Time for the latest edition of Ask TCI.  Each week we will take questions on the message board The Rock.

Each weekend we will run our Ask TCI feature with answers to some of the questions asked by the Clemson Insiders.  Make sure to get your questions in next week.



Question – Robert, it is fairly obvious that ESPN is promoting the SEC myth(Clemson beat LSU ad Auburn last year) and various other media types are regurgitating. I also see reports where SEC coaches use the powerful SEC myth to sway recruits. I dont see the ACC & Swofford doing anything to counteract the myth. You can say prove it on the field but I think the media domination in favor of the SEC will still override any decisive butt whuppings. Do you see any way to overcome the media bias??

TCI – ESPN and others are certainly pushing that agenda.  That did have an impact on some recruits this year.

Winning on the field is certainly one way to help the situation, but as you said many have this agenda and will continue to preach it regardless of what happens on the field.

The ACC does need to address the situation.  That needs to be addressed in the contract negotiations with ESPN in my opinion.  That is one of the reasons I have wondered if the ACC wouldn’t be better of going with the NBC Network at some point.  ESPN has such a monopoly now that  they have way to much influence with their agenda.

The most important thing remains that the ACC teams, including Clemson need to win those games against the SEC when they get the chance.

Question – Since we play our home games on natural grass, will the indoor practice facility be used primarily when we have bad weather and have an away game on artificial turf?  Does practicing all the time on artificial turf have an effect on a team’s performance on natural grass?

TCI – The indoor facility will mainly be used when they have  bad weather or as you mentioned when they are playing a game on turf.

The facility is one of the tops in the nation and is a great addition for Clemson.  It will pay huge dividends for recruiting and help the team be better prepared when Clemson does have bad weather.  

Question – Do you think we should move our big recruiting weekend to right before signing day? If we had done that this year, do you believe we would have signed Adams, Lawson, or Clark?

TCI – We don’t think it should be moved to the final weekend because then you chance some top prospects not taking the visit at all.  There should be some consideration on moving it out however.  That weekend has worked well for Clemson over the years, but now that they are battling for more of the top players nationally that might need to be reevaluated.

If Clemson can get the recruits to visit for the weekend in early January and then not take other visits it works great, but when you are after the big fish and they still  take other visits afterwards it is a disadvantage at times.

If Clemson’s visit had been the final weekend and Adams and Clark had visited that weekend we believe Clemson would have landed both.  Clark told the Clemson staff when leaving his visit that he was coming to Clemson.  For Lawson we don’t think it would have made a difference.  Clemson was never the true leader for Lawson.

Question – Robert, who will start at Tight End this season? Why do we hear more about Sam Cooper (a 2-star recruit out of high school) than we do about Eric Maclain (a 4-star top 5 TE coming out of high school)?

TCI – Cooper, Stanton Seckinger and red-shirt freshman Jay Jay McCullough will all three see significant time at tight end this year.  Cooper really improved last season.  Jay Jay has the physical skills to be a dominant tight end like Dwayne Allen.

Eric moved to offensive line last season so he is no longer in the mix at tight end.

Question – Which does Jeff Scott want to do more: Recruiting Coordinator or Offensive Coordinator?

TCI – Obviously Jeff would like to move to offensive coordinator at some point.  As you know during the Chad Morris saga we broke the story that the transition plan was to give Jeff that position when Chad Morris leaves.  He has been groomed for that job ever since Morris arrived.

Our information we received over the last couple of weeks points to Jeff remaining as Recruiting coordinator  until he makes the move to offensive coordinator.  What we don’t know is how the new rules will impact things.  The recruiting coordinator no longer has to be a coach that coaches a position on the field.  Dabo will announce more over the next few months about how things will work with the new rules.

We expect Jeff to remain the recruiting coordinator, but there will be many others involved in managing the process like his father was this year.  It will got  to a whole new level now with the new rule changes.

Question – MacKensie Alexander looks like a great pickup. Seems our coaches really did a great job of “identifying” guys late in the process to try to get to come to Clemson. Where did the ‘twain meet so to speak with MA – had we been talking to him for awhile beofre tyring to bring it home, and who did we go after first at CB other than Fuller and Hargreaves, and why go after them first?

 TCI – Alexander was not someone that Clemson got on late.  In fact Clemson was the early favorite.  If you read our early articles on Alexander you heard him say he grew up liking the Tigers.  Now that was when MacKensie was willing to do interviews with the media.
Coach Venables got on Alexander very early and the trick was landing him in the end as he kept changing his mind.

Question – Dabo said we’d only be signing 12-14 players next year and then as many as 30 in 2015. With the level of talent that we are in the mix with for the class of 2014, if we hit on a lot of guys how many oversign spots are there for a small class like the 2014 class?

TCI – We expect Clemson to sign a much bigger class than 12-14.  Last year on signing day Dabo and Jeff talked about how the 2013 class would only be around 14-15 and as you saw the Tigers ended up with 23 in that class.

The numbers always increase over the year as attrition happens for a variety of reasons.  We project the 2014 class to be closer to 18-20 than 12-14.

Question – I hate the what-if game…BUT…if Clemson keeps Jenkins would that have been enough to sway Lawson and Adams to CU? I’m not asking so much from a
what-might-have-been lament but rather trying to understand the intricacies of recruiting a little better.

TCI – We don’t think that would have been enough to get Lawson to Clemson.

Question – With this class in the books now…what do you think the ceiling is for the team this year? Obviously you can’t predict the future, but is the talk of being a national champ contender (see Rodriguez’s tweets, etc.) realistic?

TCI – The 2013 Tigers absolutely have a chance to compete for a national championship.  Everything will have to go perfect for that opportunity to be there at the end of the season.  If Clemson defeats Georgia to open the season as we believe they will then they could very easily be heading to Columbia in late November with an 11-0 record.
In order to compete for the national championship Clemson would of course have to find a way to defeat South Carolina, something Dabo has not been able to do since his first season as interim head coach.  Win that game and the opportunity is there for a very, very special season.  
In order for Clemson to have an opportunity to play for the BCS Championship then obviously Clemson would have to run the table and get a lot of help from top teams in other conference losing at least one game.
The worst case for the 2013 Tigers should be winning the ACC Championship and going back to the Orange Bowl.



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