Best is the standard

Best is the standard

Football

Best is the standard

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By Kaila Burns-Heffner.

On national signing day, Clemson landed an elite 2015 recruiting class complete with 26 talented and highly touted athletes. Although the class did not come as a surprise to most in Clemson, the feeling of successfully receiving all of the 2015 letters of intent is one that has its coaches fired up about the future.

It was a relatively quiet signing day in Tigertown as 15 of the newest signees waited to hear who would join them from the comfort of Clemson’s campus. The majority of the 2015 class has been enrolled at the university since the start of January, and that is a credit to the way Clemson has recruited in recent years.

“I think we’re really fortunate, being at Clemson, that we have a great brand. It’s a national brand. When prospects and their families see that Tiger Paw, just like watching the T.V. today and all of the national attention that Clemson was getting, that’s just very, very valuable advertisement,” said Jeff Scott, who was serving in his final capacity as Clemson’s recruiting coordinator on Wednesday.

The Tigers ended the day with the No. 4 signing class in the nation according to ESPN College Football’s rankings, and the fifth year in a row Clemson has had a recruiting class in the top 15.

One of the main reasons Clemson has been having so much recruiting success is because they have promoted the Clemson brand so well that it nearly sells itself. Anyone who has heard of Clemson has most likely heard the term “Clemson Family” thrown around, and that is a result of branding and the cultivation of a culture that has become so strong under the leadership of head coach Dabo Swinney.

“When people get on this campus, we have a great shot. It is just special. It just is,” Swinney said. “People say all the time ‘that there is something different about Clemson.’ That’s because it is different. It is different. It is unique. It’s fun. There are a lot of great people here and that is what ultimately separates Clemson.”

Clemson is a special place, and the marketing department has done an excellent job of capturing the atmosphere of the university and selling it to potential recruits. The nature of recruiting in this day in age is that information is readily available at the fingertips of any recruit. Clemson has used this to revamp its approach over the past few years with heart-touching videos and other forms of media.

“We’ve got a lot to sell, and we want to send that out to those prospects and their families,” Scott said. “It’s amazing, some of the recruits come here for the first time and they know every one of our coaches by name already because they have seen them in videos, seen pictures.”

Thad Turnipseed, former Alabama director of athletic facilities, was hired by Swinney to be the director of recruiting and external affairs in 2013, and he also credits the recruiting success to the culture that his former teammate, has promoted in Clemson.

“The culture in place here that he’s created over these years, it recruits itself for the Clemson type of player that we want; a good kid, academics means a lot, character means a lot,” said Turnipseed. “Those kids come here, they see the culture, and it recruits itself at this point.”

“The Paw is powerful. Nationally, it is recognized and everyone wants to be a part of it,” Turnipseed continued.

With the 2015 class officially signed Swinney and his recruiting staff have already been hard at work, offering scholarships to members of the 2016 class. The Tigers have already landed seven verbal commitments with the newest addition of 5-star running back Tavien Feaster.

Best is the standard for Clemson, and the best just keeps getting better.

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