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Keith Maguire Commits to the Clemson Tigers

NCAA Football: CFP National Champions-Clemson Celebration
Brent Venables is number one and gets another addition to his LB room.
Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

LB 2019 recruit Keith Maguire (6’1.5, 210) committed to the Clemson Tigers over offers from Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, and North Carolina among many others. He hails from Malvern Prep in Malvern, PA. He is the composite 524th ranked player overall, which pegs him as a 3*. That seems a bit low based on his film but an understandable ranking. I’d have him around 400 based on his sophomore/junior film with the ability to jump into the 300-350 range with a good senior year. A high three star prospect is where his ranking will likely end in the Summer.

Clemson needed to beat back the push by Notre Dame to land Maguire. Notre Dame pressed very hard and is on a recent recruiting tear, but Clemson was able to ultimately secure his pledge earlier this week.


The first thing that jumps out off of the tape (I have not been to PA and seen him in person) is his ability to play wide receiver and running back in high school in addition to playing outside linebacker. He looks more athletic than I thought and as an outside LB was very agile getting his hands on balls, jumping into passing lanes, and demonstrating good hands (comes from playing wide receiver).

The worry is that he was timed running a 4.91 40 yard dash, which gives any evaluator pause. He doesn’t look that slow on tape, which raises questions about the competition level (does he look that much faster because everyone else is slower) and his ability to transition to the next level since he needs to still pack on another 10 pounds or so. What we really need is a three cone drill number to gauge Maguire’s quickness and short burst agility. You can definitely see that burst on film. You can also see decent feet and change of direction.

Maguire, on film, looks to check the boxes of what Brent Venables wants. He can grow into a solid, thumping inside linebacker who can blitz and disrupt the quarterback. The comparison looks to be Jamie Skalski at this point (although I think Skalski has stepped his game up another level this Summer). He won’t last as an outside linebacker in BV’s scheme and you still want to know if he can move sideline to sideline, getting to the edge with those additional pounds, but he doesn’t need to excel in those areas to be a fit at Clemson (plus, running the 40 can partly be a skill that guys need to learn to improve an extra tenth of a second).

Interesting to note that 3 first round draft picks came from the state of PA this year and two from New Jersey and two from Virginia—giving credence to Clemson’s strategy of recruiting the mid-Atlantic region.

This gives Clemson two LB’s for the 2019 class and there is still room to add another 1-2 LBs since 4 are coming off the books as seniors next year.

Welcome Keith Maguire!