Clemson ‘at the top’ for nation’s No. 1 cornerback

Clemson ‘at the top’ for nation’s No. 1 cornerback

Recruiting

Clemson ‘at the top’ for nation’s No. 1 cornerback

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Clemson continues to court some of the top prospects in the Class of 2023.

One of those prospects is Alabaster (AL.) Thompson 2023 five-star cornerback Tony Mitchell, who the Tigers have made quite the impression on thus far. 

As far as blue-chippers go, Mitchell (6-2, 180) is the nation’s No. 1 cornerback and No. 10 prospect nationally for the 2023 Class, per 247Sports Composite rankings.

“They’ve always been at the top of my recruitment,” Mitchell told The Clemson Insider. “I talk to Coach Reed and Coach Bates a lot, I got to meet Coach Swinney when I visited for the first time a couple of weeks ago back on June 3.”

Tigers’ cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Todd Bates have been at the forefront of Mitchell’s recruitment, developing a relationship with the elite Alabama cornerback since he was a freshman in high school.

“It’s really great,” Mitchell said of his relationship with Reed. “Me and him have been talking a lot since my freshman year. We basically know each other very well and just continue to build it.”

Mitchell has a similar relationship with Bates, who has also played an important role in his recruitment. He talks to both coaches all the time, he knows them quite well and knows their families.

After officially receiving a scholarship offer from the Tigers, Mitchell made his way back up to campus for the first time in a long time.

“It was great just to be back on campus again since we haven’t had visits in over a year,” he said. “I went up there the first time my freshman year when they played Florida State, so it was good to just meet Coach Swinney and be back up there again. The facilities are amazing, indoor, outdoor. It was just great.”

More importantly, he came back to Clemson with an offer in hand, and an opportunity to finally meet with Swinney.

“It was great,” Mitchell said of receiving his Clemson offer.. “I was very excited that I got the offer from Clemson, my dream school. I always liked them growing up. I was very happy about that.”

Mitchell is a physical and instinctive cornerback, who has the football smarts that Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is always searching for. He also has a high-motor, which fits into the type of mold that the Tigers look for at the cornerback position.

“Coach Venables really likes me at corner, he thinks I’d fit in their system very well,” Mitchell said. “Coming off the edge blitzing and man-to-man, [they] think I got it all.”

When it comes to deciding where he’s going to play at the next level, Mitchell is certainly looking beyond football.

“Just enjoying a school without football,” he said. “I could never know if I got hurt or [I’m] not able to play anymore. Even with the coaching staff changes, coaches could leave, I just want to enjoy the team and the school and the players, just by itself.”

Mitchell plans on making it back up to Death Valley for a game this upcoming season, but that’s something that he has to schedule with the coaching staff. 

Beyond Clemson, Mitchell has been to Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Georgia Tech and Texas A&M on visits. He’s done for the summer and it’s now time for him to focus on summer workouts.

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