SARASOTA, Fla. — Though Florida has Dan Mullen and Florida State has Willy Taggert, while Central Florida has brought its football program up in recent years, Clemson football is still recruiting at a high level in the state of Florida.
Currently, there are 10 players on Clemson’s current roster, while the Tigers have commitments from two 5-star players in cornerback Fred Davis out of Jacksonville and running back Demarckus Bowman of Lakeland.
“To be quite honest with you, I don’t really think about other schools,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said after being asked if he worries about recruiting against Mullen and Taggert in the state of Florida. “There is about four hundred Division I signees in the state of Florida. If they sign twenty-five and twenty-five, that is only fifty. So, there is a lot of players in this state and a lot of opportunities for kids to go off to college.
“So, we work hard to recruit the state of Florida as if it is a home state for us and we have had a lot of success with kids from Florida. So, we have a great tradition here. So, we get the ones we are supposed to get.”
Swinney was speaking at the 14th Annual Dick Vitale Gala in Sarasota Friday. Clemson has signed a lot of players in the past from the Tampa-St. Pete area, including current Kansas City wide receiver Sammy Watkins, Buffalo Bills receiver Ray-Ray McCloud and Indianapolis Colts’ wideout Deon Cain.
“We have had kids from all over (Florida), but this is an area where we have had a lot of success, going back to Sammy Watkins, Deon and Ray-Ray and all of those guys,” Swinney said. “It is exciting to get all of those guys. Will Putman just got on board this year. Aidan Swanson a punter is from this area as well.”
Bowman is from Lakeland, which is also from the Tamp-St. Pete area as well.