Tigers in strong position with Fla. DE

Months before he was to be given his official offer, this Venice, Fla. defensive end knew one from Clemson would be his way on Sept. 1.

DE Clay Burton Profile

Venice High School 2011 defensive end Clay Burton already has an early list of offers to his name that also includes, Purdue, Stanford and Florida International University.

Though he'd like an offer from Florida, where his brother Trey just enrolled early, he's not a guarantee he will head to Gainesville if one comes his way.

"I would actually have to do what's best for me. If they offer me, it'd be an honor. I'm just going to ride this thing out and see who's my favorite," he said.

As it stands right now, Clemson sits in what's looking to be pretty favorable position.

"Coach (Jeff) Scott came down the spring of my sophomore year to recruit some of the older players on my team," Burton said. "He came down, really liked me, told my coach, and my coach told me."

That was the first "big-time" school to commit to making an offer.

"It definitely means a lot. When I was a sophomore, I was a lot worse than I am right now," Burton said. "It was just them taking the time and noticing the potential I have, and how good a player they think I can be."

Burton said he and Scott speak often over the phone and are currently building a "good" relationship.

Up to Clemson for the Florida State game, Burton plans to be in town again for the junior day that's scheduled along with the spring game.

The 40-24 win over the Seminoles isn't the only game he saw in person this past season. He also saw the Tigers play in Raymond James Stadium for the ACC Championship.

To no surprise, Burton's interest in Clemson is pretty high, to say the least.

"I watched basically all of those I got down here on TV. I watched all those, made sure I sat down with my mom, and we watched the bowl game when they beat Kentucky," he said. "I pretty much either, checked on ESPN the next day, or looked on the ticker. I followed them really closely."

Of course, watching Clemson on television and in the ACC Championship doesn't quite compare to what he felt watching in Death Valley.

"You feel like you're ready to play once you watch them run down the hill and touch the rock. It was awesome," Burton said.

The Tiger coaching staff has made a favorable impression too.

"All the coaching staff is such nice people. Coach (Dabo) Swinney, coach (Chris) Rumph and coach Scott, they're all nice people, great men, and Christians," he said. "They just make you feel at home when you go up there."

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