For the past several months four-star offensive tackle Brandon Clemons has limited his focus and attention primarily to his senior season at Milford (Pa.) Delaware Valley. Now that his season is over he is finally ready to start thinking about official visits.
Delaware Valley finished the season with a 6-5 record and they lost in the first round of the playoffs. While Clemons would have liked to advance deeper into the playoffs he has a realistic view of things and feels good about what he and his teammates accomplished this year.
"I think overall as a team everyone played hard and we got better each game," Clemons said. "Some of the games we lost by one point we could have won, but our loss to Eastern (in the playoffs) was just one of those games where they were better than us. No excuses. The score could have been different but they brought it to us."
The 6-foot-4, 255-pound lineman gained valuable experience on both sides of the ball this year. He rarely came out of the game, playing left tackle on offense and every position on the defensive line for Delaware Valley. At first that tested his endurance but it proved to be helpful for him in making him a better player.
"I feel like I got better from the beginning of the season," he explained. "I got better each game. I got more conditioned. I was pretty sick for the Eastern game but this season I got better in my pass rush and becoming more explosive.
"I had never jumped around to different positions (on defense) as much as this year. In the beginning of the year I did get tired but by the third game my body got used to it. But yeah, I would get on the bus after the game and I'd be like, 'Wow, I'm exhausted.'"
Clemons said he might participate in the Chesapeake Bowl but he isn't quite sure yet.
More importantly for his future are his official visits, which he will be setting before too long.
"I'm supposed to be getting on that but I'm kind of relaxing and taking some down time now that the season is over," Clemons said. "I'm going to get on that as soon as I can. This week I'll probably start calling coaches to set the visits up for December and January."
Clemons said he will probably take all five of his official visits. Since he is looking at six schools he said he will probably take an unofficial visit to UConn, and official visits to the other five schools on his list.
The only school on his list that he has not visited before is Michigan State, so he is making it a priority to get out to East Lansing before he makes his decision.
Clemons went on to speak briefly about each of the six schools that are still on his list.
"I've been talking to coach (Hank) Hughes from UConn. I'm actually going to give coach (Randy) Edsall a call around 7 or 8 tonight," he said on Monday evening. "I like the program a lot and coach Edsall has been doing great things there. When I visited UConn that was probably the most realistic view I've gotten of a college. The team actually got in trouble while I was there. One of the kids didn't go to class, I guess, so the whole team ran. That was straight up, a realistic view of what it's going to be like. I liked that.
"I like Boston College's coaches, too. Also, their academics are almost like an Ivy League school. The education would be great there. I've really liked talking to the players and coaches there. A lot of times when I talk to their coaches it's not even about football, it's about life and everything else.
"When I went to Maryland I just got a good feeling while I was there. Just being around the coaching staff was good. The players were like, 'Hey, who are you?' They were just great guys. They came up to me and were talking to me. I don't even think they knew I was being recruited. They just came up to me and talked.
"South Carolina was the first and only SEC school to offer me. I like coach Spurrier and everything down there. They've played some great games this year.
"I like Michigan State because a lot of the things they do on offense and defense are just like a lot of the things we do. Just from talking to coach (Dave) Warner it feels pretty good. I've been trying to get down there.
"Pittsburgh was the first school to offer me a scholarship. I went to camp there and just from talking to coach (Dave) Wannstedt and coach (Brian) Angelichio they seem like great guys that are down to earth. They seem very interested in me and I talk to them all the time. A lot of the guys that play here and guys that I've played against are committed to Pittsburgh and they really like it."
Clemons admits that at one point he thought location would be a serious consideration in his decision. Today, however, he feels a bit differently, and that might benefit schools like South Carolina and Michigan State, which aren't nearly as close to home as some of the schools he is looking at.
"A lot of times I thought it was going to be a big deal because I wanted family to be able to come and see me, but realistically I'm going to be there (in college) for four or five years by myself, so I've got to make the right choice wherever it is."
Clemons is ranked the No. 10 offensive guard in the nation by Rivals.com.