By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
CLEMSON — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Wednesday he has a plan in place in case offensive coordinator Chad Morris does become the next head coach at Texas Tech. In fact, Swinney says he has 26 plans.
“I think in this position you always have ideas on what you do,” Swinney said. “You have plan A, B, C and D. How many letters are there in the Alphabet? 26? We have 26 plans. Absolutely, that’s the nature of this job. You are foolish to sit there and not be proactive and thoughtful.
“I’m always keeping up with guys in the profession and always challenging our guys here to grow. We will have no shortage of very, very quality people if that was to happen. We are sitting here talking about something that may not happen.”
That succession plan according to a source says wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott will be the next offensive coordinator. The source has told TCI that Scott has been groomed all along as the successor for Morris if and when he leaves Clemson for a head coaching job.
Swinney told the media Wednesday regardless of what happens with Morris, he wants the offense to still be a no-huddle, up-tempo offense.
“This is a Clemson offense, not a Chad Morris offense,” Swinney said. “We hired Chad because this is what we wanted to do philosophically because of the people that you have here. I think one think, hopefully, that we have demonstrated in four years is that we can take players, be creative with them and have some success.
“My first year in ’09, we had some pretty dynamic guys in (CJ) Spiller, (Jacoby) Ford and Michael Palmer and I think it was well documented that we used those guys in a lot of different ways. We set the school record for scoring that year. That was a little different way of doing things. I really knew what I wanted to go to, but it was a matter of the right timing and having the personnel. That’s why I went in the direction that I did and it was just a matter of who I wanted to hire.”
That guy turned out to be Morris, who in the last two seasons has set Clemson records in total offense, scoring offense and passing offense. His offensive play calling has allowed Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and center Dalton Freeman to all earn All-American honors this year, while former tight end Dwayne Allen and Watkins were named first-team All-Americans last season as well.
This season, Clemson led the ACC and ranked sixth national in scoring offense, ninth in total offense and 13th in passing offense. The Tigers also led the nation in red-zone scoring offense.
Under Morris, Boyd, who was named ACC Player of the Year last month, finished the regular season with 3,550 yards, while accounting for 43 touchdowns. His 43 touchdowns and 34 touchdown passes were both ACC records. He is currently first in the nation in points per game (21.8), fourth in passing efficiency (168.5), fourth in touchdown passes (34) and eighth in total offense (336.8 yards).
“Chad has done a tremendous job, but that is who we are. That’s the personnel that we have and that’s who we will continue to be,” Swinney said. “Hopefully, he will still be here with us, but again, he has an opportunity to go coach in the Big 12 and if that works out, that’s a dream opportunity and I’m tickled to death that he has that opportunity.
“I mean, who knows? Let’s see how it all plays out.”