Swinney: 'Maybe I ought to get an NIL deal with U-Haul'

Swinney: 'Maybe I ought to get an NIL deal with U-Haul'

Football

Swinney: 'Maybe I ought to get an NIL deal with U-Haul'

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney joked during an appearance on ACC Network’s Packer and Durham show this week that when the Tigers had a 4-3 record through the first seven games of last season, people were trying to run him out of town.

“We’re sitting there 4-3, and man they’ve got U-Haul trucks outside the Swinney house,” Swinney joked while on site with Mark Packer and Wes Durham at the ACC spring meetings in Amelia Island, Fla. “Not even Two Men and a Truck – it’s U-Haul out there. Maybe I ought to get an NIL deal with U-Haul.”

From that point on, Swinney’s Tigers proceeded to rattle off six straight wins and concluded the 2021 campaign with a 10-3 record, including a 6-2 mark in ACC play.

“We were a good team last year,” Swinney said. “I know 10-3 is a disappointment to a lot of people. But I was really proud of that football team and how they finished. So, I think we’ve got good momentum, and again, coming out of spring, good leadership. A lot of the intangibles and the things that you can’t really measure on paper or really see sometimes, I think this team has deep inside it.”

By reaching at least 10 wins for the 11th straight season, Clemson became only the third program in history ever to post 11 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (14 from 2008-21).

“That’s happened three times in the history of football – Alabama now, Clemson now and Florida State under Coach (Bobby) Bowden, and that’s it,” Swinney said. “If it was easy to do, there’d be a lot more people.”

Swinney pointed out that with Alabama’s loss to Georgia in the national championship game this past January, the Tigers currently own the nation’s longest winning streak heading into the 2022 season with six consecutive victories.

“We now have the longest winning streak in the nation going into the season – with six,” he said. “We’ve won six in a row. And when Alabama got beat, that puts us… I mean, that’s crazy.”

The May 1 transfer portal deadline came and went without Clemson suffering a transfer from its spring roster.

Swinney loves the commitment he sees from his players and feels the Tigers have the ingredients to be a “really good football team” in 2022 if they can put everything together.

“I love the fact we had 109 guys go through spring, and not one left,” Swinney said. “There wasn’t one guy that I was sitting around May 1 or whenever that was, April 30, going, ‘Uh oh, what’s going to happen?’ So, I think we have a very committed team. I think we’ve got a team that’s got a lot of self-awareness. In all my 109 exit meetings with those guys, I think it’s a very self-aware team. There’s nobody that I felt like we weren’t on the same page, so I love that.”

“I think we’ve got great leadership,” Swinney continued. “But we’re like everybody else – we’ve got a lot of work to do this summer. We had 21 guys out this spring. Most all, except for two, were postseason injuries, recoveries, surgeries, etcetera, because it was a crazy year. So, we’re getting healthy. But I think we’ve got a good football team in the making. As I tell them all the time, we’ve got the ingredients, we’ve just got to put it all together. So, it’s a big summer for everyone. This is what we call the ‘transformation time’ of our year. And if we’ll put the work in and do what it takes, come August, if the good Lord keeps us healthy, I think we’ve got a chance to be a really good football team.”

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