It is 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 – Is Clemson back on the radar of Mr. Elijah Hood?
TCI – Clemson is considering their options with Elijah Hood. Clemson is certainly much close to home for Elijah than Notre Dame. He has now made it clear that he will not be going to Notre Dame. North Carolina is a major player here and in better shape currently than Clemson.
The Tigers already have three running back commits. The staff has also been very pleased with Gallman and Dye and feel like they hit on both those young men.
Hood is a great talent. Expect Clemson to try to keep their options open here.
Questions – What is depth chart/rotation in regards to DT and DE?
TCI – We don’t have the official depth charts yet for week one, but here is our best guess based on what we have heard during camp.
At defensive end we will likely see Crawford and Beasley as the starters. Barnes and Lawson are running second team from the sources we have spoken with.
At defensive tackle it is really a “unit” similar to what Clemson now has on the offensive line. Jarrett has been the most consistent so we expect him to be one of the starters. The other starter is still up in the air somewhat. You can expect Jarrett, Watson, Williams, Reader, Watkins to rotate frequently. We can’t remember when the Tigers have been this deep at defensive tackle.
As for Dodd and Byers both have made significant progress. They will play some this year. The challenge is the depth in front of them is outstanding.
Question – All cliches aside, what is the most evident deciding factor that lures a recruit to Clemson?
TCI – The biggest thing we hear from almost every recruit that selects Clemson is the word family. The coaches really try to stress how Clemson is a family when the recruits visit. They see how coach Swinney and all of the coaches bring the families around the program so much. Dabo’s wife Kathleen is one of the best recruiters Clemson has. Dabo and Kathleen treat the players just like they do their own kids.
The other thing is “there is just something in those hills. Clemson fans know what that means. That is the reason Clemson can fill a stadium with 80,000 plus on Saturday’s in little ole Clemson in the middle of nowhere. It doesn’t take long for recruits to notice there is just something different about Clemson.
Question – In regards to our current Freshman, does Dabo and the staff feel like they hit on all of them? Any players that we may not have evaluated properly and missed?
TCI – The staff feels very good about the 2013 class. They feel like they hit on most of the class. You never hit on everyone in a class and there are certainly a few that will struggle to see playing time at Clemson. We won’t list any names because it is not really in Clemson’s best interest right now to do that.
The biggest thing about recruiting is filling needs. Clemson did an outstanding job with the 2013 class filling needs. We have already seen how it has helped at receiver with both Williams and Green avoiding a red-shirt. Leggett was a huge get at tight end. Lawson will be one of the best DE’s ever to play at Clemson. The secondary class will make that a strength in the future.
Question -Have the numbers changed for the class size? Will it still be 16-18?
TCI – Those are still the numbers for the 2013 class. Don’t be surprised to see that climb a bit if there is more attrition and the Tigers have a big season.
Question -What is the next position to be filled by a verbal commitment?
TCI – The reasons are different for each recruit but generally the record playing on the field in not a big factor. Most coaches do a good job of selling that their team “is on the rise”. That is why you see schools like Kentucky recruiting so well right now. The reality will hit schools like Kentucky and Ole Miss when it becomes obvious that they are not going to be able to reach the level of others in their conference.
Facilities play a big role. Over the past few years we have seen the dividends the WestZone has paid for Clemson recruiting. The bad news is the facilities can never be good enough. There will always be another school that just built the next great thing. That is why it is so important that Clemson continue to stay on top of facilities for football. That is why we will see the locker rooms changes after just a few years.
Question – Why was Dj Greenlee switched to TE?
TCI – The coaches felt like there was just too much depth right now at linebacker. The Tigers are as deep at linebacker now as they have been since the early 90’s.
We will have to see how he does at tight end where there is also some great young talent and two of the top tight ends in the nation for 2014 are committed to Clemson.