May 21, 2024

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney defends approach to transfer portal: ‘We like our guys, we like our starters’

Outside of the navy academies, Clemson was the one program within the nation not to take a single transfer. While many have criticized coach Dabo Swinney’s approach to the portal, the Tigers’ head man defended his program’s lack of exercise within the transfer market throughout an interview Tuesday on the ACC Network.

“It wasn’t really necessarily an intentional thing,” Swinney stated. “There (are) a couple (of) guys we looked at, but they’ve got to love you too.” 

The Tigers reportedly did attain out to a number of gamers within the transfer portal however have been finally unable to discover a match. Twelve gamers transferred from this system, together with starters Beaux Collins (receiver) and Andrew Mukuba (defensive again). Conversely, 18 completely different FBS groups took at the very least 20 transfers throughout the 2024 offseason. 

“Honestly, every player is technically a transfer,” Swinney stated. “We just signed a whole class of guys who will transfer in from high school. We like our guys, we like our starters.” 

Swinney additionally doubled down on the approach by pointing to Clemson’s success off the sector, together with commencement charge and NFL improvement. Only 4 energy convention faculties boasted fewer transfers misplaced than Clemson. Being focused has its benefits. 

“Dabo Swinney bets on loyalty as a two-way street,” 247Sports nationwide recruiting analyst Anna Adams stated. “Clemson isn’t immune from departures due to outdoors infleunces or tampering, however the loyalty this system exhibits its gamers sometimes aids this system in retaining its stars.

“While tradition performs a big function, Clemson can’t by on that alone in 2024. Dollars are absolutely being spent to maintain gamers from leaving.

Long time period questions

The transfer portal formally launched on Oct. 15, 2018, three months earlier than Clemson gained its second nationwide championship underneath Swinney. Since its launch, Clemson has solely taken two transfers, each quarterbacks. Hilariously, one was former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson returning to campus for a second stint. 

However, the true mark was the 2021 season, the primary full yr when transfers have been granted one-time fast eligibility. During that season, the Tigers misplaced three video games for the primary time since 2014 and snapped a six-year ACC title streak. Clemson gained one other ACC title in 2022, however dropped under 10 wins for the primary time since 2010 this previous season. 

“There’s much to sell with a winning program and lots of high draft picks coming off the board,” 247Sports nationwide analyst Blake Brockermyer wrote. “I’m not worried about Clemson’s ability to sign good players, but in today’s NIL and portal world, it’s hard to survive even if you’re hitting 90% on your recruiting classes.” 

Big image, Clemson has been a mannequin of retention and improvement underneath Swinney. However, even his program misplaced 12 transfers over the offseason. The Tigers reeled in one other stacked recruiting class, however solely signed 22 gamers. With 12 transfers and 18 listed seniors on the 2023 roster, it’s unclear whether or not Clemson can stand up to 85 scholarship gamers.