Tag:Dabo Swinney
Posted on: March 6, 2011 7:57 pm

Clemson picks up in-state defensive end

Posted by Bryan Fischer

After surprising just about everybody by pulling in a top five recruiting class in 2011, Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney are aiming to do the same in 2012.

The Tigers are off to a good start after picking up the commitment of Central (S.C.) defensive end Shaq Lawson on Sunday afternoon.

"I just called Dabo and told him," Lawson told TigerIllustrated.com. "He was very excited. He knew yesterday that he wanted me to come to Clemson. I thought about it and made my decision today."

The 6-foot-4, 230 pound end also held offers from Tennessee, Maryland and East Carolina. He attended Clemson's Junior Day on Saturday and the unofficial visit left a lasting impression on Lawson.

"It was fun," he told the website. "I met coach Dabo and we talked about coming to Clemson. He said he likes me a lot and likes my size. I met with coach Brad Scott and we talked about grades. (Defensive ends coach Marion) Hobby was telling me about himself and why he came back to Clemson. I saw the facilities and brought my uncle Raymond along."

The commitment of Lawson is just the latest in the Daniel High School pipeline. The Tigers signed teammate DeShaun Williams, a defensive tackle, in February.

"He's explosive," Daniel coach Randy Robinson said of Lawson to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. "He has long arms and he gets his hands on (offensive) tackles quickly. He speed rushes off the edge."

One of the top defensive ends in the state, Lawson had 100 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior while also leading the basketball team to a state championship. He is the second commitment of 2012 for Clemson, joining offensive lineman Jay Guillermo.

Posted on: February 14, 2011 3:09 pm

Clemson narrowly misses on Clowney

Posted by Bryan Fischer

In the words of Ricky Bobby from the movie Talladega Nights, “if you’re not first, you’re last.” The same saying applies to college football recruiting but in the case of Clemson and uber-recruit Jadeveon Clowney, it was a very close second to South Carolina.

That much is apparent after reading what Clowney and his mother told Charleston Post and Courier beat writer Travis Haney.

“When I did go to Clemson, I did like Clemson a lot,” Josenna Clowney said. “When it all came down, it was his decision. That’s what he wanted to do. There’s where he wanted to go. I think he was more comfortable with the South Carolina staff and the people down there.

Coach (Dabo) Swinney came to my house and he sat down and he talked to me. He really sounded good about Clemson. We took the visit. We weren’t even going to take the Clemson visit. He talked us into coming to Clemson.”

The in-home visit with Swinney and subsequent visit certainly left Ms. Clowney holding the Tigers in high regard.

“I really liked the way he talked me to me and the things he said,” she told FoxSports.com. “(Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier) talked good, too, about their school and their program. It just seems more sincere from Dabo.”

The comments from Clowney’s mother are certainly interesting but mesh with what many had heard prior to today’s announcement, that the Tigers became a major player down the stretch. Clowney himself also offered some insight into how Clemson and Alabama (his other finalist) were major players before South Carolina made a push.

“(In 2009-10), I thought Clemson and Alabama had a little more to offer,” Clowney said. “They’re big schools. Clemson’s in the ACC and they were winning at that point in time.”

Judging by a few of the message board posts, finishing second isn’t much of a consolation for Clemson fans. I would suggest they take a look at their class of 2011 though.

It’s a pretty good list of talent and should make up for the sting of not getting Clowney’s signature today. Sort of.

Posted on: February 5, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:04 pm

Video: Clemson Signing Day Recap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

One of the biggest surprises on Signing Day was just how well Clemson did on the recruiting trail. Bringing in the number six class in the country was quite the accomplishment for Dabo Swinney and staff.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 7:51 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 10:09 pm

National Signing Day: ACC Winners/Losers

Posted by Chip Patterson

Overview - While a lot of the great news did center around Florida State and Clemson on National Signing Day, most schools finished National Signing Day about how they figured they would. There was certainly the drama of players like Tony Steward and Timmy Jernigan, but few coaches will feel like National Signing Day set their program back in any way.


Clemson - Without a doubt, the biggest Signing Day winner of the ACC. Clemson entered Wednesday with a very good recruiting class, and finished with one of the best classes in the nation. The Tigers pulled in two of MaxPreps top six ranked prospects with linebackers Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward. Dabo Swinney also got two surprise commitments out of defensive end Roderick Byers and offensive guard Spencer Region.

Florida State - Jimbo Fisher has been receiving commitments from some of the best players in the nation over the last several weeks. So it should come as no surprise that he treated landing Timmy Jernigan, the No. 3 defensive tackle in the nation, so casually. Fisher has wasted no time putting his fingerprints all over the Florida State program. Between the way the Seminoles finished 2010 and the recruiting job done by Fisher's staff, there is reason to believe Florida State is on the way back to the top of the ACC.

North Carolina - Dirty recruiting is always going to be an issue with any coveted prospect. But having to recruit amidst an ongoing NCAA investigation creates a whole new competitive edge for the opposition. Head coach Butch Davis overcame all the controversy to finish with a recruiting class that MaxPreps has ranked No. 19 nationally. Only Florida State, Clemson, and Virginia are ranked higher.

Virginia - People figured that Mike London would be able to re-energize the Virginia football program, but no one was sure it could happen so quickly. Between Richmond, William & Mary, and Virginia - London has spent nearly two decades as a coach in the state of Virginia. On National Signing Day, the nation watched as top uncommitted's from the Commonwealth continued to sign with the Cavaliers. There is a lot of good football in the state of Virginia, and if London can own the area the Cavaliers will see rapid improvement in Charlottesville.


