Former Clemson OC explains why he hired Tiger great to be his D-Line Coach at South Florida
When he got the job to be South Florida’s new head football coach last month, Jeff Scott knew he wanted to bring at least one person who worked with him on the Clemson staff.
Scott singled out former Clemson great Da’Quan Bowers, who returned to Clemson in the summer of 2018, following a seven-year career in the NFL to finish his degree, which he earned in December. Bowers, who has always shown an interest in coaching, helped on Dabo Swinney’s staff as a student coach the last two seasons.
“Obviously, watching him as a player, his leadership, his work ethic while he was at Clemson, and then to come back as part of the Tiger trust two years ago, to finish his degree,” said Scott on why he hired Bowers to be his defensive line coach at South Florida. “He had an opportunity to be a student coach and really had access to the meeting rooms, where he worked with the players, to the field, where he worked with the players and he just has a great demeanor and a great way to communicate with the guys.
“He has a great skill set. I think he is going to be an outstanding coach.”
Bowers and Scott go back to the days when Scott helped Swinney as an assistant director to the Tommy Bowden Football camps after his playing days at Clemson.
“I had the opportunity to watch Da’Quan and really, I remember him coming out of high school, coming to our football camps as a freshman and sophomore in high school,” Scott said.
Bowers, who played at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School in Bamberg, South Carolina, eventually ended up at Clemson and developed into a unanimous All-American at defensive end in 2010. That year he registered 74 tackles, including 26 tackles for loss and a national leading 15.5 sacks.
Besides winning the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award, he also won the Nagurski Trophy as the nation’s best defensive player.
Working with Todd Bates the last two years, Bowers mentored the Tigers’ defensive front and was a part of a Clemson team that won two ACC Championships, made two College Football Playoff appearances and won the 2018 CFP National Championship.
In his role, Bowers provided analysis of game film and statistical reports, contributed to the game plan and game management of the passing defense, and helped coach pass rush specialists.
“Coach Scott gave me a call and we met up. He told me he may be interested in taking me as a D-Line coach, and to think about it and talk it over with my family,” Bowers said. “It happened, so I am excited about it.”
Besides his Clemson ties, Bowers also makes sense due to his knowledge of the Tamp Bay area. He was drafted by the Buccaneers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft and he spent five years playing for Tampa.
“It is an amazing opportunity and I am very, very humbled and grateful for the opportunity Coach Scott has given me,” Bowers said. “Tampa, I was drafted there. I am very familiar with the place and the area and the community. I am just excited to be a part of something special.
“I think Coach Scott will do a great job and I think he will lead us the right way. I am just grateful to be along for the journey.”
Besides Bowers, Scott also brought on former Clemson wide receiver Xavier Dye, who played for Scott from 2007-’10 when Scott was the wide receiver coach and then worked under Scott as a graduate assistant coach in 2017 and ’18.
Dye will be coaching the wide receivers at South Florida.
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