JOLIET, Ill. – Clifton Garrett had a good feeling he’d end up at LSU when he visited the campus for the first time back in April for the spring game.
Garrett chose LSU over his other finalists Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
Over the next eight months, the relationship only grew stronger between the Chicago-area five-star linebacker and Tigers program.
On Tuesday during a press conference at his Plainfield South High School, the 6-foot-2, 228-pound Garrett announced his commitment to continue his education and football career at LSU.
“We’re going to go out there and we’re going to win championships,” Garrett told 247Sports last week. “It’s going to be a great ride and I’m looking forward to it.”
Ranked by the 247Composite as the nation’s top outside linebacker, Garrett chose LSU over his other finalists in Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee. He actually gave his pledge to Les Miles during his official visit the weekend of Nov. 23.
“I felt like the coaching staff was just phenomenal,” Garrett said. “You can’t pick a school off the coaching staff, but it made my decision a lot easier knowing I’m going to a place where I’m going to be taken care of by a great coaching staff, great guys that want to develop me not only as a player but as a man. They have my best interest 100 percent. I’m going to be going 14 hours away from the house, so it’s going to be great to know I’m going to a place where I feel at home and have people I can talk to if certain situations arise, or if I need something I can go to my coach.”
Other programs that offered Garrett included Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, USC, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. He becomes commit number 16 for LSU in the class-of-2014.
“Just a chance to be coached by one of the greatest coaches in college football right now,” Garrett said of what he looks forward to the most. “Coach (John) Chavis has a very good defensive scheme and each game he knows what the opposing offense does and he will put me in a great position to make plays. Coach Miles said he’s going to get me ready, and if I’m ready to play as a freshman, I’m looking forward to taking that opportunity and capitalizing.”
Garrett becomes the first five-star pledge for LSU in this recruiting cycle, but he looks forward to helping the Tigers add more.
“Jamal Adams, I’ve been working on him,” Garrett said. “We made a huge connection over these last few months. I’ve been working on him a lot. Jamal has been one of the guys I’m talking to.”
Garrett will cap his prep career as a U.S. Army All-American. Instead of announcing at the game or just going public with his decision following his official to LSU, he wanted to do something at his school.
“It’s very special,” Garrett said. “To be able to do it in front of all the people that have been here with me throughout the whole process, my community to be able to see something like that, it’s a huge thing for me.”
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