New Kensington (Pa.) wide receiver Toney Clemons (6-3, 185, 4.4) denies a leader but said he favors Michigan, Notre Dame, Miami, Pittsburgh, Ohio State and USC. He claims to have written offers from Pittsburgh, Mississippi, Akron and Connecticut.
“Right now, I am wide open. A big name school isn’t really an issue for me,” said the Valley Senior High School wide-out. “It’s whatever is the best fit for me in the scheme of things. I want to look at everyone on an equal basis and then slowly narrow it down. People don’t realize how hard this can be. This is my future and there are so many great schools and I can only pick one.
“Michigan is definitely one of the top schools I’m looking at,” Clemons said. “I’ve been following them since I was little. I just got off the phone with Coach Erik Campbell . He told me that he really liked my film. I’ve talked to them a lot. The first letter I got from Michigan was handwritten from Coach (Scott) Loeffler. That really stuck with me. Also, I like that they have such a winning tradition. I’m hoping to get an offer soon. That’s what it sounds like, but I don’t want to say for sure because I don’t want to jinx it."
“Notre Dame is seriously up there. I talk to them on a daily basis, especially Coach (John) Latina. He told me that he and Coach (Charlie) Weis are going to come out this spring to see me play. I really like the campus. It’s such a stress-free campus. I mean, it’s in the middle of nowhere so you really can’t get into trouble.”
Clemons said he is wants to try to take official visits to USC, Miami and Ohio State. “I want to focus my visits on schools that are far away, places that I can’t normally drive to… like Southern California.
“I really like USC. They produce the very best athletes,” he said. “They’ve had a good offense for year. They are champions. For an athlete, USC is the school you want to go to and jump in right away and win…just to experience what it feels like to be a part of something huge…to be a champion. I haven’t talked to them yet, but I have got mail from them. I know they have my tape and are looking at it.
“Miami is just Miami. There is just an aura about them,” Clemons said. “It’s such a beautiful state. They have the best athletes and great coaches. They are a lot like USC. It is such a prestigious program, something you want to be a part of. I haven’t talked with them personally, but they send me a lot of mail and e-mails.
“I really like Ohio State. There is so much tradition there. I love the location of the school. Ohio is a really cool state. I have relatives that live in Columbus. I’m in constant contact with the coaches. They text me and e-mail me all the time and they came to see me play last season. They told me that I am high on their list and that I’m the kind of athlete that will fit them team.”
Clemons received an offer from Pittsburgh in December. “Pitt is my hometown hero school. I know so much about them since I live about 30 minutes away from the campus. My sister goes there so I know the campus and city really well. I went to the Scout.com combine there in February and came away with MVP honors. I talk to them all the time.”
Clemons said that he plans to make his decision public at the All-American game, if invited. Otherwise, he will make it closer to Signing Day (the first Wednesday of Feb.) He plans on going to the Nike Elite combine if it doesn’t conflict with his track schedule.
“It gets a little confusing because I’m getting recruited by some schools for both football and track,” Clemons said. “Right now, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State and Indiana are recruiting me for track. I’ve sent the track questionnaire back in the football envelope and vice-versa.”
Final junior (7-3) stats: 666 yards/43 catches/13 TDs
Clemons reports a 3.0 core GPA/April first time SAT.