2017 Clemson Football - The Defending National Champions

Discussion in 'DVU' started by Krombopulus Michael, Jan 11, 2017.

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  1. Billdozer

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  2. Tony Perkis

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    Hearn is declaring for the draft. Shit
     
  3. Billdozer

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    "I've been thinking about it a lot the last few weeks and I'm still not sure on my decision," Clemson junior left tackle Mitch Hyatt said when asked if he plans to leave for the NFL after the season. "There are some people I want to talk to. I'm not leaning one way or the other. I'm in the middle."
     
  4. tigergrad00

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    And the pussy wins out
     
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  5. CoastalOrange

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    I like Dabo's approach though I would slightly alter it. I think if you can go in the first 2 rounds then you should go. If you (and the coaches) think you have likely maxed out then you should give it a shot. If not either of those items, then you should stay.

    Though I say all of that with the knowledge that if some team waived even the league minimum, which is around $400k or so, in front of my face I would have dipped out in a heart beat.
     
  6. HBG

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    Always does :old:
     
    J-Roc, Styx, Doc Louis and 4 others like this.
  7. statebird

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    Let's go rip some throats
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    An agent said something that I hadn't really considered the other day...some guys know they have degenerative knees/backs/etc and know they only have a few more seasons of football left. They decide to take the risk and try to make money off football while they still have a shot rather than using one of the remaining years to improve their stock.

    Always the situations where the family just really needs money, or they inflate their views of their abilities/draft stock, but hadn't thought of the above in detail before.
     
  8. Billdozer

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  9. Keywan1474

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    Lol who were the wr matt Bailey Jon don and Gardner?
     
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  10. 19B

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    Was at that game.
     
  11. Keywan1474

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    :jamarcus:
    Look at Youngblood...I mean Gardner on the reception
     
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  12. 19B

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    I thought I told you to shut up.
     
  13. Billdozer

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  14. Billdozer

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    Clemson in position to take over as college football's reigning dynasty
    CLEMSON, S.C. — The orange blazer only comes out of Dabo Swinney’s closet a couple times a year, but a Wednesday that included five-star recruits finalizing their paperwork followed by a Clemson graduation event followed by practice for another College Football Playoff game was reason enough to start the day in celebratory attire.

    And just after 11 a.m., Swinney sat down at a table inside Clemson’s practice facility, where a large black-and-gold banner signifying the 2016 national championship now hangs. Immediately, he was asked a question not about the looming Sugar Bowl matchup with Alabama but rather an offensive tackle named Jackson Carman, the No. 1-ranked recruit in Ohio, whom Clemson had just secured a commitment from moments earlier when he chose the Tigers over the in-state Buckeyes.

    Swinney looked back over his left shoulder toward longtime sports information director Tim Bourret, who advised him that the actual Letter of Intent had not yet come in. So Swinney had to pass on the question per NCAA rules, which is about the only way you can stop him from commenting on anything.

    But nevertheless, with about six minutes to go in the news conference, Bourret interrupted a question to inform Swinney that Carman’s paperwork had come in.

    “Oh we do?” Swinney said, breaking into a big smile. “Jackson Carman! Action Jackson! Let's go! Press conference, take two!”

    It was a perfect Swinney moment: Goofy, endearing and yet quite representative of why the Tigers have transformed themselves from perceived one-hit wonder on the national stage to a program that stands on the precipice of altering college football history.

    “No. 1 player in Ohio, No. 1 player in Florida, No. 1 player in South Carolina, No. 1 player in Georgia,” Swinney said, succinctly describing Clemson’s recruiting haul on Wednesday and the reach its brand now has across the country.

    By now, the message to the rest of college football is loud and clear. Clemson isn’t going anywhere. The falloff that was allegedly supposed to happen this season when the last group of superstars exited didn’t materialize. The Tigers won the ACC again with almost an entirely different roster, made the Playoff for the third year in a row and, when healthy, have looked like the best team in the country over the balance of the season.

    Now here comes another group of recruits led by Trevor Lawrence, the top-ranked quarterback in the country out of Cartersville, Ga., and the championship window is suddenly wide open again for the foreseeable future. In fact, Clemson’s sustainability is such old news at this point, Swinney doesn’t even bother anymore to push back on the tired narrative that his program is a fleeting power.

