In late August Dabo Swinney was given a 8-year, $54M contract. I bring this up because it’s only week three of college football, yet the ‘crootin trail is already beginning to experience the “Dabo-effect”.
After winning a National Championship over perennial powerhouse Alabama, it seems as if the Clemson Tigers are on top of the world and all is great. This past weekend the Tigers hosted Auburn in Death Valley, and several of the nation’s top recruits were in attendance for the showdown.
With 11 sacks against Auburn on Saturday, the Tigers defense is beginning to recruit for themselves. Two prospects already committed to Clemson, IMG Academy students Xavier Thomas and Mike Jones Jr., are also hard on the recruiting trail. The pair has been vocal in urging their teammate, 4-star DB Brendan Radley-Hiles who is a soft commit to the University of Nebraska, to join forces. Even the No. 2 basketball recruit in the nation, Zion Williamson, was in Death Valley last weekend. The football team’s success is starting to allow other programs to gain recognition from 5-star athletes as well.
But, defense is only one third of the game. Let’s not forget that Swinney has already swiped up the No. 1 quarterback/No. 2 overall player in the class, Trevor Lawrence. A 6-6 pro-style quarterback with a pass first mentality, Lawrence’s talent combined with Clemson’s reputation as “Wide Receiver U” could end up being a deadly combination.
Clemson hasn’t shied away from hosting or being a part of big time games, either. This week, the Tigers head to the Bluegrass state to play Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals. As a regular season week three matchup, this game has national title implications. This represents the culture that not only Clemson is building, but the entire ACC. These programs starting to recruit better is making these “boring week 3 games” not so boring after all.
Just imagine being a high school junior/senior and seeing a young, proven coach get an extension at a school with the pedigree such as Clemson. It has to be exciting, doesn’t it?