In the recruiting world, it’s easy to get caught up on star ratings, player rankings and amount of scholarship offers.
However, Clemson isn’t really concerned about any of that on the recruiting trail. When it boils down to it, the Tigers’ recipe for recruiting is centered around their “secret sauce.”
For Clemson, the secret sauce is simple — and it works, as evidenced by the success the program has had under Dabo Swinney.
“We’re just getting that right fit,” Clemson recruiting coordinator Brandon Streeter said this week. “The most exciting thing is those kids — all the kids that we got — are a perfect fit for who we’re about. And that’s the secret sauce to our recruiting.”
Sure, Clemson wants to get the best players. But the Tigers are only searching for the best players that fit their program, its values and the culture at Clemson.
To Clemson, a prospect’s character is just as important in the evaluation process as his talent. Clemson looks to recruit the best young men, not just the best players.
“For us, we’re really looking for the right fit,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “We don’t go off of a list or just off of who may be ranked the highest. We’re really out trying to find the most talented guys that fit Clemson.
“You can go down our signing list, and not only are these guys very talented guys, but they fit Clemson. Their character, their families… They’re going to be a great fit.”
Because of what it is looking for, Clemson’s pool of prospects is smaller than some.
The Tigers know precisely what fit they are looking for when they go out on the recruiting trail. There’s no gray area — either a prospect is a match for Clemson, or he’s not.
“That’s the unique thing here at Clemson is coach Swinney and the staff have done a great job of creating a culture around here that is very defined,” Scott said. “We can tell in the first five minutes of meeting a young man and his family — we can tell right there that hey we got a great shot with this one in the end, or you know what, he may not be the best fit.”
Those fits are out there, though, and Clemson has a knack for finding them.
And with Clemson having firmly established itself as one of the nation’s elite programs, the Tigers can be even more selective as they search for the right fits.
“People have asked what’s changed in recruiting with the success,” Scott said. “I don’t feel like it’s necessarily that we’re just getting a lot of better players than we have in the past. But I think now we’re able to be even a little bit more pickier to make sure that we’re getting the best player and the best young men that could come in and represent our program the right way.”