Blog Entry

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 1:40 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

At the end of the 2010 season, Clemson fans were not too happy with the 6-7 record that finished in a loss to South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Tigers dropped 4 of their last 6 games, and thanks to a pair of low-scoring losses to Boston College and Florida State , played themselves out of a wide-open Atlantic Division race.

Those frustrated fans do not feel the same way on Wednesday.

Dabo Swinney has moved from the hot seat to the headlines in the last two months, piecing together a recruiting class that now ranks among the best in the nation. Commitments from Stephone Anthony (LB, No. 5 overall prospect) and Tony Steward (LB, No. 7 overall prospect) headline what could go down as a historic day for Swinney's career as a head coach.

Swinney carried the reputation as an excellent recruiter while serving as an assistant under Tommy Bowden. But Wednesday's commitments completed a class that may even surpass the expectations of a hungry Clemson fan base.

When the heat came down on the head coach at the end of the season, Swinney calmly replied that he would evaluate every aspect of the team before taking action. The first thing he did was make major changes to the coaching staff, bringing some fresh faces to help re-energize the program. With new assistants in place, Swinney hit the recruiting trail with plans to lock down the best of the best (check), as well as sway any players that may be wavering on their verbal commitments with the competition.

Spencer Region , the 345 pound offensive guard from Cullman, AL, had a widespread recruitment that saw him entertain several big-name programs, reportedly narrowing his list to LSU and Wisconsin in December. But on National Signing Day, Region announced his intentions to play for the Tigers.

A similar situation occurred with defensive end Roderick Byers . Byers verbally committed to Oregon less than two weeks ago. Byers has good size and an impressive wingspan that helps him reel in opponents in pursuit. With ACC Defensive Player of the Year Da'Quan Bowers departing for the NFL, Swinney was able to snatch a player of similar size right out from under the nose of Chip Kelly.

Clemson came into National Signing Day on everyone's radar. They have a great crop of wide receivers highlighted by standouts Charone Peake and Sammy Watkins . Mike Bellamy (RB) and Eric MacLain (TE) also rank among the best in the nation at their position. But after landing two of the nation's top ten recruits and pulling off two big prospect surprises, Dabo Swinney's recruiting class is not just on the radar - it is as high as No. 5 in the nation .

Now, the biggest challenge for Swinney will be turning this recruiting class into results on the field.

More Recruiting Coverage can be found here at

Since: Oct 14, 2007
Posted on: February 22, 2011 3:26 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

YOU IDIOTS are all wasting your time and breath.   This is the ACC.......not the SEC or Big Ten of Big 12.  

YOUR FOOTBALL SUCKS!   PERIOD!   Look at your pathetic conference's record in bowl games, especially BCS games.  

Stick with basketball you Southern Fried IDIOTS!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 3, 2011 1:07 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

You're absolutely right....a top whatever recruiting class doesn't mean crap unless they can "gel" that unit together. Top talent with a losing record and a very hot seat is simply a good sign that there is more to Dabo than people see on the surface. And I don't talk trash really. It's not my way. You have to be either an idiot or a loudmouth to talk trash to a team that beats you all the time.
Personailly, I've always seen a big similiarity between Tech and Clemson in regards to underachieving. Nothing frustrates me more than that crap. I don't know about you, but I am just ready to see ALL the ACC schools raise up and stick a damn gag in the mouths of these "big" conferences like the SEC and Big 12!!

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: February 3, 2011 9:37 am

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

Look, I agree that more coaches should get a longer leash but the reality is they don't have that luxury.  This is why I have questions!  To be honest, as a coach, he does not strike fear and I hope he stays there for a while.  And I have heard these same statements for years.  UVA had a top 5 recruiting class under Al Groh but he was able to translate that into a 1-8 record against Tech!  Also, how many times has UNC and Miami had better classes?  Winning on signing day means nothing to me!  As for the attacks on Beamer against Clemson, do you guys realize he has a winning record against Clemson with 5 straight wins??  If Dabo gets 5 straight against Beamer, then I will let you guys talk trash.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:52 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

Believe me, Hokieguy81, I have plenty of reservations about Dabo. Then again, I am not one of the ones screaming for his job. I believe he is a young coach with a LOT to learn. I think every coach (unless he's Tommy West) should get 4 years to prove himself. I am the first to admit that Tiger fans are notoriously impatient. Dabo's biggest worry is losing 2 in a row to the Gamecocks!! I have plenty of respect for Hokie Nation. I don't know about that whole best entrance in college football thing, but......I digress.

