Clemson primed to be college football’s next dynasty

CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 2: Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence
CLEMSON, SC - SEPTEMBER 2: Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence /
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Clemson /

Recruiting Success

With their national title win in 2017, and runner-up finish the year before, Clemson has never been more attractive to recruits.

Dabo Swinney was already a strong recruiter before this success. With the higher profile of the program, he will be able to attract more high calibre players from all over.

Clemson’s recruiting classes have been on the up ever since Swinney arrived. But the bowl success they have enjoyed has raised that even more.

Swinney signed two five-star prospects this year, giving him six in the past five years. That’s more than he signed in the previous six recruiting cycles (four).

One of these five-star recruits is QB Hunter Johnson from Brownsburg, Indiana. The national reach that Clemson now has is evident in Johnson’s recruitment.

Hunter Johnson, who’s from the heart of Big Ten country was swayed by Clemson. Something that wouldn’t happen often in the past and is a sign of a school ready to assume the role of the dominant force in college football.

Only a handful of schools can truly say they compete for the top recruits nationally every year. Ohio State, Alabama and USC certainly occupy those roles, and Clemson is now emerging as a major player too.

Five star recruits usually equate to immediate production and elite production. Last years five-star recruits at Clemson were defensive tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins.

The pair combined for over 100  tackles, including 10 sacks and 11 quarterback hurries in 2016 and already look like resuming that level of play in 2017.

Over half the players Swinney has signed in the last six-year have been at least four star recruits and that number will only increase with their national success. This is undoubtedly a sure-fire recipe for long-term success in the college game.

The Tigers also currently have the sixth-best 2018 recruiting class so next season already looks bright. The Clemson brand has sky rocketed after their title win and it is now a program that doesn’t have to seek players out and play the convincing game.

The on field success, and number of players that go on the NFL, speaks for itself. Players all over the country will be wanting to come and play under Dabo Swinney. Something that they haven’t been able to do a lot of in the past.

Suddenly, the south isn’t all about Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia and co.

The culture, as much as the success on the field, is drawing more and more top recruits out of SEC states to Clemson.

The Tigers most notable recruit that fits this bill in 2017 was wideout Amari Rodgers. A Knoxville native, Rodgers lives mere miles from Tennessee.

Additionally, his father Tee Martin played for Tennessee and is the current OC at USC. Yet somehow, Swinney convinced him to sign for Clemson.

Speaking on his decision, Rodgers noted:

"“It’s family oriented. They’re all about one big family. They love each other. Other people say it, but they’re not really about it. At Clemson, when you go there, you can feel it, their friendship for each for. “It’s all about business too, but they have fun. At the end of the day, you get the job done so that’s what I love about it.”"

Having the ability to secure top ten recruiting classes every year allows a program to sustain a high level of play despite losing players to the pro game. Clemson is now a powerhouse in the recruiting game and they are only increasing their foothold.