#STRecruiting: Offer puts #Clemson in lead group for Florida corner

Earl Little Jr.

Earl Little Jr. (6-0 175) is one of the top corner prospects in the country. He’s rated a four-star in the 247Sports Composite and ranked 12th nationally among corners. He recently named a top six of LSU, Southern Cal, Alabama, Florida State, Miami and Florida. But Clemson offered late last week, and now there’s a change in his top six.

“Getting that offer affected me,” Little said.  “That was an offer I had been waiting for. Me dropping without my top six without them there, I consider that they are definitely in the running now.  That’s big.  I’ve definitely bumped somebody.  I’d say Florida State.”

Clemson’s winning ways, history of developing defensive backs for the NFL and success in recruiting south Florida had put the Tigers on Little’s board. All he needed to know was that he was on their offer board before he could allow himself to become more serious.

“That was just a team I always looked at,” Little said.  “A team of that pedigree, I’ve always wanted to play for a team of that pedigree.  They are in the ACC and they are not too far.  I’ve always liked Clemson.”

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed made the contact with Little regarding the offer. The three of them had a phone call last week of nearly two hours, and that’s when the offer was relayed.

“We were on the phone for about an hour and forty minutes just chopping it up going thru what the school has to offer,” Little said.  “The training facilities and stuff like that.  And they were talking about their family tradition they have going at Clemson.”

Little has big-time pedigree in his football background. His father played at Miami and in the NFL for seven full seasons and had 18 career interceptions. And like his father, Earl Jr. believes he plays with a nose for the football, something the Clemson coaches also noticed.

“Coach Venables likes that I’m a very aggressive player,” Little said.  “I like to stick my nose in there.  If I need to play the slot position, it’s called the Cheetah position at Clemson that sticks the slot receiver, they could put me there.  If I need to go to corner, they’ll put me at corner and move the safety over the top of me.  And if I need to go to safety, they’ll put me at safety, too.  Coach Venables loves that I can play all three positions.  And I like to tackle.”

Little has scheduled four his official visits. He had five but plans to cut the one at Florida State he had scheduled for September 25th. The others are Southern Cal June 11th, Florida September 18th, LSU October 2nd and Alabama November 6th. He wants to get to Clemson this summer and also take an official visit in the fall. Little said he has some definite boxes to check off with the schools he visits.

“Somewhere not too far from home.  Somewhere where I can go in and compete for a starting job.  Stability in coaches.  And a solid foundation.  That’s pretty much it. I haven’t put too much thought into what I want to major in, so I’m not too sure about that yet.”

Little said he’s not looking to make his decision until around the national signing day.

Last season, Little said he missed four games due to injuries. He estimated having about 30 tackles and 4 interceptions.

Other Notes:

  • Clemson target TE Holden Staes of Atlanta committed to Notre Dame.
  • Former Northwestern RB Jerry Howard Jr. transferring from Georgia Tech to Towson.
  • Former Presbyterian DB Oka Emmanwori announced a transfer to Wofford.
  • 6-4 Maya Nnaji of Hopkins, MN plans to announce her college commitment Monday, and USC is among the 13 schools she’s been considering.  Her sister plays for Arizona.  The others on her list are Stanford, Florida, UCLA, Georgia, Illinois, Louisville, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon and Virginia. She’s a five-star rated prospect and ranked #7 nationally by ESPN.  She averaged 20 points per game this past season.

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