Swinney, Venables seal the deal

Clemson's newest addition, Oklahoma linebacker transfer Kellen Jones, committed to the Tigers on Wednesday, thanks to the joint effort by Dabo Swinney and Brent Venables.

LB Kellen Jones Profile

Jones, who played for Venables at Oklahoma last season, visited Clemson earlier this month after receiving permission to transfer from Norman.

On Thursday morning, CUTigers spoke with his father, Sean Jones, about the decision.

"It really came down to familiarity, trust and belief in coach Venables," Sean said. "He and coach Venables have a really special relationship, a close relationship. They really see eye-to-eye and speak the same language. It's kind of funny. When they watch film together, they kind of complete each others' sentences. It's really kind of spooky."

Clemson wasn't Jones' only option. Purdue and Arkansas also offered the former four-star prospect.

"I was blessed with several different schools to choose to transfer to but two schools stood out to me, Purdue University and Clemson University," Kellen said in a statement to CUTigers. "I visited both campuses and had a great time interacting with both coaching staff's and the players at both universities. I could not go wrong with either school."

The relationship with Venables, as Sean noted, was a big factor.

"I am grateful to coach [Danny] Hope of Purdue and coach [Bob] Stoops of Oklahoma and I wish both programs much success," Kellen said. "My decision came down to familiarity and trust. I believe both coaching staff's are knowledgeable and passionate about football and about building young boys into men.

"But, in the end, I know coach Brent Venables. I believe in coach V. I trust coach V. My parents trust and believe in Coach V and I know he will help me become a better player and teammate. Everything coach V told me and my parents about the kind of positive and supportive environment coach Swinney has constructed at Clemson is absolutely true."

It was that official visit to Clemson that helped make it a done deal.

"It had a great deal to do with the type of positive person and inspiring person that coach Swinney is," Sean said. "Those were Kellen's words. ‘He's so positive and inspiring. He looks you straight in the face and you can feel what he's saying to you.'"

Sean added, "We were watching Clemson a couple of times during Kellen's junior and senior year. He said to me, ‘Pops, that'd be a fun guy to play for. I think he has fun coaching football. The guys have fun. He's passionate. He's like one of the players.'"

Kellen, who was the No. 12 middle linebacker in 2011, according to Scout.com, looks forward to playing for Swinney.

"Coach Swinney is a truly awesome person to talk to and I believe he will lead us to many incredible seasons and we'll have tons of fun doing it," he said. "I am extremely excited about the opportunity to work hard with my Tiger teammates towards winning several more ACC titles, or as coach Swinney says, "Another Clemson Championship.

"I am all in."

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