Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville (Fla.) has produced its fair share of college football prospects. The next in line for the Saints might be one of their best, class of 2019 defensive back Antonio Clary. Clary (6-feet, 200-pounds) is ranked as a three-star athlete and top-50 prospect in the state of Florida according to 247Sports.
After garnering over 20 offers, Clary recently committed to Virginia.
“Being there, I’ve never seen a place like that,” Clary told GN. “The coaching staff, me and my mom said that being around them for a week, it feels like we’ve known them for years.”
Clary proclaimed his desire to play in a conference like the ACC where he will be up against some of the nation’s top talent. He also discussed the impact Virginia could have in the Coastal Division during the next few years.
“I feel like they can compete,” Clary said. “You get in the ACC Championship Game and I think they have a shot. They’ve got a great young team, an up-and-coming team.”
Clary admitted that one of the main draws he had to Virginia was the opportunity he sees for early playing time.
“I feel like if I can get there, I can make an early impact and help them out,” Clary said. “When I get there, there are like three or four DBs leaving, so I have a chance to play as a true freshman.”
Clary has played multiple positions for Sandalwood over his career. Seeing time at cornerback, safety, quarterback, running back and even wide receiver, he spoke about what the coaches at Virginia envision for him.
“I’m going to play safety/hybrid,” Clary said. “I’ll be mainly at safety, but they can use me at nickel or at corner, stuff like that.”
While he is currently excited and locked in on Virginia, Clary said that he will still be somewhat open during the remainder of his recruitment.
“I feel like Virginia is the spot for me, but I’ll definitely show (some other) interest, I’ll definitely keep looking around and stuff like that,” Clary said. “I’ll most likely take a couple more visits too.”
Clary mentioned a few in-state powerhouses that have recently shown interest, which will certainly be something to keep an eye on over his senior season.
“Florida State came to watch me practice Friday, Miami came to watch me practice Monday and Tuesday, Florida came to watch me,” Clary said. “Florida is showing some interest, they want me to come up there this summer. We will see how it is, I’m just enjoying the moment right now.”
(You can follow Jordan Spina on Twitter @JSpina904)
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