Recruiting is the lifeblood of the hopes, dreams and ultimate success of every college football program.
The lifeblood of the Clemson 2022 class early on, seemed to run cold due to the Covid related restrictions and extended dead period. Despite some signs of life and the return to a certain degree to normalcy, then came December. The fragile bottom of that basket fell through, caused by huge staff changes and four, eleventh hour decommitments before the Early Signing day. It left Dabo Swinney and staff reeling. Fans, myself included, wondered what was next?
I wish I were different but I’m not. I wish I were a “glass half-full” sort of person, I’m not. Funny, I’m not even a “glass half empty” person. Me? I’m more of a “what in the heck is in the glass” person.
It’s human to take a curiously ambivalent position on any subject particular to that which relates to the effervescent, unflappable and always, bubbly Swinney. I’m not insinuating any untruth, never. Swinney’s integrity is beyond reproach but I am always a touch skeptical with the head coach’s “brilliantly glowing” prognosis of any situation where Clemson is concerned. He’s just so pleasingly glib. The more he talks, the more questions come to mind, but answers aren’t actually required from Swinney, fans trust him hands down (or at least they should).
I’ve seen the graphics, a side by side snapshot of the recruiting rankings from December 2021 Early Signing Day. You remember that one, where the Tiger’s recruiting class riddled with holes (after the four de-commits ) ranked a paltry 23rd in the nation. The glass, no matter which angle viewed was almost empty.
Swinney secured his staff, hit the recruiting trail to salvage a respectable class both in numbers and in talent, and he succeeded. Also, as he’s known to do, Swinney brought in a contingent of legacy and walk-on recruits. While it doesn’t go against the total of 85 Scholarships, it does mean a lot of project players and their associated, long-term development. It’s an investment, one Swinney has never wavered from, one he takes immense pride in making.
The second graphic, that side-by-side chart reranking the Class of 2022 after the second National Signing Day has the Tigers, almost remarkably at No 11 (247 Sports). Other services have them a little further up in the top ten but whose counting other than me? It is simply amazing, considering the numbers, the hurdles, the competition. Honestly, this might be one of the best class of recruits in Swinney’s tenure. Well at the very least, the hardest, most difficult group to assemble.
Back to that dang “glass.” It’s neither half empty nor half full. Rather, that glass sits there completely filled with something very familiar, the sweet nectar of success.
Like every single Tiger fan with a voice, some loudly as of late but it’s hard for even the biggest critic to argue with Swinney’s constant deliverance of recruiting success. There’s living proof. It’s time to stop running mouths, sit down, close mouths, open ears and listen to the sounds Tiger fans have all come to know so well. The sounds of success.
Here’s to you class of 2022. Welcome to the next stop in your journey towards greatness. Regardless of how you got here or where you came from, we’re glad you’re now a part of this, the Clemson Family.
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