Clemson received a letter of intent from linebacker Vonta Bentley today. Bentley joins Clemson from Birmingham, Alabama (Jackson-Olin). The 4-star measures at 6’0’’ 220lb and is rated as the #16 ILB in the 2019 class and #279 player overall per the 247Sports Composite®.
Bentley’s lead recruiter was Todd Bates, who continues to land Clemson talented players from the state of Alabama. Brent Venables was heavily involved as well. Bentley owned offers from nearly the entire SEC but chose Clemson primarily over Alabama – although it’s not clear if his Alabama offer was committable at the time. The Tide’s loss is Clemson’s gain and Bentley has stated he was the top linebacker on our staff’s recruiting board. In recent news, 247 named him “Alpha Dog” at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game last week. That should be considered very promising news In an all-star game loaded with top-end P5 talent.
Bentley is a little undersized for a traditional middle linebacker. However, if you turn on his film and watch him play, you’ll immediately notice how big he players. Bentley is the hardest hitter in a large class of linebackers and is gifted with the sideline to sideline speed that should allow to project to the position long term. His nasty style should fit well on special teams during his underclassmen years and he could start for the team in a year or two. He, like every other linebacker in the class, does not plan to enroll early.
Turn on some heavy metal and watch his hudl film here.
The man can hit. Easily the most physical LB in this class, if not the entire class. Immediate special teams contributor. I like the take because it adds a level of toughness to the team on both sides of the ball.
He wanted to go to Bama, but they didn’t offer. He doesn’t fit their mold for players, but he does fit Brent Venables system if he can learn the mental side of playing LB at the college level. Vonta can blitz and hit and hit some more. Good quickness and short area explosiveness.
He is pretty stiff, however, and limited in coverage. This is not as big a deal for BV and Bentley profiles much like a hard hitting Ben Boulware.