SAF Rob Billings (6-1 185) of Alpharetta, GA made his official visit to Clemson over the weekend. It was his second visit with the Tigers this year following an unofficial visit in early March. His mother joined him on the visit, and Billings did everything from kayaking on Lake Hartwell, to playing Madden at the apartment of Nate Wiggins, to touring downtown with player-hosts RJ Mickens and Tyler Venables, to having dinner and playing basketball at the house of head coach Dabo Swinney.
“Pretty big, very special,” Billings said. “He played basketball with us, so that was pretty cool. He can shoot really well. Not many head coaches take the time to sit down and talk to you, and he really took his time out of his day to talk to us about the program and what they can provide, what they have to offer for us. He’s a pretty fun guy. He and his wife are very good people. Everybody on the staff was really good people.”
Billings also noted that in meeting the coaching staff and support staff, many of them played at Clemson for Swinney, and he later took care of them by giving them jobs.
“When I graduate from Clemson, if I go there, I can come back on the staff and maybe get a job, because he really likes his former players to stay at Clemson,” Billings said. “Coach Swinney really stresses the importance of getting your degree and having a good education. Football has to come to an end one day, so after football you’re going to have a good degree and you’re going to take care of yourself and your family. He stressed that a lot.”
Billings also spent some extended time with safeties coach Mickey Conn, and that, too, was a beneficial part of his weekend.
“I watched some film with him, and he went over some coverages and some of the stuff in the playbook,” Billings said. “He said I need to watch film to be a smart player to get on the field a little bit earlier. I really enjoyed my time down at Clemson.”
Billings recently trimmed his list to Clemson, Florida State, Michigan, North Carolina, Duke, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Oregon. The weekend with the Tigers certainly improved their chances with him.
“They are definitely a top school in my recruitment,” Billings said. “Ever since they offered me, they’ve been recruiting me pretty hard, calling me consistently, hitting me up and just being in touch to see how everything is going. If I were to drop a top three, I think they would be in it. I’m still taking more visits to see more schools and see what they have to offer.”
Billings pointed out that he doesn’t plan to make a decision until a few games into his season, even though there’s the natural urge to rush to a commitment following a visit to a school.
“After a visit, you feel like oh yeah, this might be the place,” Billings said. “But that’s just off pure excitement. I’m pretty sure another school would be like that (the Clemson visit). Let me cool down a little bit and see how I feel about things and go from there.”
Billings said he’s in the process of lining up other visits and he’s talking primarily with Florida State, Ole Miss, Kentucky and Michigan.