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FOOTBALL RECRUITING: Newton's Darnell Jefferies commits to national champion Clemson
Darnell Jefferies had a stellar junior season on Newton's defensive line, propelling him to 4-star prospect status. Jefferies is considered one of the state's best defensive end talents. - photo by Anthony Banks | The Covington News

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton Rams senior defensive linemen Darnell Jefferies became the newest member of the 2018 Clemson recruiting class. 

The 6-foot-3, 265 pound 4-star lineman took to Twitter Monday evening to share his commitment with the college football world, and to declare that he wanted to set the business of choosing a college aside to hone in on excelling in his last year in high school. 

“It is important to me to make this decision now so I can give the NEWTONBOYZ my undivided attention throughout my senior campaign,” Jefferies said on Twitter. “We have some unfinished business in Georgia 7A football.” 

Jefferies chose the 2016 college football national champions over Georgia and Alabama. It was a move that may not have been as prominent on the radar of recruiting experts when the attention around Jefferies first started heating up. 

Georgia and Georgia Tech were among the first schools to offer Jefferies several months ago, and many prognosticators felt the Bulldogs would win the Jefferies sweepstakes. But Jefferies said his decision was more about what was right for him than what others may have wanted. 

“It’s a major relief for me to do this now,” he said. “So that I’d know my spot in college was secure, and I wouldn’t have to rush and do everything. I just wanted to make sure that when November came, I had a spot secured with a great team and a great school that wanted me for me and not just my talent.”  

Jefferies said Clemson just had a “different feel” than all of the other schools he visited. And that feeling stuck with him, no matter where else he went. 

“The first time I visited Clemson, it was just different than everyone else,” he said. “It was a home feel for me and my family. Plus, I loved the way the coaches and staff always kept in touch with me, and let me know they care about what I do in the classroom as well as on the football field.” 

There were plenty schools hot on the talented Jefferies’ trail. The Covington, GA native had 25 NCAA Division I offers and multiple schools interested in his services. Currently holding a 3.52 grade point average, Jefferies plans to major in business marketing at Clemson with dreams of one day being an entrepreneur. 

But before that, he wants to position his Newton football teammates to have as good of a 2017 season as possible. 

“This decision was just a whole lot of relief,” he said. “Now I can just focus on this year and me and my teammates and our defense. We’re just working to get better, running and going hard every day. I know we’re gonna be great. We’re putting in the work every day and determined to prove that.” 

Make sure to check back with, and pick up a copy of our Sunday print edition for more reaction and coverage on Jefferies’ commitment.