With Clemson’s success over the years, Tiger recruiting has become more national than regional. One of the fastest-rising prospects in the country hails from Kansas and Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is looking towards his home state for a dynamic playmaker. That search has Venables checking out Jaren Kanak (6-2, 210) a talented 3-star athlete out of Hays (KS).
“I heard from them about three weeks ago, a little over three weeks ago, maybe a month,” Kanak says of his most recent contact with the Tigers. “Coach Venables, contacted me first, he’s a Kansas guy. He grew up in Salina, or lived in Salina for awhile, and has those Kansas ties, which is cool. And he mentioned Isaiah Simmons. Everybody in Kansas knows who that guy is and looks up to him. So, I know quite a bit about him.”
Kanak can play anywhere from linebacker to safety or a hybrid of both, and his offer list continues to grow. He has offers from both in-state Power 5 programs, along with schools like Nebraska, Iowa, Penn State, Colorado, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Kentucky, Arizona, Virginia, Wisconsin, Florida, Southern Cal and Texas A&M.
He caught Venables’ eye recently with a blistering time during a conference track meet.
“That would have been in Liberal, KS at our conference meet, and I ran a 10.37 laser-timed 100 meter,” Kanak said. “I’ve always been pretty naturally quick and fast, and I was always a fast kid growing up. I always loved and enjoyed sports and grow passion for it. So I do all kinds of things just to improve on that speed that was already God given. I do all kinds of speed drills, speed workouts. I go hard in the weight room, that type of thing. All that work I put in, it’s showing on the track.”
The 2022 prospect says he doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into one spot on the field.
“I’m not really too sure on a specific position. I like to think of myself as a pretty versatile player,” he said. “That’s what Coach Venables describes me as. He says that I could do a lot in their defense, whether it be rover, safety, line backer, or float around in between, just do a little bit of all of them. But I don’t have a specific idea yet, but I think I could definitely push myself and develop myself into either one of those.”
When asked what the next step in his Clemson recruitment entails, Kanak understands that the ball is in his court for now.
“He (Venables) obviously said that he really loves the way I play the game, and my track numbers, and what I’ve put on film so far, and thinks I’m a real versatile guy,” Kanak says. “I think the biggest thing is just making sure that I’m a committable offer and that I’m really committed to come in that far. And he basically said that what they want to do is set up a visit and see if I’m willing to come down for an unofficial visit and take the time and money out of our pockets to come down and prove to them that I’m committed to the idea of going that far. And he wanted me to come down and do some drills and stuff and said that they’d see about an offer. He wants to make sure that I’m committed to that distance and come down for that unofficial.”
That means a trip to Dabo Swinney’s high school camp in June, where Kanak is hoping to prove to the Clemson coaches that he’s ready to go the extra mile.
“We’ve actually already bought plane tickets and booked it. June 1st is unofficial Clemson, so I’m heading down there June 1st,” Kanak noted in laying out his itinerary. “It’s just a great opportunity to get on a campus like that and be around some of those guys that have had that much success, not only what they do on the field, but off the field. I’m really looking forward to getting around to that stuff and taking it all in. And then at the same time, getting up there and moving around and working out in front of these guys that have developed amazing NFL talent in the past, and showcasing what I can do for them.”