Why is Venables the right hire?

CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott weighs in why Brent Venables at Clemson makes perfect sense.

Why is Brent Venables the right choice for Clemson?

Here's what we are thinking less than 12 hours after learning this was a done deal:

A year ago Dabo Swinney hired offensive coordinator Chad Morris to take over for Billy Napier. Morris, is a high-energy coach who simply doesn't except failure in can any capacity. He's the first one to practice and the last one to leave.

Dabo Swinney is much in the same mold. He's a young, energetic coach that believes in the power of positivity.

Now enter Brent Venables, a.k.a. Mr. Intensity. Venables brings the same kind of energy and passion for the game shared by Swinney and Morris. Simply put, it's a good fit across the board - starting with personality. At the end of Kevin Steele's tenure at Clemson, it was obvious Swinney and his defensive coordinator simply weren't seeing eye to eye on a number of things. That won't be the case any longer.

Swinney, Morris and Venables are all high-energy, like-minded coaches that should continue to breathe life into this once middle-of-the-road program.

It's not hard to understand - Venables knows how to recruit and he's not afraid to do it. Again, age is a factor here, but Venables personality makes a difference. His intensity is unmatched and high school prospects across the country seem to gravitate to him.

From DeMarco Murray to Ronnell Lewis to Corey Nelson, Venables was a factor in Oklahoma's recruiting throughout his 13-year tenure and he figures to make an impact at Clemson in a similar fashion.

Venables has coached in four BCS Championship games at Oklahoma, winning the 2000 National Championship game against Florida State. He also coordinated Big 12 Championships in 2006, '08 and '10.

What else do you need to know?

Brent Venables has coached in four BCS Championship games at Oklahoma, winning the 2000 National Championship game against Florida State. He also coordinated Big 12 Championships in 2006, '08 and '10. (Getty Images)
Oklahoma has been one of the top programs in the country since Stoops' arrival in 1999 and Clemson taking one of his key assistants is nothing short of a coup.

Since 2006, Oklahoma has sent 13 defensive players into the NFL draft under Venables' direction. While much of this can be attributed to recruiting, (Oklahoma's average national recruiting ranking according to Scout.com from 2006 to 2010 is 12th), don't discount Venables ability to "coach 'em up."

His practices are relentless - combining techniques he learned under Kansas State legend Billy Snyder and that of Bob and Mike Stoops at OU.

It's no secret, experience against the spread offense was one of the big keys for Dabo Swinney when he was searching for his new defensive coordinator.

And Venables has a boat-load of it, including coaching against it, and with it.

Coaching in the Big 12, Venables faced a top 10 offense (nationally) on 10 occasions in the last four seasons- facing teams like Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas along the way.

He also had to coach an Oklahoma defense that played alongside of one of the top spread offenses in the country over the years, too.

The bottom line here is this: Brent Venables is used to figuring out ways to win games, even if they are of the "high scoring" variety. That experience is invaluable in taking over a Clemson team that figures to be facing the same issues the next few years with Chad Morris running the show.

Furthermore, he has a proven track record of success.

Consider: His 2007 defense was No. 2 in Big 12 scoring (No. 5 NCAA) and total (No. 19 NCAA) defense despite facing four of the nation's top-nine offenses and three of the top five.

Venables was a Broyles finalist 2006 when OU led the Big 12 in total (No. 16 NCAA), scoring (No. 19 NCAA) and pass efficiency defense (No. 13 NCAA) and was No. 2 in rushing defense (No. 16 NCAA) and No. 6 nationally with 32 takeaways.

In 2005, OU's NCAA rank was No. 4 in rush and No. 13 in total defense.

In 2009, his unit again ranked in the top 10 nationally in total defense.

Even during a perceived "off year," Venables' defense still led the Big 12 in scoring defense in 2011 at 22 points/game - and that came as Oklahoma played five of the top offenses in the country.

(Keep in mind that's a full touchdown less than what Clemson gave up per game in the ACC.)

Sound good?

It must have sounded pretty good to Dabo Swinney, too.

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