    “What's changed is the fact we've done it over and over and over and over and won a lot of big games along the way,” Swinney said. “Now they can't say, well you've been very consistent but you can't win a national championship. Well, yeah, we can. And not only did we win it, but we beat Alabama to do it. So you just kind of checked all the boxes and everybody can just kind of take a deep breath and realize we have a great program here and we're not going away. I don’t care what coaches leave, what player leaves, it’s not going to change.”

    But what could change for Clemson, and for all of college football, will be determined on New Year’s Day in a third consecutive Playoff matchup against the Crimson Tide. Now the stakes for Clemson aren’t just about hanging another banner after a 35-year wait. What lies ahead is nothing less than an opportunity to change the way we talk and think about this entire era of the sport.

    Alabama's decade
    The balance of power in college football can be a delicate, fleeting thing. Periods of dominance tend to burn hot, then fade. History tells us that half of the traditional bluebloods at any given time are ascending, while the other half are wandering in the wilderness before rising again.

    The current decade, of course, has been kindest to Alabama, a dynasty longer and more durable than its recent predecessors. And when you look back at the Nick Saban run of four national championship in nine years, rewriting the modern history of the sport, there have been three major inflection points:

    1. In 2009, Alabama beats Florida for the SEC title, simultaneously launching Saban to his first national championship at Alabama and effectively ending Urban Meyer’s run with the Gators after it seemed like the two programs could have a long rivalry at the top.

    2. Les Miles builds a machine at LSU that is practically Alabama’s equal, but the Tide’s dominant 21-0 victory in the 2011 national championship game — a rematch of LSU’s earlier 9-6 victory that season — sends the Tigers into a spiral and solidifies Alabama’s aura as a program without peer.

    3. Ohio State beats Alabama in 2014 and goes on to win the first College Football Playoff, sparking a legitimate argument about whether Meyer might join or pass Saban in the Greatest Of All-Time debate. At that point, Meyer had three titles to Saban’s four and the preseason No. 1 team in 2015. Instead, Alabama wins another national championship that year and Meyer hasn’t come close since, ending any notion they were part of the same conversation.

    That’s important context as we turn our focus to this year’s Playoff and what seems like a fourth historical marker in the era of Alabama.

    If Clemson wins a second consecutive national championship and beats the Tide two years in a row along the way, it would mean a legitimate claim to their own dynasty. It would mean Clemson making a serious run at Alabama as the program of the decade. It would mean Clemson, in college football’s most stunning and impressive development in quite some time, becoming an equal in an era where it seemed Saban simply wouldn’t allow any.

    “It’s the tiebreaker,” linebacker Dorian O’Daniel said. “Last season there was a lot of doubt in how we won games, how we got to the College Football Playoff. This year we’ve tried to leave no doubt.”

    In a sense, maybe the perception change already happened regardless of the outcome in the Sugar Bowl.

    This will be the the third consecutive year Alabama and Clemson have met in the Playoff, and the first two games came down to coin-flip margins, with each taking home a hard-fought national championship trophy.

    But to really be like Alabama, it’s not just the outcome of a 60-minute football game, it’s the benefit of the doubt that goes along with the brand. No matter who graduates or leaves Alabama for the pros or gets plugged in at quarterback, you just assume they’re going to be in the mix every year until Saban decides he’s had enough.

    This season, Clemson finally earned the right to be regarded the same way, having lost the best player in school history in quarterback Deshaun Watson as part of a complete roster overhaul while still motoring along as if nothing really changed.

    “I feel like we’ve done it our own way. We’ve done it the Clemson way,” star defensive lineman Christian Wilkins said. “It’s really a completely new team. That’s just a testament to our program and our culture.”

    Trying to go back-to-back
    Repeating as national champions would be the ultimate testament, as it’s only been done a handful of times in the modern era. The Playoff adds another hurdle, as programs now have to win two postseason games against elite opponents rather than just one bowl.

    On paper, this is the most evenly matched Playoff field as both semifinal matchups currently have point spreads of less than a field goal. (Alabama actually has been a slight favorite vs. Clemson in Las Vegas.)

    “I know they’re the four seed and this is supposed to be the easy draw, right?” Swinney joked. “But we’re playing Alabama and when you play Alabama, there’s a good chance you get beat. That’s just life.”

    Swinney was trying to make the point that for all the story lines about the Alabama-Clemson Playoff trilogy and trying to go back-to-back, the outcome of one 60-minute football game won’t change his view about where his program sits in the pecking order or what its future holds. And that’s completely fair. Without knowing anything else about what’s going to happen over the next 365 days, it wouldn’t be one bit of a surprise if we’re right back here next year talking about Alabama-Clemson in another Playoff or national championship game. That’s how solid these two programs are, how far they’ve separated themselves from everyone else over time.

