When it comes to recruiting, it is not just about winning over the prospects themselves – oftentimes, it is about winning over their parents as well.
Clemson typically has no problem doing so, and there were plenty of mothers and fathers that fell in love with the Tigers during the 2020 recruiting cycle.
The Clemson Insider spoke with some of those parents about why their sons decided to play for Dabo Swinney and the Clemson football program. Check out what they had to say:
“Big Dave” Uiagalelei, father of five-star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei:
On Swinney and his staff:
“We love them. They’re amazing. They’re great men, great morals… Who wouldn’t want their kid to play for a man like that (Swinney)? Football is not everything to him. That’s the part that DJ loves the most, that he was more about his teaching about life in general – being a better father, being a better husband, being a better man. It’s not just all about football, and that’s what drew DJ to Clemson, totally the faith thing. That’s what spoke volumes to DJ.”
On why DJ wanted to play for Clemson despite Trevor Lawrence being there:
“I get a lot of people asking me, why didn’t you guys go to Oregon where you’re starting out or go to LSU or USC and starting out. But it wasn’t about starting for DJ. It’s not about playing time for him. It’s about going to a place where he knows he’s going to be challenged and basically get developed and ready for the next level – not just in football, but in life in general. And Clemson checks all those boxes.”
Richard Bresee, father of five-star defensive lineman Bryan Bresee:
On why Bryan chose Clemson:
“I think it’s just the culmination of a lot of travel, a lot of trips to the schools that were in Bryan’s top five or six. After a number of visits to Clemson, I think we just felt more and more comfortable with the culture, with the coaches, the players and just the whole community. I think after we would go to Clemson and then visit some of the other schools, and we were able to make it back to Clemson, Bryan still felt more of a connection to Clemson.
“All the schools that were in Bryan’s top five or six were fantastic choices. They did a great job of recruiting Bryan. They actually went above and beyond. But I think Clemson just felt like home for Bryan.”
On Swinney and his staff:
“He’s just a great coach, a great person, a great leader. I think that everyone is excited to be around him. The coaches there speak very highly of him, seem to like him a lot. The fact that there’s 18-20 former players that have come back and now coach at Clemson speaks volumes of the type of guy that he is.
“I’ve let those guys know that we’re extremely excited that coach Swinney and his staff have given Bryan the opportunity to come there to continue to play football and get an education.”
Breyone Murphy, mother of five-star defensive lineman Myles Murphy:
On why Myles chose Clemson:
“There’s a lot of things that he likes about Clemson. Our first visit there, he was just entering the 10th grade. I remember the day… He had a big game that Friday night. He had not had a haircut, and he was looking very disheveled and tired. But that was his first time just being on the campus to relax because he was there that summer for camp.
“So, he liked the facilities. I think he was also impressed with Dabo and the players, how the coaches got along with the players, the players seemed to be well-mannered. It’s just a good place. He’s been comfortable with it. There’s some other schools that he was comfortable. But Clemson is a good place.”
Willard Murphy, father of Myles:
On how Clemson handles the recruiting process:
“They don’t make offers quick, which I think is a good thing. That means they take time to study the player as well as the family some too and just want to make sure it’s going to be a good fit before they do extend an offer. And then once they get them there, they tend to keep them there for four years or for however long they’re going to be there, and just really coach them up.
“And the other thing that really impressed me is Dabo said he’s never brought in a junior college transfer. A lot of colleges do that, but he said he’s never brought in one and doesn’t plan to bring in any.”
Beth Parks, mother of four-star offensive lineman Walker Parks:
On Walker’s love for Clemson:
“I think he fell in love with it there, and he had some tears when they offered him. But after we visited other places, as a mom, I knew that he would probably go there – from his reaction and how he felt comfortable and everything.”
David Parks, father of Walker:
On how Clemson had everything they were looking for:
“Everywhere we went, we had a check list. It was on the town, it was on the school, it was on the academics, it was on the athletics, the football team, the coaching staff, all that stuff, and Clemson checked all the boxes real quick. So, it made it (the decision) kind of easy.”
Vontrelle Williams, mother of four-star wide receiver E.J. Williams:
On what appealed to her and E.J. about Clemson:
“I think the family atmosphere, really. Knowing that aside from football, they really actually care about him and what he is trying to be as a young man as well as developing him as a player.
“So, Clemson, when I first went there, it was different. I’m telling you, it’s a different feeling. You cannot explain it to anyone else. I would just say you have to go there. With Coach Swinney, he is that person – like that person you see on TV — but when you actually get to meet him, he’s even better.”
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