Former Clemson star an inspiration to phenom Peach State prospect

Former Clemson star an inspiration to phenom Peach State prospect

Recruiting

Former Clemson star an inspiration to phenom Peach State prospect

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A young phenom prospect from the Peach State is planning a return visit to Clemson in the not-too-distant future.

After attending a game at Death Valley this season, Grayson High School cornerback Jaylen Bell (pictured right) told The Clemson Insider he will make an unofficial visit to Clemson this spring to take in one of the Tigers’ spring practices.

“I can’t wait to check (Clemson) out in the spring,” he said.

Bell, a freshman recruit in the class of 2025, already cites power conference offers from Ole Miss, Florida State, Georgia, Boston College, Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, Florida and Mississippi State.

While Clemson doesn’t offer freshmen in adherence to Dabo Swinney’s program policy, the Tigers – namely, cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and safeties coach/newly minted co-defensive coordinator Mickey Conn – have begun to lay the groundwork for their recruitment of Bell, who is excited to get back on campus this spring and continue building a bond with the coaching staff.

“I’m most looking forward to meeting all the coaches,” Bell said. “Because I already know Mike Reed. I have a good relationship with him and Mickey Conn. That Grayson relationship I have with Mickey Conn is there, so I can’t wait to meet the rest of the coaching staff and the players and get closer (to the Tigers).”

Conn, who was officially named Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator on Dec. 14, came to Clemson in 2016 after 16 seasons as head coach at Grayson. During his tenure there, the Rams were 137-48 with seven region titles, a state championship in 2011 and a state semifinal playoff appearance in 2015.

Grayson’s current head football coach, Adam Carter, has conveyed plenty of positive things to Conn during their conversations about Bell.

“Mickey Conn told me that Coach Carter said I’m a great player, I’m always focused, I’m always determined, I go hard and I never go off track, I never get off the path I’m on right now,” Bell said.

Conn and Clemson’s staff played host to Bell on Oct. 30 when he attended the Tigers’ 30-20 victory over Florida State at Death Valley.

“(Clemson’s) fan base is amazing,” Bell said, reflecting on the game-day visit. “(The Tigers) came out and showed out, and the whole stadium was loud, and I loved it. I loved the whole facility and everything.”

Bell hopes to earn an offer from Clemson in the future and have the chance to follow in the footsteps of a former Tiger that he looks up to – current Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell, who played his high school ball at Westlake (Ga.), not too far from Grayson High.

“It would mean a lot to me because just to have an offer like Clemson would be amazing,” Bell said. “And watching A.J. Terrell, he’s just one of those guys that are just inspirational and guys you want to be coming up at this age.”

As a freshman this season, Bell said he tallied around 30 tackles, seven pass breakups and five interceptions.

“As a defensive back, I have that swag, I have that confidence,” Bell said, describing himself as a player. “And every time I step on that field, I feel like I’m the best defensive back on the field.”

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