Clemson took advantage of their home game with Georgia Tech last weekend to entertain one of their top offensive line targets in Elyjah Thurmon (6-5 275) of Hinesville, GA. The visit marked his third to the campus this year. He camped in June and took in the Florida State game in September. This visit allowed Thurmon to take a deep dive into the program, and a number of things stood out.
“How everybody around is a family, from the coaches to their families, to the players, they welcomed us in with open arms as if we were a part of the family,” Thurmon said. “They see me playing multiple positions on the line. They said the skill set that I have is something you can’t really teach, and it would be a great asset to have me as part of the offensive line and part of the Clemson family. I’m something that they need especially losing a couple of linemen, because some are graduating, and they don’t know if two or three of the ones who are graduating are returning or not. So, something that they are looking for are offensive linemen that they need.”
Thurmon kept a close watch on offensive line coach Thomas Austin during the game to see how he handled his guys. The two also got a chance to spend a lot of time together over the weekend.
“He can be a real chill guy, he can be laid back and have fun with you,” Thurmon said. “He is also going to get on you and be serious to try to get you to where you want to be, which is I want to go to the NFL. He’s a coach that I know can get me there from the guys he’s coaching right now and the guys he’s coached before.”
Thurmon also got to spend time with Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney whose message was more about life beyond football than what he could do for the Clemson football program.
“Even if anything happens, or God forbid anything happens to me to lose the ability to play football, I would still be a part of the family,” Thurmon said. “Education is the biggest thing, so if I were to graduate, he likes us to come back, and I can walk back in with no issue. Coach Swinney has a 98% graduation rate from all football players he’s coaches since he’s been there. How serious they are about players keeping their grades up, that stood out to me because my education is important to me.”
Thurmon still has more recruiting ahead of him, but the visit has the Tigers in a position to be there with him at the end.
“It puts Clemson in my top three schools right now,” he said. “I still want to take a couple of more official visits before I make a top three and then finally make a decision. But right now, they are high on my radar right now.”
One of those official visits will be to USC on December 8th. Thurmon said he and Gamecocks offensive line coach Lonnie Teasley remain in contact.
“I talked to coach Teasley after our last game that we played, and he just really wanted me to get up there to see everything so I could possibly become a Gamecock,” Thurmon said. “He said I’m one of the guys that can be an SEC type of guy and also make it to the league with his coaching.”
Thurmon said Georgia Tech is another school he would like to see with an official visit, but no date has been set. He did visit Tech unofficially in July.
Asked if he had a number one at this point, Thurmon said he couldn’t really identify one right now because he still had those other official visits he wants to make.