Clemson Recruiting: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

Sometimes circumstances, not happenstances, necessitate changes.

Clemson recruiting is proof positive this is true, especially when the change is embraced by Dabo Swinney, the man that believes change for the sake of change is a four letter word.

After the mass staff exodus in December, right before National Signing Day, the Tigers’ 2022 classs was in real danger. Something had to change, well, not so much of a change, rather just going back to the way things used to be. Enter Swinney, Clemson’s version of the Wizard of Oz and the Energizer Bunny rolled into one mean, clean, recruiting machine.

Swinney hit the road, travelling all across the country, to reach out to those undecided young men. Something the head coach had not done a lot of the past couple of years.

Sometimes, the old way is the best way. The extra time, love and interest paid off. Depending which recruiting service you look at, Clemson’s 2022 class, though small, was hovering around the Top-10. It was an impressive finish, but really it was just the beginning.

Like before, Swinney, the consummate recruiting closer, has recently been the consummate frontman. He’s a natural. Although he’s a busy husband, father, coach and potentate, he seems to really enjoy the change.

The new staff members and promoted staff members seem to be having great success thus far with the 2023 class and beyond, despite only one 2023 commitment. The boards seem to be expanding a little earlier than we’ve seen in recent classes, and that’s a good thing.

If recruiting were a Rubik’s Cube, you remember that confounding puzzle that proves very hard for us average folks to master, Swinney and staff are masters at such puzzles. They seem to know the right moves, find the right words, and show their true generosity of spirit that every mother hopes to see. It’s proven wildly successful over the last thirteen years and I suspect that won’t change much.

Even though the forces of change (ie: the transfer portal and especially NIL) have created new challenges, most believe the recruiting process is still about relationships, not bank accounts. Let’s hope so. I believe the type of young men Swinney and staff seek are looking at and focusing on the bigger picture. They’re smart.

So, in the recruiting arena, Swinney knows that sometimes you’ve got to look back to see the future. Yes, the future of Clemson’s recruiting process is changing but don’t fear, the more things change on the recruiting front, the more Swinney remains the same.

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