This past Wednesday was National Signing Day for college football teams across the country. If you know anything about college football, this day has taken on the feeling of Christmas morning. Everyone loves their recruits. Every team is undefeated and has high hopes. Everyone stands a chance. The future is always bright.
This year, for Clemson, was critical. The Tigers had just come off a 6-7 season (their first losing season since 1998), a loss to South Carolina (first time losing twice in a row to them since 1970), and a loss to a sub-par Big East South Florida team in a sub-par bowl. On top of that, the offensive coordinator and running backs/special teams coaches were fired and the defensive ends coach left for more green at Alabama. None of the above boded well for Clemson several weeks before signing day.
And yet Dabo Swinney pulled the rabbit out of the hat yet again.
Everyone from the New York Times to SB Nation to USA Today to ESPN seems to have something online about how Clemson was the surprise of the day. Pretty much across the board for the recruiting services, Clemson pulled in a top 10 class. Miraculous considering the above, really. Just judging by the Rivals rankings, Clemson pulled in the following:
- 1st (Tony Steward), 3rd (Stephone Anthony), & 10th (Lateek Townsend) linebackers
- 3rd (Sammy Watkins) & 11th (Charone Peake) wide receivers
- 5th (Mike Bellamy) running back
- 6th (Eric MacLain)tight end
- 7th (Ammon Lakip) kicker
- 9th (Tony McNeal) quarterback
That doesn’t include the 1st (Martavis Bryant – wide receiver) & 2nd (Corey Crawford – defensive end) prep school players in the country. That’s some serious talent. Crazy stuff, people! It also doesn’t include the potential for signing the #1 overall recruit in the country (Jadeveon Clowney, a defensive end from Rock Hill, SC). He’s been between Alabama & South Carolina forever. But with Clemson’s recent class, the fact they’ve had the last official visit, and his waning interest in Alabama, Clemson is back in the picture. He’s almost assuredly going to South Carolina. But never say never…
And with that, I start my weekend dog-sitting at the house with the mom and step dad out of town. Any guesses at how many movies on Netflix I wind up watching? I’ve already watched More Than A Game, a documentary about LeBron James’ high school basketball team. I’m coming a bigger and bigger fan of documentaries but more on that tomorrow…