The beauty of college football is that the athletes and stars change each year for the most part. Every team has to go through change, which is what makes the sport so exciting to watch on Saturday afternoons in the fall.
With Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne now playing in the NFL, along with Amari Rodgers, Cornell Powell and Jackson Carman, the Tigers will have a lot of changes on the offensive side of the football this year. But that comes with the territory.
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 this past spring. “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.”
Clemson will kick off the 2021 season on Sept. 4 against Georgia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
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