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Clemson Football Recruiting

Sammy Brown on his Clemson offer: 'It's kind of surreal'

April 21, 2022

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On March 12, when five-star linebacker Sammy Brown‍ (Jefferson High, Jefferson, GA) received a Clemson offer on an unofficial visit, he became the first football prospect offered by the coaching staff for the 2024 class.

The three-sport athlete, who also competes in track and field and wrestling, was very familiar with the campus before the offer because he regularly participates in Dabo Swinney’s Camp, and he was also in attendance for the Tigers' 19-13 victory over Boston College on Nov. 2, 2021.

Brown is a two-way prep recruit, starting at running back and linebacker. As a freshman at Commerce High in Commerce, GA, where he played for his father, Michael Brown, he rushed for 1,368 yards with 19 combined touchdowns and 42 tackles with 2 sacks. In a shortened sophomore season, in which he missed four games due to a knee injury, he rushed for 750 yards with 12 touchdowns and made 51 tackles with three sacks.

At 6'2, 220-pounds, Brown is a wrestling state champion and recently blazed a personal best time of 10.85 seconds over 100 meters in track, where he competes in the 100, 400, 4×100, and long jump. 

Brown currently has 19 offers including from Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, and others. 

Georgia is likely the team to beat for the Peach State native but Clemson has a connection of its own.

Michael, now the offensive line coach at Jefferson after he resigned from Commerce at the close of the 2020 season, is a former Furman Paladin linebacker/defensive end (1992-96) and longtime friend of Clemson Director of Strength and Conditioning, Joey Batson. The two met when Batson was the Furman Director of Strength Training until leaving for Clemson in 1997.

Brown spoke extensively with Clemson Sports Talk in March after getting the offer: 

Q: How does it feel to be the first 2024 recruit offered by Clemson?

It's definitely an honor, but really, it was more shocking than it was happy. I mean, I wasn't expecting it at all. They had told me that I was going to get an offer eventually, but I never expected it this early.

Q: What does it mean for you to be a linebacker and get that first offer, especially when most times those offers go to a five-star quarterback or similar player?

It really shows how important I am to them and how they really view me as a person on and off the field. Because everyone's gonna have the film, but it's like Coach Swinney said, it's really about how you are off the field too.

Q: At what point, during your development did you know things were changing for you? 

Really, it wasn't even until I got my first offer because all the way up from when I was a little kid until I got that first offer, I was like I'm gonna go to Furman, like my dad, and just play a little D2 football. So I really never expected to go anything past D2 but once that first offer came in and those offers started rolling in -- it kind of came to the realization that maybe that's not the case.

Q: In your opinion, what is it about your play that made you stand out from the crowd?

Probably the physicality, but at the same time, the speed. You have those linebackers that are super physical, but they can't run with the receiver. And you have those linebackers, that can run with the receiver but can't play in the box. I feel like I can really do both of those. So, I really feel like that's one of the most important things and another thing is the effort because I have to play on both sides of the ball. So, I really have to give 110% effort in practice and on the field.

Q: Is it kind of mind-blowing to think that Clemson, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Georgia, and other top schools are recruiting you?

It's definitely kind of crazy, just to sit down and think about it. In a couple of years, I might be playing on a team that's playing on live television I used to watch. It's kind of surreal.

Q: What have you been able to pick up from your time with Coach [Wes] Goodwin, who everyone says is an X's and O's guy, and what kind of guy is he?

Yeah, it's like you said, he's a genius when it comes to football. I really like him. He really knows what he's talking about with football, and he's gonna do a really good job at Clemson. I was able to sit down to talk with him about just kind of Clemson's defense and all that and he was drawing up plays that teams would run out of certain formations before the balls even snapped. So, he's really smart when it comes to football. He's gonna be a really good fit for Clemson.

Q: How do you handle all that comes along with the recruiting process?

I'm able to talk to my parents, they're both pretty able-minded people, so I can kind of sit down and talk with them. And on the commitment thing, I'm probably going to wait it out as long as I can, probably sometime during my senior year just so I can go out and see everything.

Q: So walk us through you getting that offer from Dabo Swinney. How did that go down?

So, we were watching something on their P.A.W. [Journey] program. They pulled me aside and we kind of went up to Dabo's office. We were really just talking about how my school was going to run track and all that other stuff, and he started talking about Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence, people that he's offered as a sophomore before. I kind of looked at my dad and I'm like, Is this going where I think it's going? And it was -- he said that I have a scholarship. It was exciting. I never in a million years would have thought that I would have got an offer from them that early because they don't offer anyone that early. So it was definitely a really exciting experience but at the same time, it was super shocking.

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Sammy Brown on his Clemson offer: 'It's kind of surreal'

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