    But history is written by the winners, and Clemson has the opportunity to reshape a good portion of it by reaching arguably the most difficult accomplishment in all of sports.

    “We’ve seen Alabama do it before,” defensive end Clelin Ferrell said. “We understand that obviously going back-to-back has been hard for a lot of other teams, but this is a new era. We feel like we’re real young in the era, so why not us?”

    The recent history of Alabama’s would-be usurpers tells us it’s never that easy. And as long and difficult of a road as Clemson traveled over Swinney’s first nine years to finally become national champions, the leap from there to generational program might be even longer. Even if it’s only two wins away.
     
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  15. DMX

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    We need to bring back those pants. It’s the last thing Dabo has to do.
     
  16. Billdozer

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  17. Billdozer

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  18. Heism4n

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    World Champ
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    This stat was quoted by David Hale for the last couple games, but it's pretty amazing when looking at the whole season as well:

    Opponent's points entering the 4th quarter (final score):

    Kent St ---- 3 (3)
    Auburn ---- 6 (6)
    @ UofL --- 7 (21) - back-ups in the 3rd Q
    BC --------- 7 (7)
    @ VT - -----3 (17) - back-ups in the 3rd Q
    WF --------- 0 (14) - back-ups in the 2nd Q
    @ Cuse --- 24 (27)
    GT ---------- 3 (10) - back-ups in the 3rd Q
    @ NCST --- 21 (31)
    FSU --------- 7 (14)
    Citadel ------ 0 (3) - back-up in the 2nd Q
    @ SCar ----- 0 (7) - back-ups in the 3rd Q
    Miami -------- 0 (3) - back-ups in the 4th Q

    In total, Clemson has given up a total of 81 points in the first 3 quarters this season (ave of 6.2 PPG)...which included 45 total to NCST and Cuse. Take those two games away, and Clemson is averaging giving up 4 PPG in the first 3 quarters this season.

    Clemson has given up around 62 garbage time points (with the back-ups in the game in the 4th Q); and around 20 legitimate 4th quarter points (Cuse, NCST, FSU...starters in the entire game).
     
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  19. Tony Perkis

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    I'd say Xavier Kelly has had a pretty good redshirt year

    [​IMG]
     
  20. statebird

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    Let's go rip some throats
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    I don’t think he’s redshirting is he?
     
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  21. Dabo's Dance Coach

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    He already did last year.
     
  22. Grady Jarrett

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    In there like swimwear
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    He got some snaps vs. Miami. So did Justin Foster
     
  23. Billdozer

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    The Secret to Clemson's Third Down Defense & Occam's razor

    By Seldom Used Reserve

    https://f5s009media.blob.core.windows.net/video/0027387-mlnb-40.mp4

    The Clemson Tiger offense opened the ACC Championship Game with a 10 play, 68-yard drive that consumed 4 minutes and 30 seconds. It was early, but given the defense that the Tigers possess, the Miami Hurricanes were in a tough spot despite the score being only 7-0 and more than 50 minutes remained in the game.

    It didn't help that Malik Rosier came up just short of a first down on their first series, but the Canes fortunes appeared to change when Ray Ray McCloud fumbled a Zach Feagles punt, the turnover chain came out, and Miami set up shop at the Clemson 37 with a fresh set of downs.

    Four plays later the Miami faced a 3rd and six at the Clemson 22, securely within Michael Badgley’s field goal range. From that spot, Badgley would be looking at a 39-yard field goal, and he was money inside 40, a perfect 14 for 14 on the season. Three guaranteed points.

    Berrios likely had visions of slipping past a blitzing Clemson defense and, with some luck, tie the score. If not, Badgley would cut into the lead and stem the Tigers early momentum. What could go wrong?
    Mark Richt opted to attempt to gain a few more yards and perhaps even get a first down with a safe screen pass to Braxton Berrios. Berrios likely had visions of slipping past a blitzing Clemson defense and maybe, with some luck, tie the score. If not, certainly Badgley would cut into the lead and stem the Tigers early momentum.

    What could go wrong?

    Rosier took the snap (video above) and moved right drawing the Tiger defense, including Clelin Ferrell, in that direction. Meanwhile, Berrios, in the left slot and covered by Van Smith, played the part by taking a jab step forward before retreating. Smith immediately read the play but was forced to go around Trayvon Mullen who was engaged with a blocker.

