Tigers land commitment from one of nation's best linebackers

by - Senior Writer -

Clemson’s current crop of linebackers put on a show during Saturday’s spring game in Death Valley, and then the future of the position got a huge boost Saturday night when 4-star prospect Dorian O’Daniel picked the Tigers.

The Olney (MD) Our Lady of Good Counsel standout made his decision during the day, then told the coaches at a late supper just a few minutes ago, becoming the seventh commitment for Clemson’s 2013 recruiting class.

“I was thinking about it during the day, and I had been talking it over with my mom,” O’Daniel told TigerNet shortly after his announcement. “We just announced the news at dinner with Coach Venables, Coach [Jeff] Scott and Coach Swinney. And another prospect – Derrick Green Derrick Green
Running Back
6-0, 215
Richmond, VA

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– he was there as well. But I had been thinking about it all day, and when I looked at the whole picture, I knew it was for me. I am at home in Clemson, a home outside of home. Everyone is like family. I was just taking it all in, and it just feels right.”

O’Daniel chose the Tigers over 30 other offers, and said that Venables and his track record with linebackers was a big draw.

“He recruited me when he was at Oklahoma, and once he moved to Clemson I started showing more interest in Clemson,” he said. “And I am glad I did, because this is great how things have worked out. I brought my mom, and I wanted her to see what I saw on my first visit, and why I fell in love with it. And she did – she loves the coaches, the academic facilities and the campus.”

As a junior, he had 127 rushes for 897 yards and 5 touchdowns on offense. On defense, he had 38.5 tackles, 16.5 TFL, and 5 sacks.

He said he feels like he is a linebacker that can use his speed (4.55 40 time) to make plays.

“I can bring speed to the position,” he said. “I am a speedy defensive player, but I know when I get to Clemson I still have a lot to work on. I feel like Clemson is getting a player that has good character on and off the field, and I am a good leader. But I can run sideline to sideline and I can make plays in pass coverage. Clemson wants me as a SAM or WILL linebacker, someone that can come off the edges.”

He said he can't wait to get back to Death Valley for a real game in the fall.

“It was a really great atmosphere out there today,” he said. “I was thinking to myself that it was pretty loud for a spring game, so I bet it is really loud for a regular season game.”

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