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June 7, 2005

Clemson lands state's top defensive back

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Clemson has landed a verbal commitment from the state's No. 1 rated defensive back in North Charleston - Ft. Dorchester athlete Byron Maxwell. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound cover-corner committed to running backs coach Burton Burns and Tommy Bowden earlier this morning in a phone conversation.

Maxwell becomes Clemson's second verbal commitment of the year.

"He went to Georgia the other weekend, and then he went to Florida last weekend. He came back and wanted to commit to Clemson," said Fort Dorchester head coach Steve LaPrad in an interview with Tigerillustrated.com earlier this afternoon. "I talked with coach Burns from Clemson the other day, and coach Spurrier from South Carolina, and they both told me they were still on board with Byron. I talked with Georgia and Florida and they told me they were still on board with Byron, too. When I told Byron that these coaches were still with him despite his ACL tear, he told me that he wanted to go ahead and make a decision. He came in my office this morning and told me he was committing to Clemson, so he called coach Burns and told him he was coming."

"Byron is just an exceptional kid. Obviously with him not playing for us this year, it's going to be a jolt for us, but more importantly for him, he's moving on, and has made a decision that he feels is best for him. Clemson has been his dream, and he told coach Burns Clemson is where he has always wanted to go," offered LaPrad. "Coach Burns did a great job with him and Durrell (Barry). Coach Burns really cares about his players and looks after them even after they've gone up to Clemson, and that's something pretty important, I think. I suppose I knew Byron was going to commit early, but I didn't think it would be this early. But Clemson is where he wants to go, so that's where he's going."

The All-State standout picked Clemson over offers from Florida, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. "I looked at everything every school had to offer, and I knew Clemson was where I wanted to go anyway. I knew that in the end it was going to be Clemson," said Maxwell on Wednesday. "I want to focus on the summer, my rehab, and getting back into playing condition. I can do this now that I've got my recruiting out of the way. Coach Burns at Clemson has been with me from the start. Clemson has recruited me hard, and I know that they need cornerbacks. Coach Burns and coach Bowden were very excited when I committed this morning."

Last season Maxwell totaled 60 tackles, 19 pass-breakups and five interceptions.

The future four-star rated prospect is billed by Tigerillustrated.com as the state's No. 1 defensive back, and fourth best prospect overall regardless of position.

Last week Clemson picked up its first verbal commitment of the season when national recruit Jamie Cumbie of Morris, IL committed. Cumbie is touted by Rivals.com as the nation's No. 3 rated strongside defensive end. Cumbie picked Clemson over offers from Notre Dame, Tennessee, Illinois, Northwestern and Purdue.

Tigerillustrated.com's Preliminary SC Top 12

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