New coaches could boost recruiting

CLEMSON - Recruiting territories for the trio of new coaches haven't been determined, but Dabo Swinney is confident with the pieces he has in place before the biggest recruiting weekend of the year.

On Thursday, he introduced offensive coordinator Chad Morris, defensive ends coach Marion Hobby and running backs coach Tony Elliott.

On Friday, the new coaches will meet Tony Steward, Stephone Anthony, Mike Bellamy, Jeoffrey Pagan, Cortez Davis and Phillip Dukes, just a few of the nation's top 2011 prospects that are scheduled to be on official visits to Clemson this weekend.

"There are a lot of good coaches out there, but you better be able to recruit," Swinney said. "It's as simple as that. You better be able to recruit. These guys are all going to be tremendous. That's a very big part of what you have to think about when you're putting a staff together."

Morris won 82 percent of the games he coached during his 16 years as a high school football coach in Texas.

He led Lake Travis High School to consecutive 16-0 state championship seasons. In total, he won three state championships and was the state runner-up three times during his high school career.

Confident with the new offensive coordinator's reputation back home, the Tigers will spot recruit Texas, starting this spring.

"We're not going to go all the way out there to sign a guy that we can get here, 30 miles in either direction," Swinney said. "He'll get calls on guys because of who he is, how he handles players, his background in handling players, his success, the trust that he has in place with people."

Morris will also evaluate and recruit quarterbacks.

Hobby, who's already proven to be a successful recruiter in Tigertown, spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach at Duke.

He served as defensive line coach for the Tigers in 2005. Before coaching two seasons for the New Orleans Saints, he signed Crezdon Butler, Chris Hairston and Jeremy Campbell.

"A coach doesn't sign players. The group does," Hobby said. "Clemson signs football players. It's not me. Clemson has everything to sell. My job is to get them over here to see it. When you get them on campus here, you've got a good shot at them.

"This is a beautiful place and they've got a great atmosphere here. It's a college town. These guys here love it."

And he's ready to get out on the road to make the sale.

"I told Jeff Scott, our recruiting coordinator, next week—I didn't play in a bowl game, I've been sitting around too long watching too much TV, an armchair quarterback—I want to be on the road every day. Find something for me to do," Hobby said.

Elliott, a former wide receiver at Clemson, is expected to play a big part on the road.

During his five years between S.C. State and Furman, he's developed relationships across the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia, particularly around Atlanta. New Furman head coach Bruce Fowler named Elliott recruiting coordinator upon his return to the Paladins.

"If a kid wants to talk engineering, I can talk engineering. If the kid wants to talk football, I can talk football at Clemson University. If a young man has dealt with some personal struggles, I can talk about my mom passing."

But recruiting at the BCS level is a different animal than what he's been a part of over the last five years.

"The biggest thing is the level of detail that you have to have at this level, because you're recruiting at national level," Elliott said. "You've got to know all the ins and outs. You've got to develop relationships with the coaches, the parents, anybody that is close to the prospect." Top Stories