When it replaces star players, Clemson looks in locker room for replacements

When it replaces star players, Clemson looks in locker room for replacements

Football

When it replaces star players, Clemson looks in locker room for replacements

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Clemson’s football team will continue spring drills this afternoon from the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. This will be the fourth practice for the Tigers since returning to the practice fields last Wednesday.

Like every year, Clemson has key players from last year’s roster that it has to replace – most notably quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. But that comes with the territory in college football.

That is why Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said they are constantly evaluating.

“I evaluate our roster daily. Everything about our program, all the time. It is always under construction if you will,” he said. “I love that quote, ‘The road to success is always under construction.’

“It is like I-85 out there. It is always under construction it seems like. That never ends. So, I am always evaluating, always looking at those things.”

Few teams in college football do as well of a job as Clemson does when it comes to evaluating, recruiting and developing talent. Besides winning multiple ACC and national championships, the football program is also producing elite talent for the NFL.

“We have recruited very well, and we built this program by being great developers of talent and young people we have brought into this program,” Swinney said. “But there is nobody that has left our program that we can’t go to the locker room and replace. That has been the case forever, ever and ever.

“When C.J. Spiller left, here comes Andre Ellington. When Kyle Parker was gone, here comes Tajh Boyd. When Tajh Boyd was gone, here comes Deshaun [Watson] and so forth. So, we have always been able to do that and, again, that will always be our philosophy.”

With the transfer portal out there, plus the NCAA changing rules as it goes along, Swinney understands the future of building and managing a roster is a fluid one. However, he believes Clemson is ready to handle those changes.

“The rules have changed. If things change from a roster standpoint in the future, we will be prepared to respond,” Swinney said. “But I have a bunch of guys in that locker room that we recruited to come in here and be great players. They are highly recruited guys. Guys that we hand-picked, and they hand-picked us. That is where we go.”

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