How will the dominoes fall on Swinney's staff
As Jeff Scott and the University of South Florida are finalizing a deal for him to become the Bulls’ new head coach, Clemson moves on with its plans to contend for another national championship.
Even though he will replace Charlie Strong as South Florida’s head coach, Scott will likely stay on at Clemson through the College Football Playoff as he tries to help the Tigers win back-to-back national championships.
As The Clemson Insider reported Sunday evening, Scott is likely to take his dad, longtime Clemson assistant and administrator Brad Scott, with him to Tampa. The elder Scott is from the town of Arcadia, Florida, a small town in central Florida that is a little more than an hour drive from Tampa. Brad is a 1979 graduate of South Florida, as well.
Brad Scott is finishing up his 21st season at Clemson. He first came to Clemson in 1999 as an assistant coach to Tommy Bowden, after he was let go as the head coach at South Carolina. He spent five seasons in Columbia before coming to Clemson where he served as an assistant coach for 12 years. He shifted over to the administrative side in 2011 and became the director of player development and recruiting transition.
With Jeff Scott handling a dual role until Clemson’s season is over, Brad is likely to help with some of the South Florida duties for his son in Tampa. Jeff, who is known as one of the best recruiters in the country, will likely work inhouse for Clemson during the transition and will likely be off the recruiting trail, though we do know he was out recruiting for Clemson on Sunday.
Losing both Scotts is a big deal for the Clemson program. Not only is Jeff an outstanding recruiter, but his dad has strong ties to the state of Florida, as well, and his relationships with high school coaches and administrators has played a role in the Tigers landing so many great recruits from Florida.
Remember, Brad worked as an assistant coach on Bobby Bowden’s staff from 1983-’93, serving as the team’s offensive coordinator from 1990-’93. He was also responsible for bringing Deion Sanders to Tallahassee. At Clemson, we know Brad’s relationships played a big role in why Sammy Watkins came to Clemson.
We know Swinney has already had a plan in place for when this day would come. He knew he could not keep Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott forever.
Swinney started putting his plan into action on Sunday. As we reported last night, Swinney told the Clemson team about Scott taking the South Florida job during Sunday’s team meeting.
As of 2:30 p.m., on Monday, a source told TCI that former Clemson wide receiver Tyler Grisham will be promoted to wide receivers coach. Sources also told us that quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter will likely move up and be the co-offensive coordinator alongside Elliott.
Grisham makes a lot of sense. He has worked along side Scott for the last six seasons as an offensive analyst on Swinney’s staff, helping with the wide receivers. He has also been the assistant camp director for Dabo Swinney’s summer and high school camps.
Grisham played at Clemson from 2005-’08. He finished his career with 132 receptions for 1,390 yards and eight touchdowns.
After Clemson he signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009 and later played that season. Grisham was also on the Steelers’ practice squad in 2010 and 2011, and was on the Denver Broncos practice squad in 2012.
Grisham came back to Clemson in 2014 where he has worked as an offensive analyst.
TCI reached out to Clemson on when Swinney might make a formal announcement on who will replace Scott, but there has been nothing official from the football program at this point.
The next question is who will Scott take with him to South Florida that are on Clemson’s staff as offensive and defensive analyst? There are several candidates to watch out for.
There are several former Clemson staffers Scott could likely consider joining his coaching staff at South Florida. There are a few that are working for other schools that could be candidates, too, while former Arkansas wide receivers coach Justin Stepp is likely a candidate as well.
He and Scott are good friends, which goes back to his days when he was a graduate assistant on Swinney’s staff from 2009-’11. He played a big part in helping the Tigers win the 2011 ACC Championship.
Besides Arkansas, Stepp was an assistant coach at App. State from 2012-’14 before joining Chad Morris’ staff in 2015 at SMU. He then moved with Morris to Arkansas in 2018.
Former Western Carolina offensive coordinator Tyler Carlton could be a candidate to join Scott, from what we are hearing. Carlton was a graduate assistant at Clemson and later an offensive analyst coach from 2011-’14. He also worked at Tulsa as a student assistant coach and came to Clemson with Morris when he became the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2011.
As for the dominoes effect on Clemson’s staff, there are several guys who could make the move with Scott, especially considering they can move up from analyst positions to assistant coaches.
Cameron Aiken could be a candidate to leave as well. He has worked on the Clemson staff for five seasons in all. A Clemson graduate, who also worked with the Tigers when he was an undergrad, coached at UAB for a short time and then returned to Clemson where he has worked the last five seasons helping Streeter with the quarterbacks.
Wesley Goodwin is another. He has been on Clemson’s staff for eight seasons, off and on, since 2009. He is Clemson’s senior defensive analyst, a position he has held at Clemson since he returned in 2018. He also worked for Brent Venables as his defensive analyst coach from 2012-’14. He left for three seasons when he was the senior defensive analyst for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
Another former Clemson player, DeAndre McDaniel, could also be a candidate to join Scott. McDaniel was an All-American safety for the Tigers in 2009 and has been a graduate assistant and analyst the last five seasons. McDaniel also serves as an assistant camp director for Swinney’s summer and high school camps.
Other analyst or graduate assistants who could go with Scott are former Tigers’ Miguel Chavis and Zach Fulmer. Chavis is finishing up his third year as defensive player development, while Fulmer has been a graduate assistant for Venables on defense for the last five seasons.
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