If you’re looking for a do-it-all athlete, there were few better in 2008 than Statesville (NC) West Iredell standout PJ Clyburn.
The junior made plays all over the field last season en route to being named to the AP all-state team. On offense he hauled in 33 receptions for 468 yards and three scores. He also rushed 19 times for 166 yards and another touchdown.
On defense, Clyburn totaled 78 tackles and five interceptions- returning two for touchdowns. He was equally effective on special teams, finishing off the year with 12 kickoff returns for 643 yards and four TD’s.
That versatility has created an interesting dilemma for college coaches as they try to project Clyburn on the next level. Regardless of the position, the rising senior says he just wants the opportunity to play.
“Coaches tell me they’re fighting over where they want me to play,” he said. “They ask me what I want to play and I tell them it doesn’t really matter to me what I play. I’ll play both sides of the field as long as I’m in the game playing.”
To date, Clyburn has landed a trio of offers with several other schools expressing serious interest.
“So far I have offers from NC State, East Carolina and Illinois. UNC has shown a lot of interest. Clemson shows a lot. Tennessee and Duke along with Virginia and Virginia Tech are the main schools so far.”
Clyburn attended NC State’s junior day back in January and was in the stands for a couple of the Wolfpack’s games last season. He said the Pack has made a very favorable impression so far.
“I love the program,” he said. “I like it up there a lot. The coaches, they’re real and they get to the point. They don’t beat around the bush and I like coaches that do that. I have pretty good relationships with all of them already. They’re just some real coaches. I’m not sure which one is recruiting me because I get letters from all of them.
“I also know J.R. Sweezy. He played for Mooresville and I got to go against him my freshman year. He hit my a couple of times but I like the game of football so it was all good.”
With future trips planned to UNC, Illinois and East Carolina, Clyburn said he has three schools that have moved to the top of his favorite’s list in the early stages of the recruiting year.
“Probably State, Carolina and Illinois are the main ones right now. Carolina hasn’t offered me but those are the three I like. Carolina was one of my favorite teams growing up.”
Clyburn added that he doesn’t have any definite plans on when he hopes to make a commitment. For the time being, he’s simply enjoying the process.
“I don’t really have a timetable for a decision. I’m just going to wait until it’s the right time to do that.”
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