Dabo Swinney: From Looking for ‘NIL Deal With U-Haul’ to Nation’s Longest Winning Streak

Clemson won 10 games last season for the 11th consecutive season. However, Dabo Swinney’s team had to scratch and claw its way towards earning those 10 wins.

The Tigers dropped two games in the month of September for the first time since 2014, and after the midseason loss to Pitt, found themselves sitting at just 4-3 in a season in which pretty much everyone had them pegged for a seventh straight College Football Playoff appearance. Clemson would rebound and win the next six, which is currently the longest winning streak in the country.

“If were easy to do, there’d be a lot more people (doing it),” Swinney said this week on The Packer and Durham Show. “As crazy as a year as we had, and we’re sitting there at 4-3, and they’ve got U-Haul trucks outside the Swinney house, not even Two Men and a Truck, it’s U-Haul on out of here. Maybe I’ll get an NIL deal with U-Haul. We now have the longest winning streak in the nation with six. We’ve won six in a row. That’s crazy.”

The Tigers were an injury riddled team in 2021, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. Many of those injuries stretched into the spring as a number of players missed all 15 practices and the spring game still recuperating from offseason procedures, but all are expected to beready to go by fall camp.

“But we’re like anybody else, we have a lot of work to do this summer,” Swinney said. “We had 21 guys out this spring. Most all, except for two, were postseason injuries, recoveries, surgeries, etc., because it was a crazy year. Getting healthy.”

Another positive coming out of the spring is that the Tigers did not have a single player enter the transfer portal. Swinney said that leading up to the May 1 deadline for players to enter, there was not one player he thought might leave and the head coach said that kind of commitment that will serve his team well going forward.

“I love that we had 109 guys go through spring and not one left,” Swinney said. “There wasn’t one guy that I was sitting around that I was ‘Uh-oh, what’s going to happen?’ We have a very committed team. We have a team that has a lot of self-awareness. The 109 exit meetings I had with those guys, I think it’s a very self-aware team. Nobody that I felt we weren’t on the same page. I love that. I think we have great leadership.”

Swinney also fully believes that if is team can stay healthy, it once again will have the opportunity to be one of the nation’s best.

“I think we’ve got a great football team in the making,” Swinney said. “As I tell them all the time, we’ve got the ingredients, we just have to put it all together. So it’s a big summer for everyone. This is what we call the transformation time of our year.”

The head coach is now looking for his team to take the momentum they finished last season with into summer workouts and then into the fall, as the Tigers look to reclaim their perch atop the ACC standings.

“If we’ll put the work in and do what it takes and come in August if the Good Lord keeps us healthy, we’ve got a chance to be a really good football team. We were a good team last year. I know 10-3 is a disappointment to a lot of people, but I was proud of that football team, of how we finished. I think we’ve got good momentum. A lot of the intangibles and the things that you can’t really measure on paper or see really at times, I think this team has deep inside it.”

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