Clemson's 'missile' signee is what a 'safety should look like'

Clemson's 'missile' signee is what a 'safety should look like'

Football

Clemson's 'missile' signee is what a 'safety should look like'

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Clemson needed a safety as a part of its 2022 recruiting class and it went and got one of the best in the country, according to head coach Dabo Swinney.

Oscar Smith (Chesapeake, Va.) four-star safety Sherrod Covil inked with Swinney’s program on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period for class of 2022 football recruits.

“I’m extremely excited about what he brings to the Clemson Tigers,” Clemson co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Mickey Conn said via Covil’s official Clemson bio. “He brings an unbelievable work ethic. He is a hard-hitting safety, man. He loves the physicality of the game. He’s a ballhawk…He’s played both sides of the ball. He loves the game of football. I love everything about him.

“Academically, he’s a really good student. He comes from a really good home and a good family. His mom, his dad, his two sisters and his younger brother are just fantastic people. They really fit the culture and the family atmosphere that we have here at Clemson.”

Covil always felt like he was a priority from the time he was offered and never wavered in his belief that Clemson is where he was meant to spend his next chapter. 

Though, in the wake of Brent Venables’ departure to Oklahoma, he needed to digest the news and make an informed decision. Covil took a step back and eventually reaffirmed that he was “All In.”

Covil (6-0, 190) is a consensus top-200 defensive back, who helped Oscar Smith win consecutive 6A state titles in 2020 and 2021. 

“Covil just won a state championship as well,” Swinney said during his National Signing Day press conference. “This is what a safety should look like when you watch this guy play when you watch him run and you watch him tackle. He’s a very, very good player coming from a great program that’s had a ton of guys over the years up there in Virginia.”

He plans to play in the Under Armour All-America game in Orlando, Fla. on Jan. 2, 2022, and is set to enroll at Clemson a week later.

Covil will push to play early alongside the ACC’s Defesnive Rookie of the Year in Andrew Mukuba.

Even though the addition of Covil certainly boosts Clemson’s secondary, Swinney indicated that the Tigers would like to add another safety between now and February.

Clemson has lost two safeties — Joseph Charleston and Ray Thorton III — to the transfer portal, while longtime starter Nolan Turner is out of remaining eligibility.

While Covil helps mitigate those losses, the Tigers still need another addition to the backend of their secondary, especially after IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) four-star athlete Keon Sabb decomitted from Clemson and later flipped to Michigan.

“We’re very fortunate and blessed at Clemson to have Sherrod Covil,” Conn said.

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