Life as a recruiter has been a lot different, in a good way, for Todd Bates since he became Clemson’s defensive line coach following the 2016 season.
For starters, Bates has many more resources at his disposal than he did when he was an assistant on the FCS level at Jacksonville State from 2014-16 and Idaho State in 2011 and 2012.
One of those resources he is particularly fond of is having professionals that design graphics for him to send to prospective student-athletes.
Bates has taken advantage of that luxury, which he didn’t have in past gigs — at least not to the degree he does now.
“I had like probably 50 ideas that I didn’t have anybody to make for me as far as graphics for recruits,” Bates said earlier this week at Dabo Swinney’s media golf outing. “And to have right now, any time you come up with something that you want to get out there to a recruit — just for a special occasion or wishing them good luck on something or congratulating them on an accomplishment — just having that at your fingertips is awesome.
“I’m very thoughtful and hang my hat on creativity and things like that. I was coming up with ideas and getting our guys to make them. It felt good to have staff right there that you can shoot it to, and they bring your idea alive.”
From a logistical standpoint, proximity to a prospect — or lack thereof — is no longer an issue for Bates, who can much more easily get to where he wants to go.
“Not having to worry about I really need to see this kid but he’s across the country and I can’t get to him,” Bates said. “Those are big differences in resources. This is definitely the best job I’ve ever had.”
Bates remembers what it used to be like out on the recruiting trail, sometimes having to wait behind FBS coaches to visit prospects at their schools, for example.
Now, as a member of the defending national champions, he is given the royal treatment.
“It’s been phenomenal,” Bates said. “That’s the first thing you notice when you go in a school as far as coming from the Jacksonville State level, where you have appointments set with high school coaches and you may still have to wait because somebody from the FBS level may come in, and then you have to just sit and wait your turn. Well, it was good to be on the other side of that.
“Well, it is good to be on the other side of that.”
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