CENTRAL – D.W. Daniel High laid an extension to its pipeline to the Clemson University football program Wednesday when Lions Deleetric “D.J.” Greenlee and Adrien Dunn publicly affirmed their plans to play for the Tigers.
Greenlee, a stellar outside linebacker and receiver, signed a national letter of intent. Dunn will join the team as a preferred walk-on.
Four classmates also signed paperwork setting their college destinations in a midday ceremony in the school gymnasium with by friends, family and several hundred students in attendance.
Greenlee said a lifelong dream is being fulfilled with his chance to play for the Tigers.
“I’ve been here all my life. Once I got the offer I wanted to do it right then but I was too happy to think what was going on,” he said. “So, I waited a week and then I let them know what I was going to do.”
Daniel football coach Randy Robinson said Greenlee asserted himself on the field as a junior and senior.
“Deleetric has really stepped up and the last couple of seasons was just a dominant player on defense,” Robinson said.
Daniel has been sending football players to Clemson since the Dick Singleton era more than decades ago. Robinson is glad to play a role in keeping that neighborly connection going.
“I think (former Lions and ex-Tiger stars) Jarvis Jenkins and “Nuk” Hopkins really get a lot of credit for this,” Robinson said. “They went to Clemson ready to play, played as freshman. I think Clemson realized our guys are going to go down there and play. They’re not going to redshirt. They can play as freshmen and help the team win.”
Greenlee’s father, Larry, is an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Clemson program. The younger Greenlee said he wants to prove he got the scholarship because of his ability, not family ties.
“I’m ready to go show them what I can do,” said Greenlee, who said he’s been told he would begin at linebacker and perhaps move to tight end as he grows.
Dunn has had a longtime involvement in the Daniel program, serving as a ball boy before he got in uniform.
He said Clemson has told him he would get work at wide receiver and punt returner.
“I’m ready to get in there, work hard and try to get a spot,” Dunn said. “I’m working for a scholarship; that’s something to work for. I really think it’s a great opportunity. I just want to make everybody proud, so I’m going to do my best.”
The Tigers won 10 games in 2011 and 11 in 2012. Dunn likes the timing of his arrival. “I’m coming in at a great time. Hopefully, they’ll lose a couple of receivers by the time I get up there.”
“You’re talking about the leaders of this class,” Robinson said of Greenlee and Dunn. “These kids got pulled up to the varsity as freshmen; with Adrien being a ball boy as soon as I got the job, I’m not going to know what it’s like without Adrien Dunn on the sideline.”