Clemson leads for talented 4-star linebacker out of Alabama


by - Senior Writer -
Vonta Bentley says Clemson is his leader
Vonta Bentley says Clemson is his leader

Linebacker Vonta Bentley says Clemson is in great shape heading into July.

Bentley is a 4-star out of Birmingham (AL) Jackson-Olin who is ranked as the No. 11 inside linebacker nationally by 247. Bentley has been a priority target of defensive coordinator Brent Venables and area recruiter Todd Bates, and he came in earlier this month for a visit.

Bentley spent time with Venables, Bates, head coach Dabo Swinney and university president Jim Clements.

"Clemson leads because they are showing the most love, being real with me," Bentley said. "They said that they need me and want me and that means a lot to me. If other schools step up to the plate like that and say the same thing then I'll know I'm a need for their program. Other schools that I go to I probably won't have the opportunity to meet with the president.

“Just the fact that I can do that and other schools, I didn't have the opportunity. And then, I talk with Coach Swinney a lot, and he's the head coach, and other schools, I won't talk to a coach other than Auburn. Other than that, like Alabama, Memphis, some like that, I wouldn't be talking to the coach. Probably shake their hand and say a few words, that might be it."

He also spent time with current Clemson players, who gave him insight into what it’s like to play for the Tigers.

"The visit went good," he said. “I spent the night with two other players, both of them were freshmen, and we talked about why they chose Clemson. Also, I was around Christian Wilkins. Just talking to those guys was a big impact and just being around them. And me and Coach Venables were watching some linebacker drills (at camp) for about three hours or so and talked a little football."

Bentley said the Clemson contact with him has been constant. He was really impressed by the recent efforts of Bates.

"I talk to Coach Bates a lot and the fact that he is real with me with recruiting, even when a linebacker commits, he's been real with me telling me who committed," Bentley said. "He sends me their information. Just being real. He called me today and he was saying he just got off vacation, that even though he's on vacation he's still going to talk to me and try to reach out to me. That's a big impact that he's taking time out to do that when he's not at work."

Bentley plans to return to Clemson for the All-In Cookout in late July. Alabama has been his only other visits thus far though he had planned to go to LSU last Friday before that trip fell through. He might visit Tennessee at some point.

Bentley said LSU would be the closest competition for Clemson at this point. He does not plan to make a summer decision.

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