Clemson's first 2012 commitment? - Updated

by - Senior Writer -
Guillermo has also received interest from Alabama, Miami, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA.

While Clemson fans spent much of National Signing Day talking about the tremendous 2011 recruiting class the Tigers pulled in, Clemson coaches were already in the process of making sure 2012 could be just as good.

Center Jay Guillermo (6-3, 285, Maryville, TN) was sitting in class on Wednesday when Maryville head coach George Quarles pulled him out of class to let him know about a phone call he had just received – Clemson coaches were calling with an offer.

Coach [Dan] Brooks called my coach while I was at school the other day, and new offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell and all of the coaches had watched my film that morning,” Guillermo told TigerNet on Friday. “They had told me when I went for my visit on junior weekend that I was an ‘offer guy’ and they wanted to offer me. And then, when they all saw my film, they all agreed to offer me. I called them back and talked to Coach Brooks, Coach Caldwell and Coach Swinney.”

Guillermo has also received interest from Alabama, Miami, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA, but his offensive line coach at Maryville, David Ellis, says that Guillermo has been a Clemson Tiger for a long time.

“I know he has been to camps at Clemson during the past couple of summers,” Ellis said. “I know that his granddad has known a lot about Clemson and used to take him to games there. So he has been a Clemson guy for longer than just the last year or two.”

Davis said Guillermo, whose dad is a minister, only moved to Maryville last year and has played just one season for Ellis. But he said it was apparent from the outset that they had a special player.

“There aren’t that many kids that move in and have an immediate impact,” Ellis said. “But he had been a starter when he came to us, and he was already pretty good. He started all 15 games for us in what ended as a state championship season. But we could tell right off the bat he could be good. In the weight room, he had the right technique and you could tell he had been taught well.

“He knew how to lift, he knew the forms and he was a good technician. He had been to the camps at Clemson and learned a lot. We call players like that the All Airport Team. He looks good getting off the bus. But he looks good in the weight room, he looks good out on the field, and then when you put the pads on him it’s all true.”

Brooks, who used to coach at the University of Tennessee, had a son that played for Maryville, so he alerted Davis after camp last summer that he had a special player coming in.

“I spoke with Coach Brooks over the summer,” Ellis said. “Jay had been at camp there, and Coach Brooks called to tell me about him, so I knew he was a player that Clemson would probably be interested in. But he is a natural center. He snaps well, he has great leverage and great strength. The best thing he does is, once he gets his hands on your numbers, you are there until the end of the play. He finishes plays. You are either on your back at the end or 15 yards down the field.”

Guillermo said he pretty much has his decision made, but has reasons for waiting to finally confirm.

“I am probably thinking I am going to decide within three or four weeks,” Guillermo said. “My mind is pretty much made up where I want to go. But there are several reasons I don’t want to commit just yet. I am trying to help some other players on my team. We have a quarterback and a right tackle that are already getting looked at. But the more people that come and look at me, they can also see them. But I know where I want to go.”

Guillermo’s grandfather, Ron Greene, won a North Carolina State Championship at Burns High School as part of a 36-year coaching career and he introduced Jay to Clemson early.

“I have always liked Clemson,” Guillermo said. “I know my grandfather, when he was in high school, he was recruited by Clemson. He ended up at a smaller school, but he followed Clemson. And he knows Coach Brooks. And I have gone to the summer camps. This past summer, Coach [Brad] Scott pulled me over to the side and got all my info and I sent him film.”

Update 2/6/10:Guillermo went public with his commitment to Clemson. According to Chad Simmons of Fox Sports:

"Big 2012 Commitment for Clemson today. Jay Guillermo out of Maryville, Tn. gave them the news on Thursday. 6-6/255 off. tackle."

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