Guillermo, Pinion honored to be named ESPN first team All American

by - Senior Writer -
Guillermo helped Maryville win it’s 13th state championship and the second 6A title in a row this season

Clemson commitments Jay Guillermo Jay Guillermo
Offensive Line
6-3, 285
Maryville, TN

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and Bradley Pinion Bradley Pinion
Punter / Kicker
6-6, 220
Concord, NC

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will be suitemates in Clemson in a few short weeks. On Thursday, they learned that they already have something else in common as both were named first teamers on the ESPN High School All-American team.

Guillermo is the center out of Maryville (TN) and Pinion is the punter and kickoff specialist out of Northwest Cabarrus (Concord, N.C.). Another Clemson commitment, defensive back Travis Blanks Travis Blanks
Defensive Back
6-1, 180
Tallahassee, FL

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out of North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.), was named a third team safety by ESPN.

Guillermo and Pinion are enrolling in Clemson in January, and will share a suite with Dorman offensive lineman and fellow early enrollee Patrick DeStefano Patrick DeStefano
Offensive Line
6-4, 275
Roebuck, SC

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. Oliver Jones Oliver Jones
Offensive Line
6-7, 320
Ninety Six, SC

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will join them this summer.

Pinion told TigerNet that he didn’t know about the honor until he got a Facebook notification just a little after 5 p.m.

“I actually didn’t know it until Jay said something about it on Facebook and he tagged me in the post,” Pinion said. “I went on ESPN and looked, so I just found out about it about 10 minutes ago. That is pretty cool. I had no idea I was going to make it.”

Guillermo, who was also named as a First Team All-American by Sports Illustrated this week, said he found out about his selection via social media as well.

“I found out about the Sports Illustrated one when I was visiting my old high school in North Carolina,” Guillermo said. “I was actually in the weight room lifting, and my grandfather came in there and told me about Sports Illustrated. Then on twitter today, I saw today where LeCharles Bentley [former NFL lineman who coached Guillermo at Nike’s The Opening this summer] had tagged me in a post about being named to the ESPN team. That was really exciting.”

Pinion said that hearing the news from his future teammate was the best way to hear about it, and he feels like Clemson’s 2012 recruiting class already is a close-knit group.

“I knew he was really good and everything,” Pinion said of Guillermo. “But I don’t think either one of us had a clue we would make the team together. It is pretty cool that we are going to be in the same room next year, and we are already friends. To hear it from my future roommate is pretty cool.

“I think we all [the 2012 recruits] have just hit it off really well. One of our common goals is to win a National Championship for Clemson, and we realize that being a part of a family is the first step. We have to come together as a team. We already have some great athletes, but we have to support each other to do well. We have to do it together.”

Guillermo said to be considered as one of the best at his position is special.

“To be considered as good as all of the players on that list, and to be thought of as one of the best centers in the nation is amazing,” he said. “That is pretty special. It is very special to be recognized with those kinds of honors. I actually missed Bradley’s name when I read it the first time, and I got down to the second and third team guys and didn’t see him on there and wondered why. Then I went back and saw he was first team. That is pretty funny that Clemson has two first team All-Americans who are going to be suitemates.”

He agreed with Pinion’s assessment that this class will help continue Clemson’s rise into the nation’s elite.

“I guess we all get along because we have the same beliefs and we all want to get better,” he said. “We all want to win. The offensive linemen, we are like a brotherhood and we realize we have to come together and get along. And then Bradley, he is just like an offensive lineman.”

*Guillermo helped Maryville win it’s 13th state championship and the second 6A title in a row this season, while Pinion averaged 46.1 yards per punt in 2011.

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