Pinckney picks Clemson over South Carolina


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Pinckney is a 4-star recruit by the majority of the recruiting services
Pinckney is a 4-star recruit by the majority of the recruiting services

Leading up to Nyles PinckneyNyles Pinckney
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 290
Seabrook, SC

ESPN:
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’s two o’clock announcement nobody knew what the 4-star was thinking except for Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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.

The Seabrook (SC) Whale Branch defensive tackle kept everyone in the dark, including his parents, who luckily chose Clemson hats to bring to the commitment ceremony in the high school gymnasium. The state of South Carolina’s number three prospect became Clemson’s 11th commitment for the 2016 recruiting cycle.

The 6-3, 290-pound prospect told TigerNet that he didn’t finalize his decision until he picked up the phone to call Swinney.

“To be honest, I decided today around 12 o’clock because I felt the time coming close,” Pinckney said shortly after announcing his decision. “I remember getting all of the head coaches’ numbers so that I could call them when I decided, and I called Coach Swinney. I called him around lunchtime to let him know. I felt like it was a courtesy thing to let the coach know first. He was really happy. He was very loud. He told me he was about to go for a jog and is about to run the fastest mile he’s ever run in his life.”

Clemson was Pinckney’s first offer, something he said stayed with him as offers from Alabama, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia began to pour in.

“I chose Clemson because they’ve been with me since my freshman year,” Pinckney said. “They saw something in me when nobody else did, and they gave me my first opportunity. I really like their culture and what Coach Swinney is trying to do around there.”

His decision came down to four finalists, but the fact that Clemson never wavered in their commitment turned the tide for Pinckney.

“Clemson and South Carolina were the final two, but I was also looking at Georgia and Georgia Tech,” he said. “They changed my mind a lot, but Clemson stayed with me the whole way. It was very hard at first because all of the schools have something I like. I decided that Clemson is the place for me because they had all of the things I needed, and they are going to help me get better as a man and as a player.”

Clemson’s offer to make Pinckney a better player on the field and a better person off the field was an offer too good to pass up.

“Every time I go up there they make me feel welcome and every time I’m there for a visit they show me something different,” he said. “They plan to make me a better player and I plan to work hard and change up there. I want to make them a national championship contender. Coach Swinney and I talked earlier when I called to tell him that I was committing, and we made plans. I told him I was coming to make plays for the Clemson defense.”

With the recruiting process now over, Pinckney can focus on his senior season of football and preparing to enroll at Clemson for the spring semester.

As a junior, Pinckney registered 98 total tackles, 27 tackles for loss, nine sacks, blocked three field goals, forced ten fumbles, and recovered eight fumbles.

As a sophomore, he accounted for 76 tackles, 26, tackles for loss, four sacks, two blocked punts, an interception and two defensive touchdowns. During his freshman campaign, he had 91 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and seven sacks.


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