By William Qualkinbush.
By William Qualkinbush
During college football season, fans enjoy routines. Routines make life comfortable and allow people to lay out a detailed plan of attack for each Saturday.
Football coaches have routines too. Repeating effective habits over and over is directly related to success, but it can also become monotonous for some.
The absence of monotony is why Clemson wide receivers coach Jeff Scott says he loves being heavily involved with scouting and recruiting high schoolers every year.
“It always changes,” Scott said of recruiting. “There are different situations every year. It makes it fun, as opposed to being exactly the same process year in and year out. I look forward to it.”
Scott, who is also Clemson’s recruiting coordinator, has seen a different caliber of athlete come through Tigertown during his tenure. The young assistant transitioned from a graduate assistant to a full-time position on Clemson’s staff when Dabo Swinney was named head coach and has garnered multiple accolades from various publications for his work on the recruiting trail.
The level of achievement Clemson’s program has seen over the past half-decade can be largely attributed to the work Scott and the other coaches on staff have done to convince youngsters to give the Tigers a shot. Players like Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd have attended school in the upstate because of hard work and persistence in recruiting, not because they fell into the program’s lap.
“That’s the burden we take on as recruiting coaches,” Scott said. “Fans and coaches and everybody gets used to having top-tier athletes. That’s why we’re always looking for the next guys to come in and hopefully break all of these records one day.”
Several upper-echelon classes have come together under Scott’s watch, and he is already hard at work putting together another in 2014. Scholarship numbers are tight because of some attrition within the ranks, so Scott and the other assistants—along with Swinney—must make careful selections based on their evaluations in order to solidify the next class.
“I’m very pleased with the class that we have right now,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a long time until February, but I’m very pleased with the needs that we initially started out with and the guys that have chosen to commit to Clemson.”
With the commitment of defensive lineman Jabril Robinson on Friday night, the Tigers now have 15 players verbally on board for the 2014 class—right around the number of available scholarships. The ability to nail down those commitments is important, but having such a large percentage committed allows the coaching staff to spend more time getting ahead with future classes.
“It allows you to have a smaller group of guys that you’re communicating with daily and weekly throughout the season,” Scott said. “Because you have a smaller group in that current class, it allows you to get a head start on the next class. If you can get six months ahead, you have a chance to stay there throughout the whole process.”
Recruiting never ends for Jeff Scott. And he likes it that way.