Swinney talks about recruiting against Saban, Bama

Swinney talks about recruiting against Saban, Bama


Swinney talks about recruiting against Saban, Bama


While Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has deep ties to the state of Alabama and often goes up against his own alma mater on the recruiting trail, it’s not something he can have too much of a personal stake in.

“It’s no different than anyone else,” Swinney explained during Tuesday’s media availability. “We recruit against whoever. It doesn’t matter where I went to school. I mean, Alabama, they’re gonna sign the best players every year. They’ve always done that every year. They’ve always done that and we try to sign the best players every year as well. When that’s your philosophy…as a result we end up recruiting against each other a lot.”

During the current recruiting cycle, Clemson has gone head-to-head with the University of Alabama for multiple prospects, including Cambridge (MA.) Buckingham Browne & Nichols School four-star athlete Ronan Hanafin and most notably, Alabaster (Ala.) Thompson five-star defensive lineman Peter Woods.

While Swinney and Co. were able to secure the commitments of Hanafin and Woods, coming right into the Crimson Tide’s backyard for the latter prospect, Alabama also beat out Clemson for the services of Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.) four-star defensive lineman Hunter Osborne.

Christopher Vizzina, a five-star quarterback committed to Clemson, who also hails from the Yellowhammer State, talked to The Clemson Insider shortly after Woods announced his intent to verbally pledge to Swinney’s program.

“To get a player of that caliber and take him out of Alabama, it says a lot about Clemson and it says a lot about Coach Swinney and the staff,” Vizzina said at the time. “If you look at that from afar, it’s gotta say something about Clemson. Taking two five-stars from the state of Alabama, that doesn’t happen a lot. That’s exciting.”

And while Vizzina is right, it doesn’t happen a lot, Swinney and Clemson have been able to go into the state of Alabama and get players like Justyn Ross and E.J. Williams out of Phenix City’s Central High School. 

Currently, Clemson is active in its pursuit of four-star edge rusher Tomarrion Parker, also a Central product. While Alabama is no longer actively recruiting Parker, the Crimson Tide did offer the in-state prospect a scholarship.

So, as Swinney said, Clemson and Alabama are often vying for the same, if not similar players, on the recruiting trail.

“I have a lot of respect for Coach (Nick) Saban,” Swinney continued. “He does an amazing job. It’s not surprising that we get on a lot of the same kids. I think we’re looking for a lot of the same things. But, as far just from a personal standpoint, I’ve been doing it a long time and I don’t even think about it.”

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