Keep Reading. Subscribe Today.

Stay connected with our community and support nationally-acclaimed local news coverage. Sign up for a subscription today. Cancel anytime.

  • Already a subscriber?

Sumter's Boone sees renewed interest from Clemson

By TIM LEIBLE
tim@theitem.com
Posted 4/23/20

Sumter High School defensive end Justus Boone is still committed to Florida, but he's keeping his options open as he gears up for his senior season.

In the last week, Clemson reopened its recruitment of Boone. The Tigers recently lost a …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Sumter's Boone sees renewed interest from Clemson

Posted

Sumter High School defensive end Justus Boone is still committed to Florida, but he's keeping his options open as he gears up for his senior season.

In the last week, Clemson reopened its recruitment of Boone. The Tigers recently lost a commitment from defensive end Korey Foreman out of Corona, California.

Foreman is the top rated defensive end recruit in the country who committed to Clemson a few months ago. However, he decided he wanted to take some other official visits when that opens up again. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has a policy of which if a recruit commits to Clemson, he can't take any other visits. That led to Foreman's decommitment.

Now the Tigers have turned more attention back to Boone as they look to solidify their defensive front for the 2021 recruiting class.

"They've always been keeping up with me on Twitter and stuff like that, but one of their (assistant) coaches reconnected with me again, Mr. Todd Bates and asked me where I was in with my recruitment and if I was still open and interested in them," said Boone.

South Carolina was the first Power 5 conference school to offer Boone, and his commitment to Florida hasn't caused USC head coach Will Muschamp and his staff to back off in their pursuit. USC is still on Boone's radar thanks to consistent communication from the coaching staff.

"(That relationship) is actually getting a little bit stronger, because they're another one of those people that hit me up, I wanna say they text me every day," said Boone. "They hit me up every day, sending me an edit or quotes and talk to me. They're pretty strong for me as well."

While Boone is committed to Florida, he is still open to another school winning him over.

"When I committed to Florida, I put them on the top of my list, basically. I didn't end any relationships or anything like that," said Boone. "They still sit the same way as they were before I committed. Everything is still the same, but the communication has stepped up a little bit more."

Boone has had the benefit of being on the radar of Power 5 teams since well before the coronavirus pandemic, so this nationwide shutdown hasn't put much of a damper on his recruitment. While he's disappointed he can't get out to more visits, he still has a number of coaches reaching out to him consistently.

It was announced on Wednesday that South Carolina public high schools would remain closed for the rest of the school year, eliminating spring sports. That also takes away spring football practices for Boone and the Gamecocks. Boone said this shutdown has forced him to make changes, but he's still putting in the work to prepare for his senior season and beyond.

"It's different. Spring is supposed to be the time where we put a lot of work in. Even though this pandemic is going on, it's not slowing me down," said Boone. "Five days out of the week, I'm working, doing stuff that I know I'd be working on if I was at school. I know I won't have full pads, making contact with anyone, but at the same time, I'm still preparing.

"There really hasn't been a dramatic change other than the travel," said Boone on his recruitment. "Coaches still reach out to me if not every day, then every other day. It's different because we're doing more things virtually, but I'm still able to work getting on apps like Zoom and stuff to go over where I'll fit in and stuff like that. It's different, but it's not bad."

Boone may be leaving the door open, but Florida is still on the top of his list "as of right now.

"(Florida) is another one of those people where if they don't hit me up every day, it's every other day," he said. "They're still recruiting me, still showing interest by making me different edits, showing me different stats and stuff like that, so it's a strong recruitment from them, as well."

That constant communication from schools has been huge for Boone. He appreciates the fact that he's a priority for a lot of coaches despite how difficult this spring has been on college coaches.

"It feels good, man; It lets me know who really wants me," said Boone. "With all of the offers, it really lets me know who really wants me in their programs."

Boone still hasn't decided if he wants to enroll in January of 2021 or wait until the fall at which ever school he chooses, but he intends to hold off on choosing a school until after his senior football season.

"I'm still kind of trying to decide if I want to enroll early or not, but I do know, as far as signing anything, I want to wait until after my senior season. Middle, end of it, something like that," said Boone. "I don't want to sign anything too early or have any regrets. Not saying that I would regret signing with them, but I always want to keep my options open because it's not just a choice for me, but it's a choice for my family as well."