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Christmas in February


  by - Senior Writer - Tuesday, February 5, 2013 3:29 PM
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Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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likens National Signing Day to Christmas, saying that he can’t wait to get up each year and find out what is under the proverbial Christmas tree as the faxes bearing National Letters of Intent begin to roll in.

Swinney, his staff and Clemson fans get their second chance at Christmas on Wednesday, with many folks taking the day off from work and treating it like a holiday. Instead of opening presents, watching the parades on television and spending quality time with friends and family, people will camp out in front of ESPN and their computers, refreshing the pages every few seconds as the results roll in.

Swinney, as he talked about his recruiting class last year, told the media why he likened the day to that most special of holidays.

“It literally is like Christmas for an adult,” Swinney said. “It just kind of jacks me up when a young man chooses Clemson. It means they believe in what we are trying to do and they get it.”

If that is indeed the case – if it is like Christmas in February – then National Signing Day 2011 was one of the best Christmases for Clemson coaches and fans alike. The Tigers landed the likes of Sammy Watkins, Tony Steward and Stephone Anthony, the latter two being late gifts and surprises. They were the kind of surprises that harkened back to the time when you would open up that gift on Christmas morning and find exactly what you had wanted and dreamed about, but dared not hope for in case you wound up with tube socks instead.

Last year’s NSD was almost like Christmas Day when you became a teenager – a lot of the excitement of the day itself was drained away with early commitments, the only real drama concerning whether defensive tackle prospect D.J. Reader would choose the Tigers over Maryland. Last year – as long as we are using holiday parallels – like someone taking you shopping the day after Thanksgiving and buying you all of your gifts while you watched. Then, on Christmas Day, there was one surprise under the tree.

So, what’s in store for 2013? Will this one be a Christmas worth remembering, or have the mighty Grinches of the SEC taken away all of the decorations and gifts? Will Clemson’s already talented class be joined by one of the crown jewels left on the board in 5-star cornerback MacKensie Alexander MacKensie Alexander
Defensive Back
5-11, 175
Immokalee, FL

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?

The latest reports on the Alexander situation indicate to me that he has been in contact with Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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a good bit for the last nine days, a good sign for Clemson fans. Alexander seemingly has narrowed his choices down to Clemson, Mississippi St. and Auburn.


Tyrone Crowder Tyrone Crowder
Offensive Guard
6-2, 315
Rockingham, NC

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is hopefully a Clemson lock, and will still be a nice addition to the Christmas haul. Clemson is still in the running for Adrian Baker Adrian Baker
Cornerback
6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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, Korin Wiggins, James Clark James Clark
Wide Receiver
5-11, 170
New Smyrna Beach, FL

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and even Montravius Adams Montravius Adams
Defensive Tackle
6-3, 281
Vienna, GA

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among others. Will the Tigers make a last-minute offer to Ryan Carter Ryan Carter
Cornerback
5-11, 175
Loganville, GA

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out of Grayson? Will one of the big recruits change their mind at the last minute?

Maybe. Maybe not. And that is what makes National Signing Day the most exciting day of the year – a day that isn’t an actual game day - for many fans. It’s why they take off of work, leave their phones plugged in and ignore work, family and the outdoors for that one day in early February.

Is it worth it? It is when you get that one special surprise, the one that you had given up hope on or didn’t realize was still a possibility. Is there a surprise like that in store for tomorrow? No one knows for sure what tomorrow holds. A lump of coal or a shiny new sports car – either way, something will be happening and someone will be surprised.

And we will all be tuned in. Why? Because it’s Christmas in February.

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