While he waits on the decisions of Wilkins, Ferrell and Bryant, Clemson’s head coach describes what kinds of players to have and not to have on a team
Prior to Wednesday night’s Bear Bryant Award Ceremony in Irving, Texas, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and Georgia head coach Kirby Smart spoke about players making a jump to the NFL after their junior season and others who want to transfer out.
In the midst of it all, the two, who were both finalist for Bryant’s Coach of the Year Award, shared their opinions for managing a roster in this day and age of college football. Swinney later, during his finalist speech, relayed his policy to the crowd that gathered to watch the ceremony.
Swinney, who grew up studying and learning everything he could about Bear Bryant, adopted his hero’s policy when it came to managing his Clemson roster.
“It’s pretty simple,” Swinney said.
According to Swinney, Bryant said there are four types of players to consider when managing a roster.
“There are those who got it and give it. You keep them,” Swinney said. “There are those that got it and wouldn’t give it. You get rid of them. Then there are those that don’t have it, but they don’t know it and give way beyond their ability. You keep them.
“And then he said, ‘There are those that don’t have it and they know they don’t have it. But, be nice to them. They make great alums.’” (laughter)
So that is how Swinney manages his roster.
“It’s pretty simple,” he said. “So if you got it, you better give it. That is just really how we do it.”
Swinney hopes to keep his roster intact as much as possible in the days to come. Three of his best defensive linemen, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant, as of Saturday morning have not made up their minds on whether they will give up their remaining eligibility and enter the NFL Draft or return for one more season at Clemson.
Earlier in the week, left tackle Mitch Hyatt announced he was returning for his senior year, while wide receivers Ray-Ray McCloud and Deon Cain and safety Van Smith announced their decisions to leave Clemson and enter the NFL Draft.
Wilkins, Ferrell and Bryant have until 11:59 p.m. on Monday to make a decision. That is when the NFL closes its doors on any draft eligible juniors who want to enter the 2018 NFL Draft.