Four-star inside linebacker Lavonta Bentley out of Birmingham, Alabama (Jackson-Olin High School) committed to Clemson Friday while attending the annual All-In Cookout with his mother at the Allen N. Reeves Football Complex. He announced his commitment via his Twitter account.
Bentley measures at 6'0"/220 pounds, slightly undersized for a linebacker, but makes up for it with excellent instincts and a nose for the football. Bentley is a consensus four-star recruit by all the major recruiting services, and is rated as highly as the #12 inside linebacker prospect in America in the 247 Sports Composite (#267 overall).
Bentley committed to Clemson over finalists Alabama, Ole Miss, and LSU. Bentley's commitment gives Clemson 19 current pledges in the 2019 class. Bentley is Clemson's fourth linebacker to commit this cycle, as the Tigers have made it a clear priority to reload the linebacker position after the upcoming departures of key players like Kendall Joseph, Tre Lamar, and others.
Clemson is expected to take up to five linebackers this class, with five-star Nakobe Dean and three-star Spencer Lytle being the primary targets for the final spot. Five-star athlete Quavaris Crouch would be an oversign candidate at the position if he chooses to play linebacker in college (plays both running back and linebacker in high school).
Bentley's commitment seemed a long time coming. He had consistently listed Clemson as his leader since the Tigers offered in January of this year. Bentley cited very good relationships with Coach Brent Venables and Coach Dabo Swinney as the primary reasons for favoring Clemson, along with meeting with University President Jim Clements on multiple occasions and Clemson simply "showing the most love."
It had been reported earlier this week that Bentley was on "Commitment Watch" heading into the visit, and the Cookout proved these reports accurate as Bentley pulled the trigger to commit at the event.