With college football’s spring evaluation period in full swing, Clemson’s coaching staff hit the recruiting trail this week to start visiting high schools and seeing prospective student-athletes.
This year, Clemson’s staffers are out on the road with additional recruiting ammunition as the defending national champions.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has already observed a difference recruiting with the national title in tow.
“I think the guys are excited to get out on the road, and for me personally, being able to go out in January after winning the national championship, it was noticeable,” Swinney told The Clemson Insider on Monday at the Prowl & Growl event in Rock Hill, S.C.
The spring evaluation period, which began on April 15 and runs through May 31, is a chance for schools to take a close look at prospects.
Each school gets to designate four weeks to evaluate, with seven coaches allowed to go out. The coaches can evaluate up to six days per week but have to take Sundays off. During this time, coaches are granted two evaluations per prospect — one to scout them at a workout, the other to essentially learn more about their academic qualifications.
This particular spring evaluation period presents an opportunity for the Tigers to visit schools of their priority targets and scout a select group of prospects for their limited available spots in the 2018 class.
But because Clemson’s 2018 class will be small in size, and with Clemson expecting to sign a large class in 2019, it is also an opportunity for the Tigers to look at 2019 prospects and continue laying the groundwork for the next class.
So, it’s a careful balancing act, and Clemson geared up before going out on the road.
“We’ve had the last couple weeks to prepare and get ready to make sure that we’re very efficient with our time,” Swinney said. “We don’t have a lot of scholarships left for this class, so we want to be very detailed and purposeful in where we go, and then we want to make sure we do a great job in the state of South Carolina. That’s always a priority for us, and then also evaluating for future class. Our 2019 class is going to be really big, so we’ve got a lot of work to do there.”
Recruiting at a high level is a big reason Clemson got to the point it is at as a program. So, Clemson is making sure to make the most of the time it is given this spring.
“We are excited about where we are as a program, but it’s all about what is in front of us,” Swinney said, “and for us right now it is about evaluating and making sure that we do a good job in that process so we can continue to bring the right guys to Clemson.”