With draft decisions coming for several underclassmen, Swinney had to force a few of them to talk about their futures
When Clemson’s football season does end, whether that’s on New Year’s Day in the Sugar Bowl or after the national championship game a week later, several players on its current roster will have a choice to make.
To they come back to Clemson for one more year or do they put their name in the hat to be drafted into the NFL. Some of the underclassmen who are eligible to participate in the 2018 NFL Draft are defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, defensive end Austin Bryant, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, linebacker Kendall Joseph and safety Van Smith.
On offense, left guard Taylor Hearn, left tackle Mitch Hyatt, wide receiver Deon Cain, wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow are eligible.
“I have had conversations with several of them just because you want to give them the best information, but there are a couple of them that have made decisions, but there are a couple that are up in the air,” Swinney said.
What we know is this, Hearn, who graduated on Thursday, has already announced his decision to turn pro once the season is completed. Renfrow has announced he will return for his senior year, while McCloud has filed the necessary paper work to the NFL Draft advisory board.
Cain has spoken with his family about his future, but he has not made a decision. As for Wilkins, Ferrell and Hyatt, they say they have not made a decision just yet and they really are trying not to think about it. They all said they just want to focus on Alabama.
Bryant, Joseph and Smith were not available for comment.
“That is one thing I really appreciate about this team, they don’t really want to talk about it,” Swinney said. “I have kind of had to force a couple of them to let’s sit down because this is something we really need to process. Let’s take a little minute and we will get back in our world here because they are very committed guys. They are very focused. I love that about this team.”
It does not matter who leaves or decides to stay, it will not hurt Clemson’s scholarship numbers, according to Swinney.
“We have good numbers,” he said. “We are in a good spot with our scholarship numbers. We had five walk-ons that we put on this year and then we had our nine seniors so we are in a good spot with our numbers. There are guys that I know that are probably going to move on. We know Taylor is and he has already made a decision and there are a couple of other guys that will have a decision to make.
“That stuff will all work itself out. Then there is somebody who will walk in and tell me they are leaving that I don’t know. I have no idea. You never know those things. Like last year, even after signing day, we had two guys last year that decided to go play their last year somewhere else, but they graduated. So I think we are in a good spot roster wise. We will have couple of spots to fill in January, but not many.”