January 22, 2013

Clifton Garrett talks Core 6 and his recruitment

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CHICAGO - If you compiled a list of favorites for who would get top performer at Monday's Core6 winter showcase, Joliet (Ill.) Plainfield South linebacker Clifton Garrett certainly would have been at the top of that list. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound prospect did not disappoint in taking home the MVP trophy for the event.

"It was one of my goals (to get MVP) but it was a great time out here," said Garrett. "There were some of the top guys in the Midwest here so I had a great time competing against them. In coverage, I felt like I did a really good job so I'm happy with that, that's one of the areas I wanted to improve on."

Garrett was most proud of his ability in coverage at the event, but the most intense moments came in the running backs vs. linebackers pass protection drill. Running backs typically have the upper hand in camp 1-on-1's but in this setting, the linebackers are able flip the script and dictate the action.

"It's very intense," he said. "The running backs love talking trash, so we're gonna bring it to them. All of us linebackers were out there competing, that's what linebackers do. The running backs, they talked a little bit of trash low key but we made a statement out here and beat them so they have to do up downs now."

On the recruiting front, Garrett is fresh off a visit to Iowa to check out the Hawkeyes. The visit to Iowa City was his first but likely not his last.

"It was my first time in Iowa City and I loved it," he said. "It was a great a visit. I got a chance to sit down and get some personal time with the head coach (Kirk Ferentz). I talked to my position coach and we were watching film of the defensive schemes. I had a great time and they showed me everything that I wanted to see. I'm actually going to be going back, I'm not sure when but I'm going back with my parents."

Garrett's next stop is likely going to be Ohio State where the physical linebacker plans to get a better feel for the academic side of things in Columbus after making several trips to check out the football side of things.

"I believe February 16th is the date," he said. "When I go down there this trip, it's going to be me and my parents. It's going to be the first time we actually get to sit down and go over all of the academic things. We've seen everything from a football standpoint and that's obviously top notch so we just want to go down there and see everything from an academic standpoint and get a feel for that."

At the moment, Garrett is in no rush to narrow his list or come to a decision but he did list a group of schools that he says are recruiting him the hardest right now.

"Right now Ohio State, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Illinois, Arizona State, (are recruiting him the hardest)," he said. "Alabama and LSU have been in the mix as well. I'm going to be going down to Ole Miss and then Mississippi State after that."

Garrett is rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com and will be in the discussion for top player in the state of Illinois for the 2014 class.


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