Tigers offer 2013 quarterback from the Sunshine State

by - Senior Writer -

The state of Florida produces tons of football talent each season, and the Clemson coaching staff has been able to swoop into the Sunshine State and take away some of that talent from the in-state schools.

Last year, the Tigers went into Florida and signed wide receiver Sammy Watkins, defensive back Cortez Davis, linebacker Tony Steward and running back Mike Bellamy and already have a commitment from top defensive back Travis Blanks Travis Blanks
6-1, 180
Tallahassee, FL

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for 2012.

Tiger offensive coordinator Chad Morris is already making plans for 2013, giving a verbal offer to 2013 quarterback Cord Sandberg Cord Sandberg
6-2, 175
Bradenton, FL

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, a dual-threat signal caller that threw for 2855 yards and 25 touchdowns while rushing for a little over 600 yards and 11 touchdowns.

“I guess there is always a little pressure, but I just try to go out and have fun,” Sandberg told TigerNet. “I really didn’t know what to expect, but I knew we had good players like Mike Blakely [who committed to Florida but has since decided to go to Auburn]. I knew we were going to play great defense, and that took the pressure off of the offensive side of the ball.

“I just tried to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers, not make mistakes, and help the team win. I really didn’t feel any kind of pressure, because once you get out there, it is just like any other game for the most part. I just went out there and tried to have fun.”
Sandberg visited Clemson last summer, and he said he came away with a more than favorable impression.

“I thought it was really nice,” he said. “The town itself was simple and the people were really nice. I liked how the practice fields were close to the stadium where the locker rooms are, and the campus itself was nice. I liked Clemson a lot.”The 2010 season was Sandberg’s first as a varsity starter, and he led Manatee (Bradenton, FL) to an undefeated regular season and a 13-1 overall finish as they lost to eventual state champ St. Thomas Aquinas in the state semi-finals. He replaced Brion Carnes, who wound up at Nebraska, but said he just went out and tried to be a leader.

Clemson’s offer came on a visit to Florida by Morris, who wanted to make sure Sandberg knew how the Tigers’ felt about him.

“It was during baseball season, and we were down in Port St. Lucie for the state tournament,” he said. “We had made it to the Final Four. Coach Morris was down there watching the game, and I talked to him after the game. He told me ‘You know what you have with us’ and he let me know they were going to make the offer. I like him a lot. He is a funny guy and a good guy. It seems like he is helping to create lots of excitement at Clemson, and I am excited to see what they are going to do.”

Sandberg said other schools have now joined the list of verbal offers, including Auburn, Cincinnati and Iowa St., but he said he will wait until his senior season to make a decision.

“I have been to both Auburn and Clemson and I like them both a lot,” he said. “But everything is always changing with coaches. I am going to go wherever feels good. I am going to make that decision my senior year, and how I feel could be totally different in two years.

“Right now, Clemson and Auburn both have great coaching staffs that seem like family. Those are the kinds of teams I want to be a part of. The coaches seem to get along with each other and have good relationships with the players. But right now, my focus is on Manatee and helping this team win.”

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