When All-American cornerback Trayvon Mullen of Coconut Creek High made an unofficial trip to Louisville last weekend, it set off alarms for Cardinals fans who thought he might soon be joining his cousin, quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Then, his mother, Lucretia Peterman and his football coach Kareem Reid told other media outlets Louisville wasn’t even among the top three schools Mullen was torn between. The real finalists, they said, were Florida State, LSU and Clemson.
On Wednesday morning, Mullen finally settled things in front of a live ESPNU national audience.
He’s going to Clemson.
“Every day I woke up, Clemson was in my head and Clemson was in my heart,” Mullen said after he put on the hat of the Tigers. “So I rode with Clemson.”
And just like that, one of Broward County’s most decorated recruits put an end to what he described as a fun, but long process. Now, he’ll join a Tigers squad coming off an Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a trip to the national championship game.
“When it comes to the best players in this class, Trayvon Mullen is someone I would have high on that list,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Chris Nee said. “He’s an island cornerback who can do anything you want out there because of his length.”
Rated the nation’s second-best cornerback by ESPN.com, Mullen (6-1, 168 pounds) was one of three Coconut Creek players to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio last month and one of seven Cougars to sign National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
Star receiver Binjimen Victor (6-3, 177) signed with Ohio State, the school to which he had been committed for about two weeks, and cornerback Malek Young ( 5-9 1/2, 182) signed with the hometown Miami Hurricanes.
Young, a former Georgia commitment when Mark Richt was the coach there, switched his commitment to UM on Jan. 15. Young is expected to make an immediate impact on special teams and could vie for playing time right away at nickel cornerback.
Young stepped to the podium inside the school auditorium at Coconut Creek on Wednesday morning and thanked his parents first.
“Malek Young was not the best prospect at Coconut Creek, but he was their best player,” 247Sports national recruiting analyst Ryan Bartow said. “He’s a really good nickel corner that can help UM on special teams too. He’s a great kid. That was a big get to keep him locally.”
Linebacker Alexy Jean-Baptiste — who, along with Mullen, Victor, Young and quarterback Jhakari Harrison were All-Broward first-team selections by the Miami Herald — signed with Arkansas.
Harrison signed with Southern Illinois.
Defensive end Woodly Sully signed with Northern Michigan and offensive tackle Joshua Varona signed with North Carolina Central.