Since: Oct 9, 2009
Posted on: February 2, 2011 9:26 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

Why are Clemson fans trying to compare an upstart team and a team that hired a coach to get them in to consistent contention???  ANd, you same fans wanted him gone two months ago!!  Plus, I didn't attack your coach, just asked why recruits wanted to go to a school where the coach is on a hot seat!  Don't believe me that you guys wanted him gone, check out these links and read the comments!  Heck there is even a fire Dabo Swinney facebook page!!

Worry about your own fans trashing him before you get worked up over a simple question about your wonderful program.  I can't wait for the day you take your SEC attitude to the actual SEC!

Since: Feb 2, 2011
Posted on: February 2, 2011 8:52 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

Beamers first six years @ va tech 24-40 .......there u go dipstik. So why u wont to crack on Dabo ? Give the guy a chance just like ole FB got.
enuff said...............................


Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 7:17 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

I don't know why the VT fan has so much anger, but maybe we all would be if we had to live in Blacksburg and lose to James Madison and what seems like every bowl game they play. 

Really?  Blacksburg is an awesome place.  Not sure where you are getting your information. Don't make me lose respect for my Clemson friends. Losing to JMU righted our season.  Our bowl record since Beamer has been around 500, so not as bad as everyone thinks.  And don't think we are going to drop off the planet, we will be solid as always, just not great.  Clemson comes to Blacksburg next year and we will see.  We will have new QB, new starting RB (but stud in David Wilson) with Williams and Evans going pro so you should whip up on us, but somehow I bet we will have a good shot to win that game.

Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 7:04 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

HokieGuy you make some valid points.  I asked the same questions.  But I think you and I know that we wish Beamer could recruit like this.  We like to say he recruits guys that fit the system.  But for VT to go to the next level we have to get some of these guys.  I am really baffled why we can't get those guys.  Great facilities, great fans, best entrance in college football, great coaching staff.  There is a reason we lose a lot of the big games.  We flat out don't have the athletes and depth that the big boys have.  Get us the talent and maybe we could get that national championship we are looking for.

To Clemson fans, I have been to Clemson, been in the Presidents Box (or whatever it is called) and I have nothing but respect for Clemson.  Great game atmosphere, great fans, great respect to opponents.  I have lots of friends who are Tigers.  I have asked them today the same questions that Hokieguy brought up.  Jokingly I asked what are you guys paying them.  At some point all these great recruiting classes have to yield W's.  Maybe this will happen for you guys.  I for one know we need more quality (on the national level) teams in the ACC.  I am sick of the beating we take every year, the beating is deserved by the way.

So you should be happy today and hope that this will take you to the next level. 

Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posted on: February 2, 2011 6:55 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

As a fan of Clemson and the ACC since 1968, great job Coaches on recruiting an outstanding class that fills needs. With the staff changes and an influx of talent the future looks much brighter at Clemson. I don't know why the VT fan has so much anger, but maybe we all would be if we had to live in Blacksburg and lose to James Madison and what seems like every bowl game they play. Maybe one day VT will win a national Championship like Clemson, FSU, and Ga Tech have. VT better worry about Ga Tech, UNC, Virginia, and Miami. Less than eight months until the season starts, CAN'T WAIT!!!!

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: February 2, 2011 4:55 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

@HokieGuy- I see the point you are trying to make, but I have told plenty of other Clemson fans (and believe me I bleed orange like no one else...born and raised IN CLEMSON) that they need to be a little more patient with Coach Swinney. Dabo is using guys like Frank Beamer as a model for what he wants to do- get the best you can and develop the talent and the team for depth. Is it a drawback to get a top 5 cor lass? HELL NO!!! Every coach wants to get the best players possible. Who would complain about 2 of the top 3 linebackers, a top 5 running back and 3 of the top 10 WR's? Nobody with a brain, that's for sure.
I, for one, believe Dabo will be one of the hottest coaches in the country in 2 or 3 years. He has a lot to learn, but he has a lot of great qualities that are just God given gifts....and he is, obviously, one hell of a recruiter.

@JediSithLord- You're an idiot. The ACC is down in recent years....true. Clemson is an underachiever....true. Everybody has negatives to try and improve on. You, however, are just a prick. Piss off. Don't hate on Clemson because they pulled off a great class. What do you care?

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