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Michael Carvell

Georgia’s No. 1 junior commits to Clemson

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Mitch Hyatt (left) blocking Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

Mitch Hyatt (right) blocking Lorenzo Carter (AJC)

As expected, the early candidate to be the state’s No. 1 prospect for next year committed to Clemson on Wednesday night.

North Gwinnett High School’s Mitch Hyatt picked the ACC school over Ohio State, while also considering UGA, Alabama and Auburn.

The 5-star offensive lineman was always considered a “lock” for Clemson due to family connections. His uncle, Dan Benish, played on Clemson 1981 national championship team, along with four seasons for the Atlanta Falcons.

Clemson closed the deal with Hyatt during last weekend’s Junior Day.

“We went to Clemson this past weekend, and we had the kind of visit that he and his mother needed to have,” Benish told the AJC. “They got a lot of questions answered. The piece that we were missing from the Clemson side was academics, and we spent all day on Saturday dealing with that.

“Once his mother and him got their questions answered, he pretty much got it in his mind ‘Why should I prolong this? Everywhere I go, I keep coming back to Clemson. I keep comparing it Clemson.’

“He wanted to get it over with so he can concentrate on football, school and his senior year at North Gwinnett. He won’t have to worry about going on visits, dealing with coaches, and all that kind of stuff. He had his mind made up and he’s ready to move forward.”

The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Hyatt has been going to Clemson games since he was knee-high to a grass hopper.

“There was never any pressure from me to pick Clemson,” Benish said. “But there has been a brain-washing going on since he was five or six years old. Never pressure, but a little brain-washing. And being around Clemson, whether we went there for a game or watched it on TV. I have a bunch of Clemson memorabilia around my house, whether it’s Clemson t-shirts or sweatshirts for his birthdays.”

It’s super early in the 2015 rankings, but Hyatt currently mans the top spot in the 247sports.com composite rankings. He will be challenged for No. 1 by Westover DL Trenton Thompson and Callaway DB Terry Godwin (committed to UGA). Hyatt will also have a challenge holding off McEachern’s Chuma Edoga and Mill Creek’s Kaleb Kim for the top spot among the state’s best offensive linemen.

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– By Michael Carvell, AJC’s Recruiting Blog

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