Season doesn't alter recruiting plan

CLEMSON - As Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney makes his in-home recruiting visits during the next 45 days, you may be surprised to learn about the message he's passing along.


Because his overall message to recruits and their families hasn't a changed at all - even after a 6-6 season that left a lot of people wondering what the heck happened.

And as most people who are reading this web site know by now - whatever it is Clemson's second-year head man is saying, it's working.

In fact, Swinney and company have the nation's No. 9 ranked recruiting class according to headed into the heart of December, with a number of elite level uncommitted prospects still under consideration that could possibly push that ranking higher.

"It's the big picture," Swinney told CUTigers Wednesday after the Tigers wrapped up their third bowl practice of the month. "Our system is working. Our process is working. The thing we spent the most time on as a staff in Jan. 2009 was the recruiting process and how we do business. How we evaluate. We spent hours and hours on it.

"It's the whole deal from A to Z. It's working. That's why you can have a disappointing season and still have the recruiting class we have because the relationships are strong. Coaches have done a good job and we are thorough in all of our areas. We just talk about Clemson.

"You know, this place is bigger than one season."

The proof of that very statement can be seen by taking one quick glance at Clemson's 2011 commitment list.

Whether it's Sammy Watkins, the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation, or Mike Bellamy, the No. 4 running back, Clemson's upcoming class is loaded with fire power.

Even players like WR Charone Peake (another five star) or TE Eric MacLain, WR Martavis Bryant and RB Marlin Lane, who are all rated four stars, have the ability to make early impacts in their careers for the orange and white.

"This place is bigger than one season," Swinney told CUTigers Wednesday. (Roy Philpott)
Swinney also said the other big thing he can talk about with prospects is the sheer number of players Clemson sent to the NFL last season (10). And oh by the way, all 10 are currently on rosters at the next level, including C.J. Spiller - Buffalo, Jacoby Ford - Oakland, Chris Chancellor - Jacksonville, Crezdon Butler - Pittsburgh, Michael Palmer - Atlanta, Kevin Alexander - Denver, Thomas Austin - New England, Kavell Conner - Indianapolis, Ricky Sapp - Philadelphia, and Rendrick Taylor - Tampa Bay.

To make a long story short, all that does is give Swinney another selling point.

"We sell Clemson, regardless. Whether you are 13-0 or 6-6 we sell Clemson because there's a lot to sell," he said. "You know we've had some high-profile guys come in here and do well and they are doing well as rookies (in the NFL)."

"But we've worked really hard in putting our package together of how we sell this place. It's really working. The coaches are doing a good job. These guys come in here and it's about getting them on campus. If you do that then you've got a chance.

"It's the same message it's always been."

And that same message continues to work very well for this coaching staff, and hopefully for the future of the football program as well. Top Stories