UVA Commit Dreamed of Playing for Harbaugh

Aiken (S.C.) South defensive end Rasool Clemons has been committed to Virginia for almost five months, but that didn’t stop Michigan from getting on the phone last week to express its interest. Now the Maize & Blue has a seat among his finalists.

When Rasool Clemons committed to Virginia back in August he thought that his recruitment would slow down some.  He thought wrong.  In the months since he pledged to the Cavaliers, interest from other schools steadily intensified.  His performance during his senior season played a major in amplifying that interest.

“Everything went well.  I think I had like 110 tackles, I think 25 for a loss, about ten sacks, I think.”

“When I committed to Virginia that’s when LSU started showing me love.  Florida was talking to me on Twitter and Missouri talked to me on Twitter.  “I visited Clemson, Florida State, Tennessee, LSU.”

All of those programs now dot his offer list.  One look at Clemons on the football field and it’s easy to see why.  The Palmetto State star stands 6-6, weighs, 215 pounds, and covers 40 yards in just under 4.7 seconds.  His game has drawn comparisons to that of a player who Jim Harbaugh is very familiar with.

“The dude from the 49ers, (Aldon) Smith,” said Clemons. “#99.”

That’s one of the reasons why Clemons is looking at Harbaugh’s return to Ann Arbor in a particularly favorable light.  He holds Michigan’s new headman in extremely high regard

Said Clemons, “(Harbaugh) and Les Miles was always like my dream coach to play for.”

So it should come as no surprise that the sudden contact from the Maize & Blue has vaulted the Wolverines into prime contention. 

“LSU, Virginia, and Michigan… those are my top three if Michigan offers me,” said Clemons. “I’m just waiting until Coach Chris (Singletary) calls my coach and set (a visit) up.”

Clemons also plans return trips to Virginia and LSU in the coming weeks.  While he still considers himself a Virginia commitment, he admits his is unsure of where he’ll end up.

“UVA was just different,” Clemons said explaining his commitment.  “With the recruits they’ve got now and adding me, we could put VA on the map.”

“But Les Miles… I really grew up watching LSU and Michigan.  I grew up a Tyrann Mathieu fan.  Then we went down to visit and everything was just different… just southern style. I felt at home overnight.”

“But I grew up watching Michigan too.  I would love to play in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.  I just feel like the bad season that Michigan had… we could flip that around in the next three years if I decided to come.”
In his preliminary conversations with the new coaching staff in Ann Arbor Clemons has already been given a good idea of what his role would be>

“I think I talked to the defensive coordinator (and he said) straight away what position I would be playing at,” stated Clemons.  “In a 3-4 I’d be standing up.  In a 4-3 I would have my hand in the dirt.”

It’s a plan that Clemons definitely finds enticing, but first things first.  It will take an offer and a strong visit for Michigan to have a strong chance to come out the victor.

Said Clemons, “It will come down to if I felt comfortable and said, ‘yeah, I see myself going there.  A school that has got everything, on the field and off the field.  Is it a place that I would be comfortable at?  I just want to be comfortable and (know) I can see myself going there if I didn’t have football.”

And a non-factor in Clemons’ determination of comfort is cold weather.

“I’m from New Jersey anyway,” he said proudly.  “I just moved to South Carolina.”

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