Napier, Staff Preparing for Junior Day

The Clemson coaching staff will welcome some of the top juniors in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia on campus this weekend. Read on to find out what takes place and what to expect!

So what exactly is "Junior Day?"

Well for starters, most of the top college football programs around the country usually set aside a day during the month of February to host the top junior prospects in their area.

Basically, it's a chance for next year's high school football players to see what a school is all about.

And at Clemson, it's no different.

The Tigers are expecting as many as 40 top juniors on campus this weekend for their junior day event.

"We won't have 80 or 100 or 150 people here like some of the schools do," Clemson recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach Billy Napier told CUTigers.com in a recent interview. "40 is a much more manageable number. We like to have the guys in here that can travel to Clemson in less than a day."

So what exactly takes place during junior day?

It starts with what you'd expect- a basic tour of the facilities, including the WestZone, Death Valley and the academic support system.

However, one of the biggest keys for Clemson's coaching staff this weekend has nothing to do with majors, stadiums or conference championships.

It's all about building relationships and getting to know the individual recruits themselves.

"We want the kids to leave here with a good first impression," said Napier. "We want most of their questions answered and we want them to have a certain comfort level with Clemson University.

"We also want to be able to look these kids in the eye and have them give us a feel for what they are all about and vice-versa."

The day officially starts around lunch time and is less formal than what you'd expect for an official visit.

"It's a little less detailed," said Napier. "A little less formal, but we show them the program from every possible angle. We give them a complete overview of what Clemson is all about. The academics, the tradition, the discipline- everything. You'd like for the big questions to be answered this weekend."

For the most part, the prospects and their families travel to Clemson and back home in one day. If they choose to stay overnight, it's at their own expense. As a result, most of the kids on campus Saturday will be from South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina.

But again, for Napier, it all comes back to building relationships. And with as many as 40 prospects on campus this weekend, those relationships are not only built with Napier and head coach Tommy Bowden, but also the recruiting coach.

"Everybody will talk to Coach Bowden this weekend," said Napier. "But the guys need to make a connection with their recruiting coach. That relationship needs to be there and that's really what this weekend is all about."

With three public verbal commitments already on board for the 2009 class, Clemson's recruiting efforts have already gotten off to a stellar start.

And don't be surprised if that number increases after Saturday.

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