Monday, December 14, 2009

Clemson's Swinney looking like a closer

Remember when Clemson invited coach Tommy Bowden to step down in the middle of last season and made then-39-year-old assistant Dabo Swinney the Tigers’ interim head coach?

I’m sure school officials agonized over whether or not they should remove that interim and give a young guy with no head coaching experience the job.

After all, arch-rival South Carolina was led by Steve Spurrier, one of the great names in college coaching history.

Then Swinney whipped the Gamecocks 31-14, and was given a five-year contract on Dec. 1.

It was the right move. Swinney showed he can coach, but maybe even more importantly, he’s looking like a recruiting closer, one of those guys kids instinctively like who can seal the deal.

He landed three more quality players (two seniors and a junior) over the weekend, and his class of 2010 is climbing into the top 20 on recruiting service rankings.
That’s tough to do at Clemson, which competes with SEC programs for many prospects.

Swinney, though, is rolling.

Which means the Tigers are as well.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

When does Dabo get an apology from JP Giglio and Ken Tysiacs for mocking him as a viable head coach?

Anonymous said...

#28 makes a lot of coaches look viable. Clemson wins 5 games this year w/o Spiller. No apology 4 Dabo, jury is still out.

Anonymous said...

Somebody obviously isn't all that aware...but Dabo is the guy who recruited Spiller in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Doesnt matter if he recruited him. Dabo is obviously a good recruiter, but CJ is a once in a decade or longer player. He was Clemsons offense period and his impact on their games is not replaceable.

Anonymous said...

The jury is still out on Dabo -- he is losing too many talented players to the draft this year (which may even include his starting Quarterback to the MLB draft) so it is not until he has a year or two without such talented players that we will see what Dabo is made of --

Grubb said...

Bowden had Spiller AND so much more (Davis, a proven senior QB, Kelly, Grishm, & a top 15 defense) and didn't win the Atlantic when it was their for the taking. Apparently Dabo was an upgrade since we lost all that talent and still won the Atlantic and came very close to winning the division.

Spiller is the player of a decade for certain, but Ellington has very similar moves & Harper is very Davis-like. Plus, the O-line comes back intact except for Austin. Even with losing Spiller & Ford, our offense may be better overall since Parker & the O-line will be improved.

Anonymous said...

Grubb, you must be high if you think Ellington and Harper and even similar to Spiller and Davis. They are average rb's at best. You supposedly had a top 15 defense this year. And lets be honest, Clemson wouldn't have won any other division in any other conference. Clemson will take a step back next year without doubt.

Grubb said...

Apparently you didn't watch enough Clemson games. In the final 5 games here are Spiller's & Ellington's yards per carry.

FSU: Spiller 7.5, Ellington 9.0
NCST: Spiller 5.4, Ellington 4.4
UVA: Spiller 3.1, Ellington 5.8
USC: Spiller 2.0, Ellington 6.5
GT: Spiller 11.7, Ellington 12.6

No, I'm not saying Ellington is as good as Spiller, but his numbers show that it won't be a huge drop off as you suggest. He's not as fast, but with a better O-line, he should have better opportunities. Don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

I can't agree Grubb. Look, I hate Clemson more than any other sports team on the planet, but theres not another player in the country that makes you hold your breathe every time he touches the ball like Spiller. Your offense won't be getting the ball on the 40 every possession next year. As far as the O-Line, they seemed to be a huge weakness for you guys and if the same guys are coming back, I wouldnt expect a big improvement. With the exception of USC, the numbers you show for Ellington wasn't against solid defenses. Your schedule should help but I wouldn't expect another trip to Tampa.

Grubb said...

I'm not comparing Ellington against Coastal Carolina to Spiller against USC. Regardless of the defense's quality, Ellington's numbers against the same opponents were as good as Spiller's (but Spiller was hurt, so it's a little skewed).

Being as objective as I can, I agree with you that I haven't seen anyone like Spiller with his speed & moves that's likely to break a long one at any time.

Regarding the O-line, you have to admit we were better this year than last year with the same personnel. And next year with essentially the same guys, they should be even better...even if "better" isn't great. :) They should work better together, provide at least slightly better openings for the RBs and slightly better protection for Parker.

Anonymous said...

Also, you have to take into account that teams are keying on Spiller and not so much on Ellington. I'm aware of OL issues, my guys have plenty and we just lost our OL Coach who was a great recruiter so we'll see if we lose any recruits. Parker is the real deal if they give him time and doesn't go in the baseball draft, but I've heard Boyd may be the best QB on the team.

Grubb said...

Hopefully we'll be more balanced, and teams won't be able to key on Ellington. I surely am going to miss watching Spiller in Orange.

And you're right, unless we have another homerun threat returner that I don't know about, we'll be getting the ball between the 10 and 30 yard line. Maybe Dabo needs to go out to the track practices this summer. : )

I presume you're a USC fan. I was very disappointed at how well y'all played against us. What's your o-line's status/problems? Lot of young guys like us, or are you losing some veterans?

Anonymous said...

No, basically our OL just stinks! They played pretty well the last few games of the year so there is a little hope there. All but 1 guy will be back but as the saying goes "the good news is we have all our lineman back", but "the bad news is we have all our lineman back!" I've had enough of #28 in orange and #15 in florida so I'm ecstatic they will not be returning. As far as our game against you guys, I never saw it coming in a million years. I thought after the way USC played against Florida we may have a chance to win a squeaker, but did not expect that outcome. I will admit food tastes better and the air smells cleaner....at least until november next year! :)

Grubb said...

I've certainly enjoyed discussing this with you. It's nice to have a pleasant discussion without all the "you guys suck!!" type comments. I'm generally very realistic (occasionally overly optimistic when it comes to my Tigers), so I realize we could take a step backwards next year; but I really think with Parker, the o-line, and the coaches all maturing, we should make a run at the Atlantic again.

And I feel the same about our o-line as you do yours. You keep hoping they'll be better and expect it due to their experience, but you never know. The best example I ever saw of that was when Clemson had Roman Fry, Dustin Fry, and that group. They were horrible their first 2 years but excellent their next 2.

Yeah, things are just a little better when you win. I try not to take the losses badly, but the wins are nice. : )

Anonymous said...

I think we are all guilty of the garnet/orange shaded optimism. At least you guys have a realistic chance of playing in your conference championship game. You guys have a strong recruiting class coming in and I hope we are able to hang on to our OL commits. Enjoyed talkin to you to....take care Grubb!

Charles said...

Anon - If Spiller is now such a 'once in a decade' player, where the heck were you when the Heisman was being debated? Spiller got no love from the Charl Observ, The Raleigh News & Observ, or the Columbia State - why? Because of jealousy from writers that went to UNC and USC journalism schools. Everyone wants it both ways - time to vote for Heisman, count CJ out; time to talk good coaching, oh yeah, Spiller carried Dabo. It's time that Clemson just got real with itself and moved to the Big 10 - there isn't a reasonable, fair-minded, person anywhere in the Carolinas who isn't green with envy over Clemson's program...

Anonymous said...

Charles, did you say people are "green with envy over Clemsons program?!" Bwahahaha...you have to be kidding me. I thought CJ should have been in the top 5 for the Heisman, but the last time I checked, I don't have a vote and think Clemson sucks. So, for me, it was great. South Carolina stomped you, you choked again against GT and the best player you've ever had got the stiff arm in the Heisman race! The bottom line is Spiller played against inferior ACC competition and he plays at Clemson. IF he would have been smart and went to Florida, not only would he have 2 NC rings, but probably a Heisman too. Instead, he leaves Clemson with a John Deer and can of Skoal.