5-star defensive back A.J. Terrell and family impressed after Clemson visit


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Terrell has Clemson in his top six
Terrell has Clemson in his top six

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney doesn’t believe in satellite camps. Instead, he wants recruits to step foot on the Clemson campus, preferably more than once, and fall in love with what they see.

That’s been the message to 5-star defensive back A.J. Terrell out of Atlanta (GA) Westlake, who made it to campus a few weeks ago. He was joined by his father and girlfriend and high school teammate and current Clemson commit LeAnthony Williams.

The visit was an eye-opener for Terrell, who is ranked No. 8 nationally by Rivals.com.

“It's a great school. They have a winning program that is close to home, and the academics are really good,” Terrell told TigerNet. “They showed me around the academic side of campus and showed me where the classes are. I really took the time to see what they had to offer. I was really impressed. You get to work individually with the academic support staff and get your work done.”

Terrell came away with an understanding of where he would fit in as a Tiger.

“They are winning program with good academics and I know I can showcase my talents there, both on and off the field. I want to be a good student-athlete,” he said.

Helping Clemson’s cause is Terrell’s relationship with recruiter and defensive backs coach Mike Reed.

“We have a great relationship. We text almost every day. He keeps in touch with me and I feel like I can talk to him whenever I want to,” Terrell said. “It feels comfortable. He just tells me that Clemson is a good place, but they lost three good defensive backs after last year and that now is a good time for me to come in and make a name for myself. He has good backs that are disciplined and they follow the system.”

Terrell holds a top six additionally featuring, in no order, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama. However, Terrell’s father came away from the visit holding a new respect for the school and football program.

“He loves Clemson after the visit. He was really impressed,” Terrell said of his father. “All of the other schools that we've gone to have done pretty much the same thing, but Clemson has more of a family-type atmosphere and he likes family.”

The Terrell family also spent time with Swinney, who made sure the family knows they are welcome on campus any time.

“We talked a little bit. He was telling me the same things Coach Reed says, that Clemson is a great place and would be a good fit for me,” Terrell said. “He told me the more that I keep coming up there the more I will like it.”

Terrell said that Williams makes sure he doesn’t forget about the Tigers.

“We have a great relationship. We played on the same rec teams and the two of us playing on the same team would be great,” Terrell said of his teammate. “He does both – he lets me know that Clemson is a great place but he also respects that I have a decision to make. Sometimes he says something about Clemson, like, I should join the squad and play with him. But he also understands it's still my decision.”

Terrell said he will try and be back on campus for the All In Cookout, but right now a decision date is still up in the air.

“I am not really sure on my decision timeline,” he said. “I said September 23rd but I don't really know right now. But Clemson is high. Really high.”

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