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Clemson's connecting really, really well with football recruits these days

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Hello, let's appreciate the totally modern football program Clemson is building. The Tigers have clawed out a place among the current powers, and they're recruiting like a team with a chance to stay there.

Clemson's outrecruiting its historical standards by quite a bit:

  • The Tigers are currently No. 6 on the 2017 247Sports Composite rankings. The five ahead have all won multiple titles since Clemson's in 1980, and those currently trailing include Florida State, Georgia, Michigan and Notre Dame. A couple more big commits could be coming soon.
  • In 2016, Ole Miss was the only non-blueblood to outrecruit Clemson.
  • In 2015, the Tigers ranked No. 9, behind nothing but schools with titles since 1980.

Keep this up every year, and Clemson's most recent title will at some point no longer be the 1980 one. The Tigers did just finish a couple injuries and a couple tackles away from breaking the drought with a young team in 2015, after all. And they have a shot at ranking No. 1 in the 2016 preseason polls with Deshaun Watson back.

How's this happening? Perhaps the most important part is that the tremendous Dabo Swinney has proved a master at finding innovative and rock-solid assistant coaches and finessing large amounts of money with which to compensate them. Recruits care a lot about coaching staffs.

In this survey of 31 top-300 recruits in the 2017 class, these kids repeatedly rate Clemson higher than you'd expect. That makes sense after a near-title, but hang on. That includes a No. 1 ranking for Best Coaching Staff, beating even Nick Saban's. Maybe the sample size means we have a high percentage of Clemson recruits (though all are being recruited by everybody, and two-thirds are still uncommitted), but it's clear the Tigers are making the right impressions on a lot of young players.

Clemson has also paid attention to social media better than any other program, winning various Best Social Media Account awards by college football outlets. (This sport has awards for everything.) When recruits spend half their lives on their phones, you'd better look cool and fun on their phones. You can almost fill an entire Google search results page with Dabo dances going viral, and like you, I can't believe "Dabo dances going viral" is an important football thing, but this is nearly the year 2020, y'all.

On that survey, Chick-fil-A also dominates as these players' favorite fast food joint. Yes, Clemson has the youths covered there as well, despite that time an Auburn player joked (?) about picking The Plains due to Clemson's alleged lack.


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