One of the top players in the state of South Carolina in the 2026 recruiting class made his return to Clemson recently.
RB Jaylen McGill (Broome, Spartanburg) visited for Clemson’s dominating 66-17 win over Charleston Southern. This was McGill’s second trip to campus, as he visited for the Syracuse game last season.
This visit was most definitely different,” McGill told All Clemson Tigers. “I talked to the whole coaching staff. Got to talk to Dabo Swinney. He knew who I was. I got to talk to C.J. Spiller, he knew who I was. I really got to talk to the whole coaching staff. They were telling me they really love me and they want to see me play for their school.”
Despite being just a sophomore, McGill already has several Power-5 offers, with Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia Tech already pulling the trigger. He has also already nabbed offers from Coastal Carolina and App State, as well as several others.
However, the Tigers won’t start handing out offers to members of the 2026 class until next summer, and with the recruiting process speeding up for many high school prospects, McGill said that is something that could potentially hurt the program in the future.
“To me, it definitely hurts Clemson,” he said. “Because I feel like they can get a whole lot more recruits if they were offered at an earlier age. That would be good.”
For McGill specifically, if a school takes that long to offer, they might miss their chance.
“I feel like waiting that long to offer recruits is too long,” McGill said. “I hope they don’t take forever to offer me, because I’ll probably already have my mind settled on somewhere else. So, I hope they get in there. Move fast and quick.”
Another thing that might factor heavily into McGill’s recruitment is NIL.
“I feel like it’s gonna play a big part on where I go to school, or where I choose to go to school,” he said. “I know it’s more about football, but I definitely do feel like it will be a big part of the decision on where I go to school.”
While the talented running back has no firm timeline for when he wants to have a decision made, McGill admits it could come as soon as before the start of his junior season.
“I do see that as a possibility,” McGill said. “I kind of want to focus more on football. I kind of do just want to play football and just stay locked in on that. Wherever I feel like home, I guess it’s a possibility I could commit before my junior season.”
Another big part of the process is finding the school where he feels most comfortable, and one that will afford him the opportunity to get on the field early.
“I just want to fit in,” McGill said. “I want to get reps as a freshman. I really want to be in a safe environment. You just want to go somewhere you’re loved and where people want you to be at.”
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