Pearman, Tigers move on legacy WR

The Clemson coaching staff, led by tight ends coach Danny Pearman, have quickly moved in to offer a familiar name for Tiger fans.

When Clemson tight ends coach Danny Pearman left a message for Valdosta High School's Jay Rome to call him back last week, the 6-foot-6, 230-pound sophomore could not contain his excitement.

"It meant a lot to me," Rome said "I was ecstatic. Ever since I was little, Clemson has been one of the places that I have wanted to go."

So Rome jumped at the chance to call Pearman back and the two had what he described "was a very good conversation." So good in fact, Pearman offered the member of the 2011 class a scholarship.

"He said, ‘I know you are just a sophomore, but when you get ready to make that decision I just want to let you know that you have a scholarship here at Clemson,'" Rome recalled.

Clemson becomes just the third school to offer Rome, joining Florida State and Georgia who offered just a few weeks before. Rome says his offer from Clemson is special because Clemson was the first school to send him mail.

If the name Rome sounds familiar to the Clemson fans, that's because it should. His dad is former two-sport star Stan Rome, who played football and basketball for Clemson back in the mid-to-late 1970s.

Like his father, Jay Rome too is a two-sport star for the Wildcats.

With him leading the way, Valdosta (Ga.) is 28-1 overall and will play in the Sweet 16 of the Georgia State Playoffs Wednesday night. Rome is averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds a game and was just recently named Region 1-AAAAA's Player of The Year.

He also made the all-region team as a freshman as well.

Rome's basketball skills are beginning to catch the eyes of college coaches too. Clemson's Oliver Purnell and his staff have already been in contact with his high school basketball coach as have Georgia Tech, Georgia and Florida.

New tight ends coach Danny Pearman, a former Tiger himself, offered 2011 wide receiver Jay Rome, son of former Tiger Stan Rome, a scholarship last week.
Rome isn't sure he can play both sports in college, but he would not mind the challenge if it is a possibility.

"I think it would be quite difficult to play two sports, but if I could that would be great," he said. "I love both basketball and football."

Clemson's connection with Rome doesn't end with his father and basketball. Rome said his brother Brandon Frye of the Miami Dolphins played for Pearman when the new Clemson assistant was an assistant coach at Virginia Tech.

"He was just telling me a little bit about Clemson, stuff I know quite a bit about because of my dad, but he was telling me different stuff and about my grades. He also told me about the tutoring and the academic success they have at Clemson," said Rome, who is an honors student at Valdosta.

An all-region tight end on the football field, Rome isn't satisfied with his game. Thanks to the knowledge his father picked up during his four years as a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, he knows there is still plenty of work to be done.

"I can always do better," he said. "There is always something I can do better. My Dad is always telling me I can get better with my route running and being able to read the defenses better and knowing where my blocks are and knowing where to get to them.

"Overall, I can do everything to get better and I'm going to work hard to do it."

And who knows, maybe he will be wearing the paw – Valdosta has a black wildcat paw on their helmet that resembles Clemson's tiger paw – for another four years after his high school career is over.

"And I would still be playing at Death Valley," he said. "It may not be the same Death Valley, but it is a Death Valley. Our field down here in Valdosta has been nicknamed Death Valley since the beginning of Wildcat football."

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