Nation's top prospect talks Clemson and Orange Bowl
|Sunday, January 3, 2016 7:01 AM- -|
ORLANDO, FL – National Signing Day is a little over a month away, and one of the nation’s top defensive prospects still has Clemson among his leaders.
Five-star defensive tackle Rashan Gary of Paramus (NJ) Paramus Catholic participated in Saturday’s Under Armour All-American Game, earning defensive MVP honors after registering a three sack effort in his squad’s win. Rivals has Gary ranked as the number one defensive tackle prospect in the nation, while ESPN has him rated as the best player in the country, regardless of position.
Gary told TigerNet Saturday that he’s considering a late January visit back to Clemson and that the Tigers are still very much on his mind.
“That's a school that's in my top. I talk to Coach (Brent) Venables every chance I get,” Gary said. “No doubt. Clemson is definitely in there.”
Gary said Clemson has a lot to offer.
“The way they play defense, and then I went down there for a non-official (visit) and I loved the family atmosphere” he said. “It was also the coaches' love for me. They care for me more as a student than as a player.”
Gary said he was more than just a casual observer of Clemson’s 37-17 victory over Oklahoma in Thursday’s Capital One Orange Bowl, a victory that propelled Clemson into the College Football Playoff National Championship.
“Of course. That's a game I wanted to rush back to the hotel and watch,” he said. “I got a chance to see it. It was good for Clemson. A couple of more parts and they (Oklahoma) wouldn't have put up any points.”
He said that both Venables and defensive line coach Dan Brooks are part of what make Clemson attractive.
“That's a guy that's going to make you play better,” Gary said of Venables. “He's going to try and get the best out of you. And (Dan Brooks), we had an in-home visit with him and I feel like we are building a great relationship with him. I feel really comfortable with him.”
The 6-4, 287-pounder also has family in nearby Anderson.
“My uncle is 15 minutes away,” he said, “I can go home and get a home-cooked meal and spend time with my cousins and my aunt. That's family.”
Helping him through the recruiting process has been his mother, Jennifer Coney.
“My mom goes through the whole process herself. She has all of the coaches calling her,” he said. “But it's great to have the support and I know that when I have any questions I can turn to her.”