#STRecruiting: Patience pays off for #Clemson running back target

Justice Haynes

The Clemson staff has been patient with its offers in the 2023 class, and one of the top running backs in the country has been anxiously waiting for an offer that recently came from the Tigers.

Justice Haynes visited Clemson on June 1st, and the 4-star picked up a Clemson offer last week during a FaceTime call with running backs coach CJ Spiller. The 5-10, 185-pound back from Roswell (GA) Blessed Trinity Catholic is currently listed as the No. 64 player overall and the No. 3 running back in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the ’23 class.

Haynes has been in contact with Clemson since last fall, building a strong relationship with Spiller during that time. Although Spiller has been the main point of contact during Haynes’ recruitment, the entire offensive staff has been involved with the 4-star back.

“Me and Coach Spiller have built a really strong relationship over the past month. So, I Face Timed him, and he extended the offer,” Haynes says in discussing the offer. “One thing that he told me was that patience is something they teach you in the Bible. I’ve been talking to Clemson since October, so to finally get that offer meant a lot. Coach Spiller told me that I’m his guy that he wants in this class. They are all about family over there. Coach (Tony) Elliot is still heavily involved in everything, and everything they do is cohesive. They do it all together. I’ve been on calls with the whole offensive staff. When I was there, I met with Coach Elliot and all of the other coaches too, not just Coach Spiller. They are all about doing things together and they all have to sign off on it.”

Haynes’ visit to Clemson came on the first day of on-campus recruiting resuming, and the rising junior left impressed with the Clemson program.

“It’s a family atmosphere and it’s just the culture around there,” Haynes reflected in discussing his visit to Clemson. “They do things differently. The people were great, and the facilities were off the chart. Everything was amazing and I loved it there. They love that I’m great in the classroom. And on the field speaks for itself is what they say. They like how I carry myself off the field because they know players can play. For them, it’s about their character, their grades, and what they are all about.”

The Georgia native has over twenty offers with Clemson joining the likes of Georgia, Ohio State, and Alabama as teams to extend an offer. USC also has offered. Haynes plans to take his recruitment slow, and the overall feeling of the school will be a big factor in his decision.

“The culture and how the coaches are going to make me a better player,” Haynes details in what he is looking for in a school. “I know they are going to make me a better player on the field, but also if they are going to prepare me for life and make me a better man. And the locker room environment and the people around the program. Not just the football staff, but the people all around the campus. Also, the academics and the coaching staff.”

Travis Etienne left Clemson with his name all over the record books on his way to being selected in the first-round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Clemson found multiple ways to utilize Etienne, and Haynes believes that he brings that same kind of versatility to the position.

“I love how they spread their running back out and not just pound it inside all of the time,” he said. “They can go outside, and they also run routes and catch balls. I can do it all. I can block, I can run between the tackles, and I can outrun you. I can run routes and I can go catch the ball. I can do whatever the team needs me to do.”

Haynes plans to come to Clemson for a game this season and hopes to be in attendance for the Clemson-Georgia season opener. He says that he has built a good relationship with every coach to which he has spoken, and there are a few schools with which he has kept in contact on a weekly basis and feels very comfortable. He took an unofficial visit to LSU in June.

Over the course of nine games during his sophomore season, Haynes finished with 175 carries for 1,790 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns. Along with being a star on the football field, Haynes is a 4.0 student and a top-ranked national player on the baseball field as a pitcher and outfielder. 

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