Crunch Time

In less than 48 hours, Jeff Scott will close the book on the second class of signees during his tenure as Clemson recruiting coordinator.

The Tigers have already secured commitments from 25 prospects in the 2011 class, which includes one five-star and six four stars, according to Scout.com.

Still, a few others remain up for grabs.

Clemson is in pursuit of two five stars, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and linebacker Stephone Anthony.

The Tigers are also in the running for a pair of four stars, defensive tackle Phillip Dukes and linebacker Tony Steward.

Three-star guard Spencer Region is expected to choose Clemson on Wednesday. Three-star safety Brandon Ellerbe, a North Carolina commitment, will receive scholarship papers from Clemson. Oregon commitment Roderick Byers, a three-star defensive tackle, hasn't received an offer from Clemson, but is still being considered by the Tigers' staff.

Crunch time is quickly coming to a close for Scott and the rest of the Clemson staff.

"You've been recruiting some of these guys for two and three years," he said. "Now, you've got it down to just a couple of days. You want to see all of your hard work pay off. No question about it. I'll be the first one here on Wednesday the second. I'll be standing right by the fax machine and being sure there's enough paper in it."

The weeks leading up to the first Wednesday in February have been a grind for college coaches across the country. And it's no different at Clemson.

Over one four-day stretch, Scott and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney would leave town before sun rise only to return home long after the sun had already set.

"We left every morning about 6 and landed here in Clemson each night about midnight, and next morning right back on the plane at 7 o'clock," Scott said. "That's part of the process. You get right here to the end and you want to maximize your time. Those visits right there at the end, the last time you see them before they sign that paper can be very crucial."

Success on the recruiting trail isn't always a direct correlation to results on the playing field.

Good records and championships help, but Scott said there's more to securing a commitment from a prospect.

"I don't think they committed to Clemson in the first place because the year before we won our division," Scott said. "The guys are making the decision for the right reasons. Anytime a guy gets ready to commit to us, those are the things we ask.

"We want to make sure they're committing for the right reasons, because that's going to be somebody who's going to stick with you through the ups and the downs. I do think it's the people, the family atmosphere that they feel. I think our players are some of our best recruiters.

"People enjoy it here. They have a good time. They feel like there are people here that care about them. They do have the opportunity to achieve all their goals here. That's what we preach."

And it's crucial to relay that message to anyone who needs to hear it during the final opportunities for communication before signing day.

"You're spending all your time, all your contacts that you've built around your prospects for the last two years and those relationships," Scott said. "If you do a really good job recruiting a young man, you've got a lot of contacts with the people that surround him and help him with his decision. Now, this is the time, the last couple of days before national signing day, that you use those contacts.

"You call and communicate with them, get every little piece of information that you could get that might help your chances to receive that fax on signing day."

It's also critical to stay in the loop with the prospects that are already committed.

"Something I like to remind our coaches and other people, we've got a lot of guys committed now," Scott said. "If they were still making their decision, we would jump on the table and do back flips if they decided to come to Clemson. I think, sometimes, those committed guys that have been there for a long time get forgotten about."

Once Wednesday comes and goes, he'll be confident that he and the rest of the Clemson staff used every resource possible.

"We've really done everything that you could possibly do legally," Scott said. "I think, at the end of the day, that's all you can ask. We can go to sleep at night, whatever they decide is obviously going to be best for them. It's important for me and the rest of the staff to know that we did everything we could, that we let no stone unturned.

"I'm optimistic about it. I'm excited to see how everything unfolds over the next 48 hours."


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