Clemson has had its eyes set on one of the top running backs in the Class of 2023, for quite some time now.
And for Roswell (Ga.) Blessed Trinity Catholic 2023 four-star RB Justice Haynes, hard work, and some patience has paid off.
Haynes earned a scholarship offer from Clemson back on June 24 and was over the moon excited.
“It means a lot,” he told The Clemson Insider. “Clemson is a prestigious school, they do things differently around there. Like I said, yes, it’s one of my dream schools, for them to offer me, it means a lot.”
When Clemson running backs coach C.J. Spiller called up Haynes, he asked for the talented Georgia back to put his parents on the phone. Haynes is the son of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back and Super Bowl champion, Verron Haynes.
Verron caught up with TCI regarding his son’s recruitment and his recent Clemson offer.
“It was exciting,” Verron said of Justice receiving his Clemson offer. “I know it was something that he really wanted. He had prided himself on doing the work and built a great relationship with the coaching staff, in particular, C.J. And patience, right?
“Clemson does it in a very unique way, which I love. It’s old school, it’s more about building that rapport with each other than just giving out a scholarship to a guy that might not fit that mold. Uniquely, it was sensational when he got that.”
Justice’s recruitment had taken off way before his unofficial visit to Clemson last month, but it’s still dreamlike to his father.
“It’s surreal,” Veron said. “I have to take it in stride. Sometimes you pinch yourself and fathom all that’s happening because it started so young. We’re just taking it one day at a time, but it’s definitely surreal.”
One of Justice’s first stops on the recruiting trail this summer was to Clemson, where the entire Haynes family was impressed with what the Tigers, Spiller and Dabo Swinney had to offer.
“Clemson had state-of-the-art facilities,” Verron said. “I think what separates them is the class of which they got about doing everything. It’s very unique.”
While Verron is along for the ride, he made it very clear in his conversation with TCI that this is Justice’s recruiting process and his path.
Verron starred at the University of Georgia and has been through the process himself, but he maintained that he wants this to be a “sacred decision for his son,” he said.
And for Verron, while Justice continues to carve his own path and form relationships along the way, he finds himself impressed with Spiller.
“C.J.’s a guy that’s been there, done that,” Verron said. “He played at Clemson at the highest level. He played in Florida (in high school), which is a tough state to play in. He played at the pinnacle, which most of these kids come in there with their childhood dream of wanting to accomplish. What better way to go about obtaining that knowledge from a guy who’s been there, done that?”
When Spiller offered Justice on behalf of Clemson’s coaching staff, one aspect that has continually stuck out to the Tigers is his character.
Verron, who has seen Justice grow into a fine young man, can definitely speak on that more than anyone.
“We are so impressed with his maturity and how he’s been able to handle his journey so far,” he said. “Justice has grown up in a hard-working environment and he understands the blue-collar mentality, that’s what my upbringing is all about. I’m quite pleased that it still resonates and you see it in his work ethic and how he handles each and every day.”