By John Davis, Oxford Citizen
It didn’t take defensive end Rasool Clemons very long to feel comfortable with Ole Miss. Two weeks ago, Clemons was seemingly on the way to becoming a Virginia Cavalier.
Then, after the Clemons and Virginia mutually parted ways, Ole Miss was there to see if they could land his services. Jeremy West, Clemons’ coach at South Aiken High School, said Corey Batoon, recently promoted to coach the defensive backs along with Jason Jones, was at the high school on Martin Luther King Day to talk about where he could fit in.
Clemons was set to officially visit Oxford this coming weekend, but changed it up after meeting up with Batoon, who also included West in the discussions regarding the visit.
“We had been talking to (Batoon) the week before and he came in this last Monday, met me, met Rasool and his mom,” West said. “We moved the visit up to this past weekend and his mom went down with him. They had a great time from everything I heard from it.”
West told Batoon that Clemons was extremely loyal to whatever school he is committed to.
“He had LSU and all these other guys coming up and trying to still recruit him. He and Virginia just had a mutual parting and it wasn’t on his end. I don’t know what happened,” West said. “That’s when Ole Miss came on board and I know they’ve done a great job of recruiting the last couple of years. That’s a program that is definitely on the rise in the SEC.”
The same could be said about Clemons, who moved to Aiken from New Jersey just before his 10th grade year. West said Clemons had 90 solo tackles and 13 sacks this season. He also had a couple of interceptions to his credit due to his great hands.
“He’s real long. He’s got a 6-11 wingspan. He’s 6-6, about 205, so he could put some weight on,” West said. “The biggest thing with Rasool is he can play with his hand down or he can play standing up. That makes him real versatile. He can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 or he can put his hand down in a four-down line and rush the passer. A lot of guys can’t do that.”
West said to play in the SEC Clemons would have to put on weight. He added that he played with great leverage and good extension thanks to his long reach.
“He’s also got an explosive first couple of steps,” West said. “That’s what makes him so special at that position.”
Clemons did play tight end and wide receiver on offense, but Batoon has made it clear that they want to see Clemons start out as a defensive end. For more on Clemons’ commitment, see Thursday’s print edition of the Oxford Citizen.