Claudeson Pelon of Mesa C.C., is a consensus four-star recruit and arguably the best defensive lineman in the junior college ranks for the 2014 class. Pelon is extremely versatile, capable of playing either the tackle spot or strong-side defensive end. Claude has an impressive offer list from schools residing coast-to-coast in the Pac-12, B1G, Big-12 and ACC conferences. Along with his two favorites, Nebraska and Washington, Pelon also has scholarship offers from USC, Florida State and Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to interview Claude in an attempt to gain some insight into his recruiting experience. The following is a transcript from that:
Q: What kind of things do you do for fun?
A: I like working out and working on my craft. I also like playing video games. Overall, I am a pretty laid back kid.
Q: At what age did you start playing football?
A: At the age of 7.
Q: What was your favorite college team growing up?
A: The University of Miami.
Q: Have a favorite NFL Team?
A: The Baltimore Ravens.
Q: Which is better, the NFL or college?
A: The NFL is better to me.
Q: Do you try and emulate any specific player?
A: I try to play like Jason Taylor, Jason Pierre-Paul and J.J. Watt.
Q: Any particular reason for the jersey number?
A: No, not really.
Q: Are you happy the NCAA is going to a playoff, or did you prefer the BCS system?
A: I really like the playoff system because it gives underrated teams a chance to win a title too.
Q: When and who was your first scholarship offer?
A: In high school, during the 11th grade. I had about 5 offers in High School.
Q: How many scholarship offers do you currently have?
A: I have 18 offers right now.
Q: Is there a school that hasn't offered you that you would like to see do so?
A: I would like to get an Alabama offer.
Q: Who were you committed to coming out of High School in 2011?
A: I was committed to Florida State until we found out I wasn't going to be academically eligible.
Q: What are some of the considerations you have when deciding between schools?
A: I look at what type of coaches are they. I want to know if what I see is what I will get. I also look at the style of defense they run. I want to know how they can transition me from junior college ball to big-time football.
Q: You have said Washington and Nebraska are your two current leaders. Having visited Seattle, what will you look to compare when you make it up for a visit to Lincoln?
A: I want to look at the coaching staff and the players. I want to see what my lifestyle will be like there and how they would help me after football.
Q: Who is currently recruiting you the hardest?
Q: Do you pay attention to the recruiting momentum of the teams you are considering?
A: Not really.
Q: Did you attend any schools Spring Game?
Q: Have you thought about who you might want to use your official visits on?
A: Yes, Washington will get one, also Nebraska. I still don't know about the other three yet though.
Q: What positions are you being recruited to play?
A: Both defensive end and defensive tackle.
Q: What position would you prefer to play in college?
A: Anywhere that I will be used the best to help the team and hopefully get to the next level.
Q: What do you feel are some of your playing strengths?
A: Coming off of the ball; my first step at the point of attack. I also use my hands well.
Q: What are some things you would like to work on between now and college?
A: I want to work on getting a lower pad level and getting into better shape.
Q: What is the most annoying aspect of the recruiting process?
A: (Laughing) Nothing, I like it all.
Q: Do you have a major in mind?
A: Mass communication.
Q: What are your goals for your final JUCO season?
A: Really just playing hard and playing my best. I want to do my best everyday and in every game to help my team win.
Q: Do you have any individual goals for your career at the FBS level?
A: I just want to show what I can do. I want to make it to the NFL, so I want to ball-out!
Q: What is the craziest recruiting pitch you have heard so far?
A: (Laughing) I haven't heard any crazy ones yet.
Q: Do you have a time frame as to when you would like to commit?
A: Sometime around my 6th or 7th game.
Q: In addition to National Letter of Intent Day in February, should there be an early signing period like college basketball has?
A: Maybe, I haven't really thought about that.
Q: Have you communicated with any prospective recruits about attending the same school?
A: Not yet.
Q: What are 3 things on your Bucket List?
A: I want to travel the world, give back as much as I can. The third would be to become known as one of the best players and eventually coaches in the game.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
A: My mother and my high school coaches. Also my defensive coach at Mesa Community College.
Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all football website N2FL.com. He served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on recruitment and talent analysis, including the NFL Draft. You can email him at N2FL@hotmail.com.