Clemson handed out its latest scholarship offer to a fast-rising Peach State safety late Monday night.
The Clemson Insider recently caught up with Putnam County (Eatonton, Ga.) three-star Jalon Kilgore, who reacted to the offer and gave the latest on his recruitment and where Clemson currently stands in the mix of things.
Kilgore — a 6-foot-2, 196-pound rising senior — currently ranks as the nation’s No. 28 safety in the class of 2023, per 247Sports.
Both Mickey Conn and Wesley Goodwin had come by Putnam County on Monday. Clemson’s defensive coordinator/linebackers coach had come to talk with Kilgore’s head coach, while Conn was at practice, so he got to see the newly-offered safety practice and run through some drills.
Kilgore’s head coach told him to expect a phone call from Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach, later that evening
“We were just talking through the process and everything because we’ve been keeping in touch for a while now,” Kilgore said. “He said he was just praying about this — this situation — and he offered me. It was a great feeling because I knew eventually that it was going to come.”
“It’s great, because (Coach Conn) told me that they’ve only offered 86 people in this class,” Kilgore continued. “For me to be one of them, that’s a great feeling to know that I’m that guy on their board.”
According to Kilgore, Conn envisions him as a versatile defensive back, who can guard opposing tight ends and running backs. Conn also told Kilgore that he’ll be playing some safety and nickel as well.
“I’m just fast and physical,” he said when asked to describe himself as a player. “I love being aggressive on the defensive side because I know that helps out my game a lot; just have a strong mentality and just going at the ball hard and fast and just playing with everything I got.”
Clemson has shown interest in the Peach State safety dating back to Sept. 1 of last year. Kilgore had been texting with Conn during the early half of his junior season and they’ve maintained steady contact since then.
Kilgore attended Clemson’s Orange & White Spring Game on April 9, which certainly helped him earn Monday’s offer. According to Kilgore, Conn told him then that Clemson was going to start speeding up the recruitment process.
After Kilgore went to Clemson’s spring game, he started to get in contact a little bit more with both Conn and Goodwin and has since built some pretty strong relationships with the two Clemson coaches.
Now that Kilgore is in possession of a Clemson offer, where do the Tigers currently stand in his recruitment?
“They’re really good on my board right now,” he said. “I’d say they are one of my top schools right now because after just learning about what they told me at the spring game, their education program, their graduation rate and I know they’re also a winning school. That was great just to know and I can get even more information the next time I go and get the full deal.”
Kilgore was blown away by his visit to Clemson last month.
“I learned a lot,” he said. “It really opened up my eyes a little bit more about Clemson. When I was talking to Coach Conn, he was telling me about their graduation rate, which is 98%…they also have a 100% job rate. After you go to Clemson and graduate from Clemson, there’s a 100% chance that you’re gonna get a pretty good job and have a life after football.”
Kilgore is unsure when he’ll visit Clemson next. He estimates that his return trip to Tiger Town should come in the summer, but he hasn’t scheduled anything just yet. He won’t be at Clemson’s official visit weekend from June 3-5. as he’s already set an official visit to the University of Oklahoma that same weekend.
He also has set an official visit to the University of South Carolina from June 10-12.
In addition to the programs mentioned above, Kilgore pinpointed the likes of North Carolina, Liberty, Michigan, Indiana and Florida as the schools currently recruiting him the hardest.
Kilgore said that he should be making his college decision in August, prior to his senior season. When asked what he’s looking for in a school at the next level, Kilgore said he’s searching for a program that can build his mentality and character on and off the field, so he can become a better man.
“Football also doesn’t last forever, so I want to go to a school where I can build a good foundation,” he added, “get a great job afterwards, get to just follow my career. I do have that chance to make it to the NFL; I also want to go to a school where I know they can build my talent and my dreams.”
— Photo for this article courtesy of @jalon.kilgore11 on Instagram.
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