LB Vonta Bentley of Birmingham has been one of Clemson’s leading targets for the position throughout this recruiting season. Earlier this month he came in for a visit, had extensive meetings with Dabo Swinney and Brent Venables, and met with the University President Jim Clemens. All that attention has Clemson in great shape with him.
“Clemson leads because they are showing the most love, being real with me,” Bentley said. “They said that they need me and want me and that means a lot to me. If other schools step up to the plate like that and say the same thing then I’ll know I’m a need for their program. Other schools that I go to I probably won’t have the opportunity to meet with the president. Just the fact that I can do that and other schools, I didn’t have the opportunity. And then, I talk with Coach Swinney a lot, and he’s the head coach, and other schools, I won’t hardly talk to a coach other than Auburn. Other than that, like Alabama, Memphis, some like that, I wouldn’t be talking to the coach. Probably shake their hand and say a few words, that might be it.”
Bentley said this last visit to Clemson allowed him to visit with some of the players and get their take on what the program has to offer.
“The visit went good,” he said. “I spent the night with two other players, both of them were freshmen, and we talked about why they chose Clemson. Also was around, I forgot his name, #42 (Christian Wilkins). Just talking to those guys was a big impact and just being around them. And me and Coach Venables were watching some linebacker drills (at camp) for about three hours or so and talked a little football.”
Bentley said the Clemson contact with him has been constant. He was really impressed by the recent efforts of his recruiter Todd Bates.
“I talk to Coach Bates a lot and the fact that he is real with me with recruiting, even when a linebacker commits, he’s been real with me telling me who committed,” Bentley said. “He sends me their information. Just being real. He called me today and he was saying he just got off vacation, that even though he’s on vacation he’s still going to talk to me and try to reach out to me. That’s a big impact that he’s taking time out to do that when he’s not at work.”
Bentley plans to return to Clemson for the All-In Cookout in late July. Alabama has been his only other visits thus far though he had planned to go to LSU last Friday before that trip fell thru. And he might visit Tennessee at some point.
Bentley said LSU would be the closest competition for Clemson at this point. He does not plan to make a summer decision.