Swinney Earns Rave Reviews

When you consider that Clemson wide receivers' coach Dabo Swinney will be responsible for bringing in as many as 10 signees in the 2004 recruiting class, there's little doubt that his hiring by Tommy Bowden last winter was nothing short of a small coup.

It was only a year ago that former Alabama walk-on wide receiver Dabo Swinney was brought in to the Clemson Tigers to take over for Rick Stockstill. At the time, hardly a soul in the upstate knew who he was.

My oh my, has that changed.

Swinney was brought on board last winter and immediately instilled an incredible work ethic in his wide receivers. Last spring, he was the one making sure that Airese Currie and Derrick Hamilton were blocking downfield on running plays.

At the same time off the field, he was the one trying to make sure his players were getting the job done in the classroom.

And on the recruiting scene, it turns out he was the one that making a difference with some of the top prospects on the board.

During the time of year where coaches are allowed unlimited phone calls to prospects, you'll find Coach Swinney on his cell phone constantly. For literally days, or even weeks at a time, he's selling Clemson University like no other man on the planet.

And when you break it all down, Dabo Swinney will be responsible for landing as many as 9 or 10 different players in the 2004 class.

He was the one that landed WR Mike McIntosh. He was the one that landed QB Tribble Reese. He was also the one that landed WR La'Dontae Harris.

And all of this comes from one of the most humble and hardest working coaches you'll ever meet.

In an interview with CUTigers last fall, Swinney said, "I just feel blessed by the good Lord for being here. This is a great staff that I enjoy working with everyday. That has not always been the case everywhere I have been. Clemson is blessed to have these guys here coaching."

Never mind the fact that he helped establish career highs for Kevin Youngblood, Airese Currie, and Derrick Hamilton in his first year on the job. Never mind the fact that he's gotten top-level production on almost every player he's ever coached.

"He's just instilled a lot of the little things in us," said Currie. "He preaches about all the little things and I think the way he relates to us makes a big difference."

If you don't believe Currie, just ask Curtis Baham, a seldom-used wide receiver before the start of the 2003 season.

"He's a player's dream," said Baham. "He's a young guy that can relate to you in everyday life, as well as on the field. Plus, he's an effort guy. As long as you are going 100%, he will definitely lead you in the right direction."

And while we can praise Swinney's efforts for what he's been able to accomplish during his first year alone, can you imagine what we'll be saying years from now?

If it's anything like what we've seen since last winter, the Clemson Tigers may picked up one of the top assistant coaches in the country. Period.

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