Wednesday was an unbelievable day in so many ways for Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney.
On one end he signed another top 10 recruiting class, the seventh straight year the reigning national champions inked a top 15 class. He also got the opportunity to watch his son, Will, sign a letter-of-intent to play for the Tigers, while later in the afternoon he had to say good-bye to his good friend and agent, Mike Brown, who was laid to rest after his sudden death this past Sunday.
“There were a lot of emotions today, all across the board,” Swinney said. “There is excitement about the new class. There was excitement and joy about the new building. There was excitement about my son and sadness about my friend.
“It has been quite a day. It really has.”
However, Swinney said he is always excited when young men choose to be a part of his program. The Tigers inked 14 players, including three five-star players in quarterback Hunter Johnson, wide receiver Tee Higgins and cornerback A.J. Terrell. They also signed nine four stars led by wide receiver Amari Rodgers, quarterback Chase Brice, defensive end Jordan Williams and running back Travis Etienne from Jennings, La.
“We got better because we had a great group leave and we got some very talented guys to come in here and fill some voids and continue to move forward,” Swinney said. “I just love it when these guys choose to be a part of our program because we lay it out for them. We do not sugarcoat anything. We are very open and transparent in how we recruit and talk about our program.”
Swinney said that philosophy scares a lot of guys off, but he believes that is a good thing because there are a lot of talented football players that want to be a part of the way they do things here.
“That never gets old,” Swinney said. “I appreciate that. I appreciate the players and parents for buying in and believing in who we are and how we do things here at Clemson.”
The 2017 Class is the smallest class Clemson has signed since 2009, Swinney’s first class. He called that class “The Dandy Dozen.” That class included Tajh Boyd, who went on to lead the Tigers to the 2011 ACC Championship, the program’s first in 20 years.
Despite the size of the class, it has a lot of star power.
“This is a group of quality young men,” Swinney said. “I think this is our seventh top 15 class in a row. We have become very, very consistent in how we recruit and how we do everything. How we compete on the field and how we respond on the field. I have no doubt that this will be another excellent group that will join the fold.”
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