Uncle Dan's take

SUWANEE, Ga. - Dan Benish grew up outside of Youngstown, Ohio, dreaming that he would one day play football for The Ohio State University.

OT Mitch Hyatt Profile

When that option was no longer on the table, Benish began to look at his other options. At first, he never would have imagined going south of the Mason Dixon Line to do so.

"Though happenstance, I made it down to Clemson on a recruiting trip and fell in love with the place," Benish said. "I really had no intention of ever going down south. When I signed at Clemson, I didn't come into Clemson with all the hoopla. They had 30 scholarships that year and I signed the 30th scholarship, the last one they had available, so it was quite different."

Some thirty years later, his decision to sign with Danny Ford is still paying off for Clemson. His nephew, five-star offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt, committed to Dabo Swinney during a ceremony at North Gwinnett High School on Wednesday night.

Since arriving onto the recruiting scene during his sophomore season, Hyatt has been one of the most highly sought after offensive tackles in the class of 2015.

"I've been kind of a sounding board for him, somebody that has been through this before," Benish said. "As much as I love Clemson and I love what's happening right now, this is all his decision.

"He picked where he wanted. I made that very clear to him. I've just kind of shared some of my experiences with him and just kind of let him feel his way through this. He didn't have to commit this early, but he wanted to."

Hyatt committed to Clemson over a number offers, namely Ohio State, Georgia and Auburn. Benish had some pretty good options when he signed with Clemson.

"I visited West Virginia, Penn State, Michigan, North Carolina State, Arizona State," he said, But Clemson fit."

Benish went on to start at defensive tackle between William Perry and Dan Smith for Clemson's 1981 National Championship team.

After going undrafted in 1983, the Hubbard, Ohio native went on to play five season in the NFL for the Falcons and Redskins.

Now, it's Hyatt's turn to etch out a legacy at Clemson.

"He's going to make a name for himself," Benish said.

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