Recruiting the state of Miami

FT. LAUDERDALE - Between Dade and Broward Counties, there are plenty of high school football prospects to build an entire college program.

While Clemson won't try to build its foundation with South Florida prospects, the Tiger coaches will continue to mine the area for elite-level talent. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables heads up those efforts.

"I think we've chosen to be very selective," he said. "But I think it's important that the opportunity to recruit here is always there.

"We've had success in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland…that's where you can make your bread and butter, but there are some real difference makers down here if you can get your teeth sunk in."

Freshman cornerback Adrian Baker is the only player on the current roster from the Miami area. His former high school teammate, four-star senior outside linebacker Richard Yeargin III, is a Clemson target.

There are Clemson offers out to several 2015 targets from Dade and Broward Counties, including four-star quarterback Torrance Gibson, four-star wide receiver Da'vante Phillips, four-star cornerback Tyrek Cole and four-star safety Tavarus McFadden.

"My experience, with kids down here, they're a little bit more low maintenance, have a hunger and an edge to them that you like, where football is their sanctuary," Venables said.

And there are plenty to go around, that's for sure.

The former Oklahoma defensive coordinator has recruited in some of the top states around the country, in terms of producing top-flight high school football talent.

"In a place like the state of Texas, which I've recruited heavily, kids are a little bit more ‘polished' or closer to what they're going to be, from a maturation standpoint," Venables said. "They've got weight lifting and football practice in their school that day, [and] then they've got practice afterwards. They don't have that, if anywhere, at many places down here."

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