March 2, 2009

Linton talks Clemson, South Carolina

Charlotte (N.C.) Christian linebacker and two-sport athlete Ty Linton has taken a proactive approach to the recruiting process, checking out as many schools as possible in the early stages of the process.

The football and baseball standout from Charlotte Christian recently took trips to Clemson and South Carolina, and he spoke about both visits in a phone interview.

The junior days at Clemson and South Carolina happened to fall on the same day. Linton opted to attend the event at Clemson -- a school that has spoken seriously about allowing him to play both sports -- and last Tuesday he made the trip to Columbia to check out South Carolina.

"The trip to Clemson went really good," Linton explained. I talked to coach (Jack) Leggett and coach (Dabo) Swinney and they're both supportive of guys playing two sports," he said, referring to the Tigers' head baseball and football coaches respectively.

"I got to talk to all the coaches ... coach (Kevin) Steele and coach (Danny) Pearman.

"The only thing with Clemson is, the football coaches aren't exactly sure how I would fit in. I'm a linebacker-safety and they're not sure where they would put me. They're going to see what happens but that's the only question with them.

"In terms of baseball I've kept in touch with coach Leggett and coach (Tom) Riginos a lot. I'll e-mail coach Riginos just about every weekend. They can't offer until the summer of your junior year but they've basically said one will be coming."

Despite the issue with the football coaches at Clemson, Linton said the trip went very well. How did things go with the Gamecock coaches?

"I was there last Tuesday and that went well, too. I think their coaches really wanted to kind of size me up and see how big I am. They're going to keep in touch with me, too."

Linton went on to say he picked up an offer recently from Illinois. He has also heard from coaches at Auburn and Wisconsin.

While Linton would ultimately prefer to play both sports at a school that has a strong history on both fields of competition, when push comes to shove there might be a bit of an imbalance.

"I don't want to have to drop either sport because I've been playing both of them for so long," he said. "But if I have to choose I'd rather play for a prestigious football program than a prestigious baseball program. In baseball even when you get down to Division II schools, you're going to get seen. You can play summer ball and guys will see you there. In football it's more about tradition and playing at the highest level.

"I'll have to see what the scholarship situation looks like, too. It might be the difference between getting a full ride to play football and getting a 30-percent scholarship for baseball. I really want to play both sports, though."

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