It's not often a young man takes the time to appreciate what opportunities he has, but not every young man is like Jacksonville's Brent Benedict.
The Bolles School (Fla.) offensive linemen is being recruited by just about every school in the Southeast, including Florida, Georgia, Clemson, South Carolina, North Carolina, Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech as well as Michigan State, Notre Dame and UCLA nationally.
"I have been very blessed to have so many opportunities," Benedict told CUTigers.com Monday evening.
That's why the four-star lineman isn't taking any chances and is currently on a college tour with his father, Ed Benedict, to make sure he has all the information he needs to make the best decision for himself come next February.
"There are just so many great schools and opportunities and all kinds of different setups that I'm kind of excited to be able to go around and take a look at what different schools have to offer," Brent Benedict said.
One of those schools is Clemson, where Benedict spent Monday touring the campus. After arriving at Clemson around 9 a.m., he spent the entire day with recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott, who showed him everything Clemson has to offer.
Benedict visited the WestZone, the McFadden Center, Vickery Hall, the student union and all the other great Clemson facilities and landmarks.
"It is a very nice campus and I was very impressed by everything that I saw," he said.
Benedict was also especially impressed with offensive line coach Brad Scott and head coach Dabo Swinney. Scott allowed him to sit in on the offensive line's meeting and saw how the Tigers go over everything prior to practice.
"I saw a lot of similarities between my high school coach and Coach Scott, which is a positive," Benedict said. "They were definitely a tight group of guys in there and that was definitely a positive for me.
"I stayed about an hour to an hour half for practice. I was impressed with Coach Scott's technique and how he coached and talked to the guys. He seemed he was definitely effective in what he was doing."
Swinney met up with Benedict for about 45 minutes Monday morning, then briefly spoke with him again before practice and then came by and talked for about 20 minutes during practice.
"I appreciate him taking that kind of time out to meet with me," Benedict said. "With coach Swinney there now, they definitely have a very good coaching staff and it seems like everything has fallen into place for them to have a strong program.
"I really liked what I saw today and I know I will comeback at least one more time to kind of look around."
Benedict isn't sure when that date will be, but with family living in the Upstate, he says that makes Clemson a little bit easier for a visit than some of the other schools. That reason, and the fact, he knows some of the players like kicker Richard Jackson and quarterback Michael Wade, gives Clemson an edge no other school has.
"I feel I can definitely fit in there," he said.
He was also a teammate of long snapper Matt Skinner back at The Bolles School in Jacksonville.
"I know some guys on the team that played where I was close to growing up and that may weigh into it, but mainly the program is what I'm focused on," the former Greenville area resident said.
Up next, Benedict plans to visit Virginia Tech Tuesday before coming back down and visiting North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest. So far he has only visited Florida and Georgia before his trip to Clemson.
He said each school has its own strengths. He said Florida's facilities and recent success with national championships is definitely a plus. He likes Georgia's football traditions and heritage and the size of Athens.
As for Clemson, he likes the fact that it is a small college town with a strong football program and of course the great traditions. He says Clemson is a little bit different because of Vickery Hall and that's something he really likes.
"I have been told by numerous people, former players and coaches, that it is very difficult being a student athlete," Benedict said. "They definitely have the academic support there to go along with the tutoring and everything else. That is definitely a plus."
As for which school he likes the most?
"I have liked everything I have seen with all of those schools," Benedict said. "I just think it is going to be a tough decision to make, but with so many great schools, it is going to be hard to make a wrong decision. I will have to see how it goes from this point on."
Four-star OL loves Clemson trip
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