Clemson coach Dabo Swinney announced Friday afternoon graduate student defensive tackle Scott Pagano has decided to transfer for his final season of eligibility. Swinney, in a statement, said Pagano met with him Thursday and told him of his intentions. Swinney said he asked Pagano to sleep on his decision and talk with him again today.
“We all wanted him to stay, but he said he had accomplished everything he wanted to do at Clemson,” said Swinney in his statement. “He came here to graduate and win a national championship and he achieved both within the last two months. He indicated to me that he wants to start his graduate degree and play his final year of college football, probably on the West Coast (Pagano is from Hawaii). I wish him nothing but the best. Scott Pagano has been a fully committed person to the program. He has always been committed to do the best he could in everything. We will miss him and he will always be one of my players and will be a part of our Clemson family.”
Pagano is the fourth veteran to to announce plans to leave the Tigers. The others are RB Tyshon Dye, DB Adrian Baker and OL Jake Fruhmorgen.
Pagano started four games and played in 12 last season. He compiled 31 tackles and 2 sacks.
The Tigers are well stocked at defensive tackle, even with Pagano’s departure and the graduation of Carlos Watkins. Returnees included freshman All American Dexter Lawrence, Albert Huggins, Sterling Johnson and Nyles Pinckney. Plus, the Tigers always have the option of moving Christian Wilkins back to tackle from defensive end.