This year represents a new normal for many in college football, as Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff has to juggle the new early National Signing Day alongside practice for their College Football Playoff semifinal game against Alabama.
Swinney said the Tigers hope to sign between 13 to 15 guys in this signing period, with about eight or nine of them expected to enroll in the Spring semester.
The Tigers came into the day knowing a lot of the players who would sign early, and didn’t have to sweat out many of the faxes, according to Swinney.
While some of the signings are still pending from the time Swinney spoke to the press, he feels confident that this class will represent what his coaches and fans come to expect out of the Tigers.
Swinney on Class Overview
Just before Swinney took the podium, the Tigers gained a big addition, literally and figuratively with 350-pound offensive lineman Jackson Carman of Ohio signing with Clemson.
Swinney didn’t have Carman’s fax in the office when he initially sat down to speak with the media, but upon confirmation of its receipt, Swinney spoke glowingly of someone he expects to be the cornerstone of the offensive trenches for the Tigers.
Swinney on Jackson Carman
While Carman’s decision came on signing day, another one of Clemson’s big targets had been committed for nearly a year.
Trevor Lawrence, widely considered the top quarterback by most recruiting websites in the Class of 2018 faxed his Letter of Intent in at 7:01 Wednesday morning.
Swinney says he’s anxious to get Lawrence on campus in January.
Swinney on Trevor Lawrence
While coaches like Will Muschamp and Nick Saban have panned the idea of the early-signing period, count Swinney among those who support and champion the concept.
Swinney said he wouldn’t mind if the period moved to before the season.
Swinney on Early-Signing Period
Of course while Wednesday represents a big recruiting day, it also represents one of the final two practice days for Swinney’s squad before they break for Christmas.
Clemson’s coach believes they will have the game plan in by the end of the week.
Swinney on Alabama & Bowl Preparation
These last two seasons have given the spotlight to two folk heroes among the Clemson contingent.
Hunter Renfrow, the man who caught the game-winning touchdown pass in last year’s Alabama game, is playing his best football in the last three contests for Clemson. Also, running back Travis Etienne continues to shine for the Tigers, having broken CJ Spiller’s freshman touchdown record through his first 13 collegiate games.
Swinney talked about Renfrow’s growth from walk-on to key member and Etienne playing in the Sugar Bowl in his home state.
Swinney on Renfrow and Etienne
The Tigers and Crimson Tide will arrive on December 27th in New Orleans with the game on Monday, January 1st. Clemson will practice at Tulane Stadium while Alabama will train at the game site inside the Superdome.