When he looks at his last two signing classes, Dabo Swinney sees a very bright future for his football program and is reminded of how good a time it is to be Clemson’s head coach.
Not only are Clemson’s 2021 and 2020 recruiting classes loaded with talented players – each ranked among the top five classes in the country for those years – but the freshmen that the Tigers brought in this year and last year are unusually mature people for their age as well, according to Swinney.
“I think it’s great to be a coach at Clemson. That’s what I think,” he said following Wednesday’s practice. “Because last year’s freshmen class and this year’s freshmen class – special group of people. Mature is the exact word, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen.”
Swinney rattled off the names of a bunch of true freshmen – including running backs Will Shipley and Phil Mafah, linebackers Barrett Carter and Jeremiah Trotter Jr., safety Andrew Mukuba, quarterback/wide receiver Will Taylor, offensive lineman Marcus Tate and tight end Jake Briningstool – when talking about how special he feels this year’s freshman class is.
“Shipley, Mafah – all those kids, all those midyears that came in here – Barrett, Jeremiah, Mukuba … We just have an incredibly mature group of guys,” Swinney said. “Will Taylor, Marcus, you can go on and on and on. Briningstool … Briningstool’s going to be an elite, elite tight end for us. But they just all have a level of maturity that’s rare for 18 year olds. So, it’s super exciting.”
Swinney is bullish on his last two signing classes and what he believes they can develop into moving forward.
“You really kind of have two freshmen groups that are really getting their first college experience,” Swinney said. “Nobody went to class, nobody was on campus, nobody’s at games, we played in a bunch of empty stadiums. But those two groups combined, they’re going to be a special, special group as they go through their careers here.”
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