    Rosier turned to find Berrios, which alerted Ferrell to the screen and the pursuit was on. As Berrios was catching the ball Smith was literally sliding past a blocker forcing Berrios inside where he was pummeled by Ferrell and friends. Just like that, an almost automatic 39-yard field goal turned into a 46-yard miss.

    A few minutes after Badgley’s miss Clemson took a 14-0 lead and for all intents and purpose, the game was over.

    5th, 1st, 4th, 5th, 5th. That is Clemson’s national ranking in third-down defense over the last 5 seasons.

    Ferrell was credited with a solo tackle, but Van Smith made the play. If Smith doesn’t force the play inside, Berrios gets the first down and likely scores as the outside was wide open: Jamie Skalski had blitzed out of the play, Mullen was engaged and Ferrell was inside pursuing Rosier.

    5th, 1st, 4th, 5th, 5th. That is Clemson’s national ranking in third-down defense over the last 5 seasons. On the NCAA Football Stats page, third-down defense stands alone, there are no ifs, ands or buts, no asterisks or footnotes.

    Year Pct Rank
    2017 27.8 5
    2016 28.1 5
    2015 27.7 4
    2014 27.4 1
    2013 30.8 5

    Third down doesn’t stand on its own though, what happens on first and second down matters on third down. It’s one of the laws of football - conversion rates for 3rd and 1 or 2 are going to be much higher than those for 3rd and 7 or 8. Give up 8 yards on first and second down, you’re likely to give up a first down, it's really not a difficult equation.

    In the first 13 games of the 2017 season, 70% of the time the Tigers opponents are facing at least 5 yards to go on 3rd down.

    Number (%) Distance % 1st Down/TD
    62 (30%) < 5 yards 48.4
    143 (70%) ≥ 5 yards 18.9

    Clemson's third-down defense is so good because the first and second down defense is good. When opponents have less than 5 yards to go on third down first downs are gained at a 48.4% rate. When 5 or more yards are needed, the success rate plummets to 18.9%. What happens on first and second down matters.

    That's the "secret". Forcing third and long is the key to a successful 3rd down defense and the average distance to go for Clemson opponents is 7.6 yards.

    Avg Yards To Go Avg Yards To Go
    All 3rd downs 7.6
    Avg yards to go when converted 4.9
    Avg yards to go on stops 8.7

    It’s easy to get lost in talk of schemes and personnel groupings in an attempt to explain why a team is successful stopping opponents on third down. Sometimes that makes sense.

    Sometimes though, perhaps a football version of Occam’s razor applies - it’s more difficult to convert 3rd and 8 than 3rd and 4.
     
  24. Cutig

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    My name is Rod, and I like to party
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  25. Billdozer

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  26. Keywan1474

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    At the mall with Deshauns dad

    IMG_1373.JPG
     
  27. Billdozer

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    #2967 Billdozer, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  28. TheWampa

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    A real Hoth mess
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    @Tigers I nominate myself to be the first to get a press pass for DVU
     
  29. Tigerchan

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    Not if I fight you for it.
     
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  30. 19B

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    A jelly doughnut?
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    This is easy to settle. Which one of you is rapier? That's Dabo's first question for newly-credentialed media members.
     
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  31. TheWampa

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    I already won.
     
  32. Billdozer

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  33. Adam

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  34. FriendsofJtyler

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    Home sweet home

    Larry Williams • TigerIllustrated.com

    CLEMSON -- A cluster of college coaches sat in a room at Jennings High School waiting to make their pitches to Travis Etienne,
    his mother Donnetta, and coach Rusty Phelps.

    The assistants from LSU, Tennessee and Louisiana Tech brought big personalities into the room, telling jokes and stories and trying to connect in a way that most coaches connect.

    But there was another coach in the room who didn't say much at all, didn't make small talk with the other guys in large part because he was a long way from home and had no background or ties in Louisiana.

    "We were taking the coaches into a conference room one by one and hearing them out," Donnetta said. "All these other men are -- you know how men go -- rah-rah-rah, talking man stuff and being loud or whatever.

    "But Coach Tony is just there sitting and waiting quietly in a chair and not saying anything. He never said a word. He was courteous. He engaged when he was asked a question, but he was never boastful about what he was coming to do."

