Scott weighs in on Signing Day

Clemson recruiting coordinator joined the Roy Philpott Show on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the Tigers' work on National Signing Day.

The following is a transcript of that interview.

Opening…
Scott: There definitely was a lot of excitement as we watched. Mackensie [Alexander] actually stepped off the stage two or three times before his announcement, calling coach [Brent] Venables and coach [Mike] Reed to talk to them, before he made his decision. We definitely knew we had a good shot, but we knew it was not final. Whenever he was pulling out the hats, there was definitely a nervous group in the room, then, obviously a great celebration…we're awfully excited. We knew, going into this class, going into this year, defensive back was an area that was going to be our No. 1 priority that we wanted to be able to bring some young men in to help us, and help us early. Along with Mackensie, several of our other defensive backs that came in with this class are really going to help us next year.

Jayron Kearse is another guy in the defensive secondary that can help you in the coming years, I would think.
Scott: Absolutely. That's what I always talk about, going recruiting. You just know those guys that have it in their blood. Sammy Watkins is a guy that has that DNA, just special. Obviously, Jayron Kearse coming from that same high school -- he's the nephew of NFL all-pro Jevon Kearse and also first cousins with NFL player Phillip Buchanan. So he's definitely got the bloodlines. Just a special, special athlete…runs extremely well. We feel like he'll have a chance at the safety position, to have an impact on our team.

What were the other positions the staff identified as needs in this cycle?
Scott: I would say, probably the next position is the defensive end position. Losing Malliciah Goodman, who obviously played a lot of good ball here, to be able to sign what we think are three outstanding defensive ends -- Lawson is here in town, Ebo, Ebenezer Ogundeko and then Dane Rogers -- those three guys that we feel like can go along with Martin Aiken, who we brought in last year, are really going to fit the need that we have at that position. I would say, after that, probably running back. Losing Andre Ellington and everything he's meant to our program and our offense the last few years, we knew that we were going to sign two running backs that we felt very confident in -- Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman. I think they're going to have potential to be big-time playmakers for us in the future.

Is Twitter a helpful tool in recruiting? Or is too much information? Where does Twitter play in your overall recruiting card?
Scott: Regardless if you like it or you don't like it, it's reality. Information, now, can transfer instantaneously. It's something, as recruiting coaches; we have to be there to monitor what's going on. Not just on signing day, but for the two years that we've been recruiting these young men. They're communicating to each other on Twitter, so you can watch that [and] see some of the conversations that they're having back and forth. You're able to find real-time information right there at your finger tips. I can tell you, when Mackensie Alexander was up on stage before ESPN went to that shot with his brother and other people making announcements, there was a room full of coaches doing nothing but refreshing their Twitter as fast as they could, trying to figure out what's going on down there. It's definitely a game changer and one a lot of our coaches have jumped into with both feet.

What do you like about Dye and Gallman? Can they contribute early in their careers?
Scott: We think so. Tyshon Dye, whenever we started the process about two years ago looking at this class, we had a group of about five running backs that we sort of felt were best in the country. Both Tyshon Dye and Wayne Gallman were in the group with those five. We felt very fortunate that we were able to get two of our top five guys. Tyshon Dye is a guy that has really broad shoulders. He's going to be able to gain some weight and go be a physical back, maybe add a little diversity to our backfield, as far as his size and strong runner. Wayne Gallman is just very athletic. Wayne has the athletic ability. He could play on either side of the ball. Coach [Tony] Elliott and coach [Chad] Morris are both very excited for him to be playing running back and not on the defensive side. He's very athletic, runs extremely well, has great vision. These are the kind of guys that we feel like this offense can attract. They had opportunities to go pretty much anywhere they wanted to go in the country.


Former N.C. State and Georgia commitment Kyrin Priester.
What's your plan with Kyrin Priester? How early do you think he can contribute?
Scott: …we happened to fill up at the receiver position before he was able to come up here and make a decision. Whenever we had a couple of receivers move on, Kyrin was one of the first guys that we called. He was a guy that's been on high on our list. With his size, about 6-2, right around 190, 195 pounds, he has the versatility. He could play multiple positions within our wide receiver room. Anytime you have somebody that could play where Nuk Hopkins is leaving, the 5-spot where Jaron Brown, who just graduated, played. He has the ability to play the 2-man position where Sammy [Watkins] has played the last two years. I think his versatility and his athleticism is going to allow him to make an impact sooner than later.

There are a lot of decommitments around the country. Have you seen more of that with the cycle, perhaps more than ever? Can you explain why, if you have?
Scott: I think a lot of it has to do with social media and the amount of information that's now out there. These guys are just consumed with the amount of information, whether it's the school they're committed to or other schools. It's different than 10 years ago. When a young man and his family came up and committed, that was really the end of their recruitment. Now, they're kind of bombarded with information from other schools, pretty much everyday for the rest of their process. It's definitely something that you have to watch. Coach Swinney does a really good job of talking to the young men before they want to commit, and explains to them what our definition of commitment means. It's a two-way relationship. We look at it as an engagement to be married on signing day. Once you get engaged, I don't think you're allowed to go out and date a few other girls before you show up at that wedding. That's the way we look at it. It's definitely something that you have to monitor and watch on a daily basis.

Tell me a little bit about T.J. Green.
Scott: We're fired up about T.J. His situation, his highlight video didn't get released until about two days before we brought him up here on an official visit. Once we got a hold of that video, we made a phone call really fast and got him up here. We tried to keep it quiet from the media, because we didn't want other schools to know about him and have a chance to jump in. But he has great size -- 6-2 ½, 195 pounds -- runs extremely well, has the ability to play both on offense and defense. We're letting him kind of chose where he starts off when he gets here. Really, you just look at another big athlete, just like Jayron Kearse, a guy that has great size, broad shoulders, runs extremely well. Now, that's what it's all about at this level -- bigger, faster, stronger guys. He's a guy that has that DNA, like we talked about earlier. Is going to be a great improvement to our football team.

What do you think about Ben Boulware?

Jeff Scott likens T.L. Hanna linebacker Ben Boulware to former Clemson linebacker Keith Adams.
Scott: He is an exceptional player. We were not surprised at all whenever he went to the Shrine Bowl practices and Shrine Bowl game and did an excellent job. A lot of people talked about him. When he went down to the Under Armour All-Star game, I had numerous [people] letting me know they thought the kid was pretty special. We knew that early on...he has that ‘it' factor that you like to talk about -- those special players, it's hard to describe. They just show up around the football. He reminds me of Keith Adams, who we had here at Clemson, would run by two other defensive players and make the tackle before they had the chance to do it. He's all over the field and plays with a great passion. I think the passion that he plays with is similar to coach Swinney and the passion that he coaches with on the sideline. So I think they're going to be a great fit for each other here in the next four years.

CUTigers.com Top Stories