It hasn’t been a secret that Scout.com five-star linebacker Clifton Garrett has been favoring the SEC, and one program in particular. On Tuesday, Garrett gave his verbal commitment to LSU during a ceremony at Plainfield South.
Garrett has visited LSU several times, most recently for an official visit at the end of November to see the Tigers take on Texas A&M. Garrett also took visits to Florida, Tennessee and Ole Miss.
In the end, the decision was made during his final visit to Baton Rouge, and it came down to his family’s comfort level with the choice.
“They loved it,’’ said Garrett, who had 139 tackles and four fumble recoveries last season. ‘‘I turned the visit into an official so my family could come down and see the school for themselves. Basically get their approval to say I could go there. Once I got that, it was a wrap.
‘‘I told coach Les Miles I was going and I loved it. My parents loved it. And I still talk to Coach Miles and [defensive coordinator John] Chavis weekly.”
Garrett chose LSU in front of a big crowd Tuesday, and donned the Tigers hat to cheers. It is the beginning of what could be an impressive college career, according to Scout.com national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu.
“Garrett is a fantastic straight-ahead run defender, a big-time hitter, and loves contact,” Trieu said. “He will take on blocks, shed, and make plays after absorbing contact. He has great timing on the blitz, plays with very little hesitation and is constantly in attack mode.”
Garrett is the second five-star prospect from Illinois to choose LSU in the past several years. The Tigers landed Lemont offensive lineman Ethan Pocic in the Class of 2013, and he had a hand in recruiting Garrett.
“When I went down there [Pocic] recruited me a lot and we have been texting back and forth a lot,” Garrett said. “Once he sees this he is definitely going to be excited. When I went down there I built a relationship with a lot of guys, we exchange texts and all that stuff so it’s basically already like a family.”
Garrett will next take the field with several other top prospects from the Chicago area in San Antonio for the U.S. Army All-American game at the end of the month. Joining him will be Marist tight end Nic Weishar, Crete-
Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan and Hinsdale Central offensive lineman Brian Allen.