    Coach Tony, of course, would be Tony Elliott. The same guy who, as Clemson's chief play-caller, helped engineer a 35-31 victory over Alabama in the national title game just three days earlier.

    The day before that game in Tampa, Elliott and Dabo Swinney were stunned to see Fort Myers backDarrian Felix commit to Oregon. They tried to convince Felix to follow through with his scheduled visit to Clemson, but the deal was done. And now they were scrambling.

    Elliott knew about Etienne, but only vaguely. He reached out to Phelps and asked the coach to tell him more about the kid as a person. Right away, he knew he had to go visit him as soon as possible.

    The triumph over the Crimson Tide, sealed with 21 fourth-quarter points against Alabama's crazy-good defense, was just hours old when Elliott called Etienne and asked him if he was interested in the Tigers.

    The answer: "Definitely, coach."

    The final day of the dead period was Jan. 11, the day after Clemson returned from Tampa to that joyous, blissful scene with all the fans outside the west end zone of Death Valley. A day later, Elliott was on a flight to the small town of 10,000 in west Louisiana, 70 miles from the Texas border.

    The other coaches already had built relationships with Etienne's inner circle. Elliott was starting from scratch. And fresh off a win on college football's biggest stage, he didn't want to create the appearance that he was full of himself.

    "I show up and it's a who's-who," Elliott recalled. "You've got LSU in the office already. Tennessee is in the office already. And I'm here walking in, had never met the coach and had never met the kid. I'd never met the coaches from LSU and Tennessee. I didn't want them thinking I was walking in thinking they had no shot. I was actually walking in thinking we might not have a shot because we've never even met this kid. I just wanted to make sure I presented myself well, represented Coach Swinney well and presented what our program is all about. Because our program is not built off talk."

    Elliott deferred to the other coaches, allowing them to have their private meetings first. Last in line, he knew Donnetta was exhausted by the process. But he connected by being open and honest about himself, his life and the Clemson community he was hoping Etienne would come visit.

    So Elliott stood out by not standing out, by doing away with the standard sales pitches and promises the family had heard plenty of.

    "I just really can't explain it," Donnetta said. "He didn't have an ego trip thing. He made us want to see what Clemson was all about."

    Previously, Clemson wasn't even on Etienne's radar. He had visits lined up to Tennessee a day later (Jan. 13), to Texas A&M on Jan. 20 and to LSU on Jan. 27.

    But things began to change when Elliott presented an offer in that conference room at the school. Donnetta says it was the 34th and final scholarship offer her son received.

    While students and school personnel mobbed LSU running backs coach Jabbar Julukeand posed for pictures with him, Elliott was quietly working some magic just by being himself.

    "Nobody really knew anything about Clemson," Donnetta said. "Nobody knew who this coach was."

    Things are much different now in Jennings, with Etienne preparing to take on Alabama at the Superdome in New Orleans three hours from his hometown. Orange has been a popular color in Jennings all season with the powerful, explosive running back making an immediate splash.

    Clemson is a recruiting machine, evidenced most recently by the acquisition of four 5-star prospects this week in the early signing period. The signatures of Trevor Lawrence K.J. Henry Jackson Carman and others were the product of years of legwork, relationship-building and a fine-tuned process.


    Etienne's story is so much different, built on last-minute improvisation. Even before Felix's surprise pledge to Oregon, Clemson's staff parted ways withCordarrian Richardson in December. In the summer of 2016, Clemson's staff told Philadelphia running back
    D'Andre Swift (now at Georgia) they didn't have room for him because of their commitment to Richardson.


    So now, less than a month before National Signing Day, Elliott needed a running back. He had no relationship with California back Najee Harris who would end up at Alabama. Same with Mississippi stud Cam Akers who'd committed to Florida State in late December.

    Back in the summer of 2016, Etienne had reached out to Clemson via a coach in Louisiana who had a relationship with Tigers staffer Mickey Conn. Etienne was interested in Clemson, and the coach told Conn he was going to be special. But Elliott had to move on.

    "I told him if something changes we'll take a look at him," Elliott said. "But we had a commitment from Richardson and there was nothing we could do. Because that's our policy."

    Fast-forwarding to last January, the Etienne family was stirred by the visit from Elliott. This came after they'd cooked nachos and watched Clemson and Alabama, Etienne telling his mom the Tigers had no shot "because it's Bama," his mom screaming "I told you!" after Hunter Renfrow's touchdown catch with a second left.

