‘Plan in place for Jalil Clemons’ and ‘will not get to UT and not be ready’

‘Plan in place for Jalil Clemons’ and ‘will not get to UT and not be ready’

Recruiting

‘Plan in place for Jalil Clemons’ and ‘will not get to UT and not be ready’

Jalil Clemons committed to Tennessee June 24.

The 6-foot-3, 242-pound defensive lineman is from Starkville High School in Starkville, Miss., and was first offered by Tennessee May 7.

Starkville defensive coordinator Kevie Thompson discussed Clemons’ UT commitment with Vols Wire.

Thompson says that “Jalil is what you would call an old school football player” being “real tough and a leader vocally also by his work ethic and is an extremely hard worker.”

Auburn, LSU, Mississippi State and Ole Miss recruited Clemons, but only Jeremy Pruitt and Tennessee gave Clemons an SEC offer.

Pruitt has a vision for Clemons playing in his defensive system.

“To me he is one of the most slept on players in Mississippi,” Thompson said. “With his motor, the sky is the limit because he has a work ethic and is a competitor that is second to none.”

Pruitt’s vision of Clemons may be a perfect fit as an outside backer in a 3-4 scheme.

“I think that fits him perfect,” Thompson said. “Jalil is a high motor kid, high energy and loves to compete. His athletic ability to get to the quarterback is ridiculous and he perfects that by spending a lot of time in practice doing moves.

“One of my best friends is Eugene Sims who played for the St. Louis Rams for seven years. He came in and worked with Jalil for a few days and showed him his pass rush moves and Jalil showed him his pass rushing moves. So he is telling a guy that played in the NFL for seven years that he is confident in his moves and the bam-bam is his favorite pass rush where he says ‘I hit them with this – BAM!’

“When you are very passionate and you put a lot of time in what you do, you are that comfortable in telling somebody that.”

Starkville’s base defense is a 3-3 stack, but also multiple.

“If we go to a four down he can play the shade or three,” Thompson said. “If we go to a true five down, he plays the true outside backer rush like he is probably going to be doing at Tennessee. So defensively we are multiple.”

Clemons will benefit once he gets into a college strength program with nutrition and gaining muscle weight constantly being managed.

“Some say he is undersized, but he is 6-foot-3, 242-pounds coming out of high school and that is not on a real meal plan yet in a real system, so he can easily be up to 250,” Thompson said.

Clemons will also benefit by having a new strength coach at Starkville for his senior season as Taylor Quick was hired in May.

Quick told Vols Wire that Clemons “is a strong kid and is learning different things.”

“I have been with him a couple of months and this is my first year with him,” Quick said. “He has impressed me so far and is very willing to learn and wanting to pickup technique, so we’re reteaching some stuff. I spent some time at the college level and I am trying to bring that in with these guys and put into practice, get them ready so that when Jalil gets on campus in Knoxville that he is not going to miss a beat.

“He will not have to go through that developmental squad where they have to teach so much stuff and he will be a step ahead of that.”

Quick says that Clemons embraces what he tells him to do and he asks a lot of questions.

“He is a technician and wants to get it right,” he said. “When we were doing some things with split jerks, he was asking me about his foot placement in his catch – if it was far enough back this way and how his knees would bend and everything like that. I am really impressed with his desire to learn in the weight room.”

Quick has a “plan in place for Jalil” and he “will not get to UT and not be ready.”

“If he is going to play out in space as an outside linebacker, he is kind of solid where he is at,” he said. “He needs to kind of re-position some of that weight off of the belt line and onto his chest.

“The opportunity to play a position that would even get him past the college level. Jalil can put his hand on the ground, get off the edge and stand up and get off the edge. He is a very sound athlete and explosive. I think he is going to take full advantage of the opportunity at Tennessee.”

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