Virginia Tech - The Hokies really missed out on quarterback Lafonte Thourogood. Hailing from Virginia Beach, traditional thinking would say the athletic quarterback would be a lock for Frank Beamer's staff. But James Franklin put in work once he got to Vanderbilt and convinced Thourogood to join the Commodores.

Miami - Considering how little time Al Golden had to hit the recruiting trail, he pulled in a solid class to Coral Gables. But there were several noteworthy uncommitted prospects on National Signing Day who still listed Miami as one of their final choices. Hat after hat, Miami was snubbed by the likes of Bryant Dubose, Dominique Terrell, and most dramatically Elkino Watson. Watson grew up a Miami fan, and many believed his announcement was going to be for the Hurricanes. But with all the hats on the table, Watson had a friend bring a USF hat from the audience. Then his family started doing the Bull dance. Working it. (Seriously)

More Recruiting Coverage can be found here at CBSSports.com
Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 1:40 pm

Swinney lands hot class from the hot seat

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 CBSSports.com
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:54 am

Stephone Anthony chooses Clemson

Posted by Tom Fornelli

What's been a strong day for Dabo Swinney and Clemson just keeps getting stronger. Earlier on Wednesday the Tigers landed Tony Steward to their 2011 class, and now another one of the top linebackers in the country has committed to Clemson. Stephone Anthony chose Clemson over Virginia Tech, Florida and North Carolina.

Anthony is considered the fourth best player in the country in MaxPreps Top 100, and when you add that to Steward -- who is ranked sixth -- you have to think that Clemson is going to have a very strong linebacking corps over the next few seasons.

In fact, this signing along with Steward vaults Clemson's class to the top five in MaxPreps' rankings.

Anthony is listed at 6'3 220-pounds, and played his high school ball at Anson in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

More Signing Day coverage is here  at CBS. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 10:20 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 10:24 am

Tony Steward signs with Clemson, spurns FSU

Posted by Chip Patterson

Tony Steward is a unique talent at middle linebacker.  The MaxPreps #6 overall prospect has been bouncing between Clemson and Florida State right up until the final days.  Both schools were able to get in-home visits last week, with Florida State wrapping up the process on Friday.  But by the time Steward made his announcement on national television, most of the Seminole coaching staff reportedly felt Steward would be a Tiger.

Steward spoke of his late father, and the challenges that await leaving the state of Florida.  But something that Dabo Swinney is doing seems to be working on the Class of 2011.  Even before Steward's announcement, MaxPreps had Clemson ranked as the #13 recruiting class in the nation .  This will certainly boost their status, and the hopes for the 2011 season for Tigers fans.

More Recruiting Coverage 

Posted on: February 1, 2011 8:08 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 8:22 pm

ACC Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Chip Patterson

Before we get geared up with the madness known as National Signing Day, here is a rundown of some of the last minute names and stories in the ACC.

Players to Watch

Stephone Anthony (pictured), LB, Anson (Wadesboro, NC): The talented outside linebacker has narrowed his choices to Clemson and Virginia Tech, and plans to make his intentions known at 11:30 ET on national television.  MaxPreps has Anthony as the top rated player at his position and number 4 overall.  Anthony is credited as being an "every down type player" who can make an immediate impact if necessary.  Getting Anthony would be great news for Clemson, who said goodbye to Brandon Maye earlier this week.

Tony Steward, MLB/RB, Menendez (St. Augstine, FL): Considered the next best linebacker behind Anthony, Steward also finds himself flirting with Clemson, but also could end up with Florida State after an in-home with Jimbo Fisher on Friday.  Steward will announce before Anthony, also on national television.  If Steward ends up with the Seminoles, there will be much more pressure for Anthony to end up with Clemson (where some of the Twitter rumors on Tuesday have him committing).

Darius Jennings, QB/DB, Gilman (Baltimore, MD): MaxPreps has Jennings ranked as the #5 athlete in the class of 2011, but the Baltimore native has some unique schools left on his final list before National Signing Day.  In addition to Ohio State, Jennings is still considering offers from Virginia and recently added Wake Forest.  His 4.4 speed makes him a threat that could be plugged in at any position, but many believe he may find his spot at defensive back.  Regardless of position, a player of this caliber would be a huge sign for the Cavaliers or the Demon Deacons.

Teams to Watch

Florida State: With six players in the MaxPreps Top 100 and No. 2 ranking from Tom Lemming, Florida State will be the biggest topic of discussion on National Signing Day in the ACC. All of this and the Seminoles still have the possibility of adding Tony Steward and Tim Jernigan. Jimbo Fisher has worked the recruiting trail as hard as anyone in the conference. His message to the Seminole fanbase is to re-establish Florida State's position atop the ACC.

Clemson: Despite a less than stellar season under Dabo Swinney, and some major changes on the coaching staff, the Tigers find themselves right in contention with the best schools in the country coming into National Signing Day. They already have a nationally ranked class, and are battling down to the wire for Tony Steward, Stephone Anthony, and defensive tackle Phillip Dukes, among others.

North Carolina: Despite spending most of the season in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, head coach Butch Davis has been able to keep North Carolina on the list of many top recruits. According to local reports, Davis has been making no promises to recruits regarding possible NCAA sanctions. Davis has been stacking four-star recruits, and still could make a splash on National Signing Day with Curtis Grant.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher needed only one season as head of the program to get them right back to the top of the national scene. After a strong finish that included their first appearance in the ACC Championship Game since 2005, Florida State could end up landing one of the best recruiting classes in nation. If Timmy Jernigan and Tony Steward do end up hopping on board, it could be one of the best classes in a long time in Tallahassee.

More Signing Day coverage
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com