CB James Valdez Profile
South Carolina, UNC and N.C. State already have.
Neither of the two Clemson coaches who stopped by Lake Marion High School last month delivered the news that Valdez has been hoping to receive since popping up on the Clemson radar around this time a year ago.
Defensive ends coach Marion Hobby visited first. Defensive backs coach Mike Reed later watched a practice.
"After coach Hobby came, he was like, ‘We want to offer you. We're just waiting.' Then coach Reed came to practice and he was talking and was like, ‘We're waiting on our [defensive coordinator] to approve of the offer.' But [Reed] said that if it was up to [him], I would already have an offer," Valdez said, during a recent interview with CUTigers.
In addition to Clemson, South Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Tech, UNC, N.C. State and Alabama were also by the school last month.
Clemson has been on Valdez the longest. Despite the lack of an offer, he's got plenty of interest in the Tigers. A Dabo Swinney Football Camp participant in each of the last two summers, he'll return later this month for a one-day stop.
"Clemson, it's great. I like the facilities. It's just like home. It feels just like home up there in Clemson," Valdez said. "Everybody is so close and the relationships they have with the recruits is great. Anytime they talk, it just makes me laugh, because I feel like I'm a part of it already."
While in town, Valdez will get a chance to reconnect with former high school teammate Mike Williams, as well as Jadar Johnson, who's from right up the road in Orangeburg.
"Mike, Jadar and I, when they came down for their summer break, we talked. I was asking them like, ‘Why haven't y'all pulled the trigger yet?' They were just like, ‘It's coming.' They talk about me so much up there," Valdez said. "I'm, like, one of their top five cornerbacks in my class on their list. [Williams] was like, don't worry about it. He just told me to be patient, be humble.
"Mike and I, ever since he was at Lake Marion, he started me off with the 1-on-1s and the things like that, things that got me to perform well in the games."
As a sophomore, Valdez had 51 tackles, two interceptions and seven pass breakups. On the offensive side of the ball, he rushed 24 times for 310 yards with four touchdowns. Valdez also caught 32 passes for 625 yards with eight scores.
Ready for that Clemson offer
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