So for Curtis to receive an offer already, it means he’s likely a special player that Venables envisions playing a big role in his defense. 

“It means a lot, they’ve only offered maybe four linebackers [in the 2023 class], I believe,” he said. “It really means a lot. That’s pretty special to me. It’s kind of mind-blowing when I think about it. All these people and they want me? It really encourages me to keep working and anything’s possible.”

Venables told Curtis that he was really glad that he and his family made the trek up to Clemson.

“He’s been showing a lot of interest in me and that’s showing that mutual interest back in him,” Curtis said. “He said it meant a lot to him.”

Venables views Curtis as the right fit to play the “Cheetah” position for the Tigers. That’s the same positionless position that Isaiah Simmons made famous, making him a top NFL draft prospect back in last year’s draft.

“I’d say I’m really versatile, I’m physical, I’m fast, I can cover, I can do everything,” Curtis added. “I believe in myself that I can pretty much play in any position on the field. I can play safety, linebacker and there’s a bunch of different ways you can use me to make plays. Whether I’d be on the edge, in the box, back deep. I can do it all. I got speed and I’m aggressive, those are my selling points.”

While Clemson certainly presents itself as an intriguing option for Curtis, he still has a ways to go before making that important decision.

“The most important factor for me is the culture of the team,” he said. “When I first went into [the recruiting process], I thought that it had to be the relationship with the position coach and as I’m going around on my visits, it’s like coaches are going in, coaches are going out, it’s a business.”

Don’t get Curtis wrong, relationships with his future coaches are still very important to him, he’s just looking for the right fit with the right players, culture and tradition. 

After making his way around the country this summer, Curtis has USC and Stanford visits lined up later this week. That being said, he’s been in contact with Clemson about getting up to a game for an unofficial visit sometime this season.

“They talked about getting me there for a game,” Curtis said, “they want me to see them again. That’s a big deal to them, getting me up there to a game, that’s where it’s all that when you’re on the field and the fans. That would be a good time for sure.”

“They’re definitely a great school,” he added. “They’re always going to be at the top just because of how good of a program they are and the coaches they have there and the people, the players, the culture, everything. They’ve got it all. They’re always going to be up there with everyone else. They’re in the running for sure.”

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