    They thought about canceling the scheduled visit to Tennessee and going to Clemson to attend the Tigers' championship parade, but Donnetta said they followed through on their plans as a matter of courtesy to the Volunteers' staff.

    On that visit to Knoxville, Etienne was riding down an elevator with several other recruits. He told the group about his offer from Clemson.

    The response from one of the recruits, as relayed by Donnetta:

    "Why are you even here? If I had a Clemson offer I wouldn't have come on this visit."

    The day after they returned to Jennings from Knoxville, Elliott was back and this time he brought Swinney for an in-home visit hosted by Etienne's grandmother.

    When Elliott and Swinney left the home that night, Etienne had cancelled his scheduled visit to Texas A&M the following weekend. The family was going to check out Clemson instead.

    "Travis gave me a call sand said, 'Dad, we're going to Clemson,'" said his father, Travis Etienne Sr. "I was like: Where did that come from, TJ? Clemson?

    "I hadn't heard nothing about Clemson. And all of a sudden, we're going to Clemson."

    And that's where a gut feeling became a virtual certainty. The family was able to tour the glistening operations facility that the football program would move into soon thereafter. The small-town feel and the welcoming atmosphere made it feel like home to Etienne, even if he was 741 miles from home.

    "We fell in love with Clemson," his mother said. "And I fell in love with the people. They were so warm and inviting, and they were like family. Travis is a sheltered kid. You wanted him to go somewhere where he felt like he was part of family.

    "You can imagine coming in on the 34th scholarship offer, you've seen a lot of people and a lot of places. You're getting the royal treatment from everybody. But not everybody individualizes the experience for you. Coach Dabo, he gave us a hug. No other coaches did that. All the other coaches made it feel like you were joining a football team. But Dabo and Coach Tony made us feel like we were joining a family."

    Before they left that Sunday, Etienne had his exit interview with Swinney in the coach's office at the stadium. Amid all the boxes that were being packed for the move across Perimeter Road, Etienne privately committed to Swinney. His father remembers Swinney tossing him an All-In chip on the way out.

    Clemson still had to fend off LSU. When the Etiennes returned to Jennings, a contingent from Baton Rouge was waiting: New head coach Ed Orgeron, Juluke, and star offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

    On the outside, the Bayou Bengals were the presumed front-runner. Etienne grew up rooting for LSU and making regular 90-minute trips to attend their home games. It wasn't hard to imagine him going to Texas A&M, where he'd committed before backing off the previous August. But Clemson? It seemed like a stretch.

    Reality, though, was different. LSU under Les Miles was lukewarm toward Etienne, putting all its focus on Akers. By the time Akers announced for Florida State, Miles was gone and Orgeron was going hard after Etienne.

    But it was too late.

    "LSU was late. Period," Donnetta said. "They were late. They showed us no love. Let's be honest. They showed us no love."

    The visit from the LSU entourage did little to change Etienne's thought process. He'd already made up his mind he wasn't going to go to Baton Rouge for his scheduled visit the next weekend.

    Instead of waiting until signing day, he decided to make the announcement on his birthday. So on Jan. 26, four days after he returned from Clemson and one day before he was supposed to visit LSU, he had a ceremony at his school and announced he was going to "the real Death Valley."

    LSU fans, across the state and even in Etienne's home town, exploded in anger. All sorts of nastiness gushed forth on social media, to the point that Etienne's father had to delete the Facebook app from his phone.

    "I got friends who are still mad at me about that, 'the real Death Valley,'" Travis Sr. said. "I'm like, 'Why you picking on my child? You're not the one going to school.'

    "Everybody here has changed their tune now. A bunch of them are Clemson fans now."

    It's been quite the conversion for a small town in the heart of Cajun Country.

    And it all started that day in the office of the high school, when there was something about this unassuming coach from Clemson that Etienne and his mother just couldn't shake.

    Elliott: "I just wanted to get in the room, get one-on-one, and say this is who I am, this is why I'm here and hopefully you guys have enough interest to at least come check us out and see. I think she appreciated the transparency of how honest I was with our process, as opposed to going the recruiting route.

    "I think they had done enough of the recruiting. They were tired of that."
     
  35. FriendsofJtyler

    FriendsofJtyler
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    On that visit to Knoxville, Etienne was riding down an elevator with several other recruits. He told the group about his offer from Clemson.

    The response from one of the recruits, as relayed by Donnetta:

    "Why are you even here? If I had a Clemson offer I wouldn't have come on this visit."

    :obama:
     
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