The Price of Success

The Tigers are now recruiting at an elite level and with that comes attrition. 

Nobody ever wants to see a beloved player from their favorite team leave to play elsewhere. Especially for a rival. That’s something that’s been commonplace for years at the NFL level due to free agency, but at the college level players generally stuck around until their eligibility was exhausted.

Let’s face it, those days are now in the rear view mirror. Five years ago, seeing kids graduate in three years and then transfer out to play their final season at a different school, just wasn’t something we saw much of. We certainly weren’t seeing guys stay in a program for one season, or even less than that, then move on.

Welcome to today’s sport of college football. The landscape has changed, and it’s changed quickly. It’s understandable that fans get somewhat emotional seeing one player after another transferring. It’s something they’re not used to yet. Some may never get used to it.

At a school like Clemson, whose becoming a major player on the recruiting scene, transfers could possibly occur at an even higher rate. When you’re recruiting at that level and stockpiling elite level talent at most of the positions on the field, it’s just going to happen. There’s only one ball and you can’t keep everyone happy all the time.

Most will recall when Clemson had accumulated an unheard of amount of talent in its quarterback room. Kelly Bryant and Hunter Johnson were both on the roster and Trevor Lawrence was on the way. Add in Zerrick Cooper and Tucker Israel, both of which were highly touted prospects, and there was just no way there wouldn’t be some attrition.

Clemson is experiencing its greatest run of success in program history at the moment. It’s astonishing to look at the roster and see just how much elite level talents is on it. Dabo Swinney and the rest of his staff have done a remarkable job at creating a culture in which these players thrive on the competition. The competition amongst themselves. Most realize that practicing against the best day in and day out can serve them just as well as anything.

Despite that culture, we’re still going to see guys leave. There’s just too much money on the table at the next level. So much so, that for some it must be almost intoxicating. They’ve got to do what they think is best for their own future.

For some of these kids, that’s what college ball is about. Getting to the next level and securing the financial future of their families. If we’re being honest, thats exactly what it should be about as much as anything else.

Bottom line, the teams that are bringing in the most talent are bound to have issues keeping them all. With Clemson, the culture in place keeps them from having as many as some others might, but when you scan the roster and see so much four and five star talent, there’s going to be a few transfers. It’s the nature of the beast these days.

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