Clemson recruiting: Coaches don’t ‘pitch’ prospects, and it’s worked out pretty well

Check here at Clemson DieHards every Monday-Friday as we keep you updated on the latest happenings on the recruiting trail from the defending national champions with daily notebooks. Be sure to keep an eye on the rest of the ACC DieHards team to be in the loop with the Tigers’ competition, as well, and catch up on any Clemson recruiting notebooks you missed  here .

Clemson doesn’t try to ‘pitch’ recruits

Clemson is in a unique position relative to other schools that may or may not fall into the blue-blood tier of FBS programs across the country.

The undeniable success on the recruiting trail would indicate that Dabo Swinney and his staff hold a notable weight on the minds of potential signees, and why wouldn’t it? The team has been to the national championship game in back-to-back years, and the Tigers are the defending champions of college football.

That, in and of itself, bears noting. And recruits definitely take it into account when trying to figure out which school they want to go to.

But there are plenty of programs that have worked out their “pitch” — that is, the exact methodology behind what they need to say to convince a recruit that their school is the best one available, and they can offer what nobody else can.

Just take a look at Alabama. It’s pretty clear that when prospects are looking at going there, they understand how it serves as an NFL factory; the Crimson Tide churn out first-round draft picks with unbelievable consistency, and that lends itself to more blue-chip recruits filing in to get their shot at the highest level of football.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. Every school has something about them that stands out, an aspect no other school can come close to matching.

What does Dabo Swinney do instead?

Clemson could try and recruit every 5-star prospect, aiming for the highest-rated players and working its way down from there. But as we know, Swinney and his staff simply don’t operate like that.

On Tuesday, Swinney was asked what his pitch is. And he gave a uniquely Swinney answer.

“It’s not really a pitch, it’s the truth,” Swinney said, per The Clemson Insider. “This is a great place. You come to Clemson, we’re going to help you get better. I don’t promise them anything. I tell them if you come here, you’re going to have to compete and earn it, and the best players play. … This is a great institution, you’re surrounded by great people, and we’re going to help you develop on and off the field.”

Just look at Ryan Carter, for example. One of Clemson’s starting cornerbacks was a 2-star recruit in high school, and the lack of attention got to him. But Swinney and his staff took notice, saw what others didn’t, and helped mold him into a critical piece of one of the nation’s best defenses.

Dabo Swinney-Clemson-cakes
Dabo Swinney isn’t one to follow the crowd when it comes to recruiting, but he doesn’t seem to mind. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Or take Hunter Renfrow, the walk-on who made arguably the biggest catch in Clemson history, which secured the Tigers’ second-ever national championship.

That’s not to say they don’t recruit the players with the most stars by their name — obviously, that’s not the case — rather, that’s not the determining factor on whether they  will be recruited.

And I’d say it’s worked out pretty well for Clemson so far.

Miss a previous edition? Find every Clemson DieHards daily recruiting notebook right  here.

The post Clemson recruiting: Coaches don’t ‘pitch’ prospects, and it’s worked out pretty well appeared first on Diehards.

Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.