Final Countdown for Napier, Staff

Clemson recruiting coordinator Billy Napier is like one of those kids that has a birthday just a few days after Christmas. He's already received some really good presents, but he's hoping for even more.

As Clemson's recruiting coordinator, it will show that, at the very least, the 2008 signing class featured prized high school athletes like DE DaQuan Bowers, the nation's No. 2 prospect in the nation according to Scout.com, DT Brandon Thompson and QB Kyle Parker, as well as a host of other highly sought after players.

Napier's already had a good Christmas, so to speak. But being so ever greedy, he wants more.

And with a few very high profile prospects still out there for the taking, Napier wants is so-called birthday presents to be just as good, if not better than what he's already received.

"It's an exciting time," he said Thursday afternoon, just six days removed from National Signing Day. "Anytime you put in a full year, and sometimes two years in on a recruit and you get this close to the decision, obviously you tend to get a bit more anxious.

"But anything we get from this point on would be icing on the cake. It's going to be an interesting six days, I guess you could say."

Clemson has already received commitments from 22 players in a class that is currently ranked No. 15 in the nation by Scout.com.

The Tigers are pursing the services of five or six players with the hopes of landing one, two or three. But what happens if all of them decide that they want to wear orange next year and play in Death Valley?

Will he have to tell someone already committed or one of those players that he really wants that they can no longer accept him?

"Every Sunday, we discuss on where we go if this happens or that happens," Napier said. "It's just a constant chess match. You've got to keep an hour-to-hour pulse on the situation. You've got to kind of keep your hand on it and see what exactly is going on with all these guys that we're recruiting.

"It's just one of those things where you have to make some tough decisions with some really good players. But we're fortunate enough that we're dealing with some really good players where we're going to have to make some tough decisions.

"It's exciting, but at the same time, it's somewhat stressful."

Stress is a word that Napier has probably gotten to know the meaning of all too often these last couple of months.

As coordinator, he's in charge of planning the travel schedules for the coaches and help determining which players are in what pecking order.

And if it weren't enough to have to concentrate solely on high school seniors in these final days before National Signing Day, all those same arrangements have to be made for juniors, as well. Coaches are now in the midst of calling on and visiting 16-year-olds.

All this is done just so he can worry about it all over again exactly one year from now.

But to be honest, he wouldn't have it any other way, which is why maybe it's not a coincidence that recruiting has spike at Clemson ever since he first joined the staff as a graduate assistant in 2004.

"We've got a great product and our kids are happy," Napier said. "I think there are ton of things that go along with being successful in recruiting. It hasn't got anything to do with just one individual."

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