#STRecruiting: What’s up with Hilton Head LB Jaylen Sneed?

Jaylen Sneed

The turn of events at Notre Dame Monday night could have an impact on LB Jaylen Sneed (6-3 220) of Hilton Head. He has been committed to the Irish since July, but now that Brian Kelly is moving to LSU, the door might be open for other programs, like USC, to make a run. Hilton Head coach BJ Payne said Monday night it’s a little soon to determine who Sneed is going to react to Kelly’s departure.

“Him and I talked on the phone and there are so many variables and factors that go into something like this,” Payne said.  “You wait until something is official and then you start looking at the million different ways and different avenues that can go with this.  I’ve been thru this with a player before, so I talk to him and tell him to relax.  Poona Ford went thru the same thing.  He was committed to Louisville and then Coach (Charlie) Strong took the job at Texas.  There’s nothing that can be done on a Monday night at 9:00 PM.  We’ll see what happens and see who ends up where.  There’s going to be a lot of changes.”

Gamecock head coach Shane Beamer and defensive coordinator Clayton White have been actively working Sneed the past few weeks. Sneed went to a pair of games in Columbia this season including last Saturday’s rivalry match with Clemson.

“Coach Beamer has done a fantastic job recruiting him,” Payne said.  “I’ve known Clayton White for 15 years.  He recruited one of my kids in Ohio when he was at Stanford.  We talked a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of coaching changes and what he would possibly do, including staying with Notre Dame.  He said there was a possibility of some programs he’d be interested in.  Clayton and Shane have done an amazing job, they just got in so late.  The advantage Notre Dame had is that they had Marcus Freeman.  Marcus Freeman was his first offer his freshman year at Cincinnati.”

Payne added that while there may be some interest in USC by Sneed, he wasn’t looking to break his commitment to the Irish, and he made that clear to both parties.

“Notre Dame knew both times he went to games, he cleared it with Notre Dame before he went to games,” Payne said.  “It has been made known to me that he has let the South Carolina staff know that he is a thousand percent committed to going to Notre Dame.  Today changes some things, maybe.  On the flip side of that, South Carolina is looking at him as the number one player in the state, and if he wants to come up for games, of course they are going to give him tickets.  And his sister goes to school there, and he goes up to see her.  He takes a couple of buddies up and he gets free tickets and goes to the game.”  

Sneed took official visits to Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee in June, and Payne pointed out that he really liked the Oregon visit. As for coaches coming in this week, Payne said White and Freeman are expected in, though the schedule could change for Freeman considering the circumstances.

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