Clemson continues to search across the Southeast for some of the nation’s best defensive linemen.
Kelby Collins, a Class of 2023 recruit from Gardendale High School in Gardendale, Ala., is a four-star prospect, who ranks as No. 12 DL and No. 61 overall prospect in his respective class, per 247Sports Composite rankings.
He caught up with The Clemson Insider regarding his current recruitment and what he’s been hearing from Clemson as of late.
Collins hasn’t heard much from Clemson lately. The recruiting process had begun to get a bit overwhelming for the Alabama defensive lineman, so he took a break. However, Collins knows he’s going to start hearing from the Tigers a lot more in the future, he said.
Dating back to June 1, Collins received a scholarship offer after a “great conversation” with each of Clemson’s defensive tackles coach Todd Bates and defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall.
“It felt good to get that offer from Clemson,” Collins said. “They only offered, I think they told me like 18 players in my class. So, to be one of those, it felt good.”
Collins went up to Clemson earlier this summer after receiving his official scholarship offer. He took an unofficial visit over the course of multiple days. He was shown around campus by none other than Bates.
“It was a great visit,” Collins said. “All the coaches, everybody is like family up there. It really felt like family vibes up there a lot. I really liked the campus a lot and how close everything is.”
Collins is going to take his time and ease back into his recruiting process. He doesn’t have a timetable for a decision, but he’ll likely drop a top-10 list within the next couple of weeks.
Clemson has talked with Collins about coming up to The Valley for a game this season. He said he’ll definitely make his way up there for one of the Tigers’ top games this upcoming season.
“They are one of my top schools, I really like Clemson right now,” he said.
Collins views himself as a run-stopper, first and foremost, but someone who can also get after the quarterback with ease.
Bates has offered Collins a blueprint of how he would potentially be used in Clemson’s defense, which would involve him being moved all over the defensive front. According to Collins, Bates likes how he can stop the run and get after the quarterback.
The two have been forming a solid bond ever since Clemson got in contact with Collins dating back to the end of his freshman season.
“I think me and Coach Bates have a good relationship,” Collins said. “We were discussing a lot of NIL stuff, if I commit up there and stuff like that and how they would help me.”
Beyond that, what are some of the more important factors Collins is looking for in a school at the next level?
Collins is looking for a program that’s family-oriented but is also searching for a school that has what he wants to major in, he said.