Clemson coach compares new transfer rules to NFL free agency
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Former Clemson running back Tavien Feaster has reportedly said he has an offer from South Carolina and is receiving interest from Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia Tech and East Carolina as well.
With the exception of East Carolina, there is a good chance the Tigers could see Feaster this coming season on the other sideline.
Of course, Clemson always ends the season against the rival Gamecocks. It could potentially see the Hokies in the ACC Championship Game in December, while Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas are considered playoff contenders.
What does all of that mean?
There is a strong possibility Feaster, a three-year veteran who knows Clemson’s playbook inside and out, could be helping one of the Tigers’ opponents next fall.
“It is new for college football, so I think that is a little bit of an adjustment from the way it was from years and years ago,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said to The Clemson Insider at the ACC Spring Meetings in Amelia Island, Florida. “You know, forever and ever you had restrictions when guys would leave. You had restrictions on where guys could go so you did not really deal with that very much. But it happens every day in the NFL where this player is playing for this team this year and he goes over to the rival the next year. So, that happens.”
With the new transfer rules and with how the transfer portal works, college football is somewhat taking on the model of free agency in the NFL. A player can go wherever they feel it is the best fit for them without any restrictions, which means its going to be more and more common to see players going up against their former teams the following season.
“It is new for college, but we lose great players every single year so at the end of the day somebody is not going to win or lose a game because somebody was on their team from last year or whatever,” Swinney said. “At the end of the day, it comes down to who has the better team and who can execute.”
Clemson’s head coach does not seem to be losing much sleep on where Feaster might go. His only concern for his former running back is that he graduates before he leaves Clemson in August. He just wants Feaster to be successful and happy wherever he goes.
After that, Swinney just wants to focus on the players on his team.
“I really don’t give it much thought. It is definitely a new experience,” Swinney said. “It is not just South Carolina. We got twelve games on our schedule. He could go to anyone of those teams, but I just focus on the guys that are here. That is my focus. In college football, you have guys that move on every year, so it is really no different.
“I have always been an inside-out-focus guy. I just focus on the guys that are here and get excited about the guys that are here and the challenge that we have each year because each team is different in getting that team ready to play. I think it is something you will see more and more of as you go through college football. You just roll with it and go.”