Clemson has started its 2005-06 recruiting campaign off with a bang, as four-star rated strongside defensive end Jamie Cumbie has made a verbal commitment to Clemson. "I committed last Wednesday, actually. I committed to coach (Tommy) Bowden the day he flew the jet. I just wanted to announce today. Man, when I told him, he was surprised, but he was very excited," said Cumbie in an interview with Tigerillustrated.com this afternoon. "My dad was on the phone with coach Bowden and then I got on to tell him. I called coach Blackwell later, and told him, and he was very happy. My dad and coach Blackwell have formed a bond. They're really close. Both are country boys, and they have a lot in common."
Cumbie's verbal commitment, as first reported here by Tigerillustrated.com, is huge for the Clemson coaching staff. The dyanmic jumbo-athlete is regarded as the nation's No. 3 rated strongside defensive end by Rivals.com. Cumbie is also a member of the Rivals.com Top 100 where he is billed as the 49th best recruit in the country overall regardless of position. "That's incredible. That's an honor. It's impressive, and it's a big accomplishment, obviously. But I just want to thank my family for everyhing they have done. I want to thank all of the coaches who recruited me. I want to thank them for all the interest they showed me in the recruiting process. It meant a lot, obviously."
The Morris, IL resident who is a native of Andrews, SC chose Clemson over 20 scholarship offers, including full rides from Tennessee and Notre Dame. "I knew about six weeks ago that I was going to make a decision right after Memorial Day, but I didn't know for sure it was Clemson until last week. I knew then that it was definitely Clemson. I think deep down I probably knew I was going to Clemson. The campus is beautiful, the tradition there is awesome, and just to have grown up all those years watching them run down the hill and knowing that I will be a part of that now is a big deal. It's a dream come true for me."
Cumbie, who carries a 3.84 GPA, totaled 70 tackles and nine sacks last season.
He is still involved with baseball, and will continue to participate in tryouts held by Major League teams, though he feels football is where he'll land.
Cumbie will take his unofficial visit to Clemson sometime in early August. He and his family will vacation on South Carolina's Grand Strand during that visit, as well.
Last February Clemson landed one top 50 prospect nationally, four-star rated running back James Davis of Atlanta, Ga. - Douglass.
The 6-foot-7, 255-pounder is the No. 1 rated recruit in the state of Illinois.
Blackwell, who has ties to Illinois dating back to his days as a defensive assistant at Illinois State in the late 1990's, has a long-time relationship with Morris head football coach Dan Darlington who retired earlier this spring.
Cumbie's commitment timeframe has never been in question. Six weeks ago he told Tigerillustrated.com he would likely commit immediately following Memorial Day, a statement he reiterated over two weeks ago in another interview with Tigerillustrated.com.
The Andrews, SC native, firm in his decision, does not plan to take any official visits outside of his tentative trip to Clemson in August.