Byrnes High senior football player Chad Diehl had just returned from a field trip when he noticed that Coach Bobby Bentley was waiting to speak to him.
“At first, I wasn’t sure what Coach wanted to talk to me about,” Diehl said. “Then he told me that Clemson had called to offer me a scholarship, and I can’t put into words how I felt.”
Diehl, a 6’2”, 235-pound linebacker, had also received offers from Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Duke, but once the offer came from Clemson, his mind was made up. Diehl will join fellow Byrnes players Willy Korn, Stanley Hunter, and Xavier Dye at Clemson next season.
“About a year ago, I started going to games with Willy and Stanley,” Diehl said. “I fell in love with the atmosphere, and after meeting the coaches, I was really impressed with them. They are close to the players, and that reminded me a lot of what we have at Byrnes. I think our two programs have a lot in common.”
“Being able to continue to play with Willy, Stanley, and Xavier means the world to me. They are not just my teammates. They are three of my best friends.”
Although Diehl can’t officially sign with Clemson until February, he said that there is no chance that he will change his mind.
“I will definitely be a Clemson Tiger,” Diehl said. “We have had a great run at Byrnes, and with the talent that Clemson already has, there is not telling how good the next four years could be.”
The Rebels have won four consecutive state titles and are currently the second-ranked team in the nation. Although the Byrnes offense averages over 40 points per contest, the defense is just as big of a reason for the success, and Diehl is one of the catalysts for the group known as the “Strike Force”.
When Diehl puts on the Clemson orange next fall, however, he may not be on the defensive side of the ball.
“I am being recruited as an athlete, and have been told that I could be used as a fullback or linebacker,” Diehl said. “It really doesn’t matter to me. I will play wherever the team needs me the most.”
Reported 2007 Clemson Commitments
1. Mason Cloy OL 6-3 265 4.8 Columbia, SC (Spring Valley HS)
2. Scotty Cooper LB 6-0 195 4.5 Lake City, SC (Lake City HS)
3. Xavier Dye WR 6-4 215 4.5 Greenwood, SC (Greenwood HS)
4. Stanley Hunter LB 6-0 205 4.5 Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)
5. Jarvis Jenkins DT 6-4 305 4.9 Central, SC (Daniel HS)
6. Willy Korn QB 6-2 200 4.5 Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)
7. Rennie Moore DE 6-5 260 4.7 St. Mary's, GA (Camden Co. HS)
8. Wilson Norris OL 6-5 320 5.2 Pickens, SC (Pickens HS)
9. David Smith OT 6-5 280 4.9 Greenville, SC (Greenville HS)
10. Landon Walker OT 6-6 270 5.0 Ronda, NC (East Wilkes HS)
11. Marcus Gilchrist DB 5-11 170 4.5 High Point, NC (Andrews HS)
12. Brian Linthicum TE 6-5 220 4.7 Charlottesville, VA (St. Anne's-Belfield)
13. Drew Traylor DE 6-4 225 4.7 Mountain Brook, AL (Mountain Brook HS)
14. Deandre McDaniel DB 6-1 190 4.5 Tallahassee, FL
15. Chad Diehl LB 6-3 235 4.7 Duncan, SC (Byrnes HS)