PetesPonies is right, OL play has been consistently the weakest link of recruiting since Dabo was hired, and Austin hire was an opportunity to bring in seasoned OL coaching star. And equally, DueWest and others are right, Dabo has done far far better than good, and he has earned the right to hand select his guy.
The common denominator all revolves around when Chad Morris and Dabo successfully recruited DW4. He changed the Clemson program into a national power. He snapped the usc win streak. He forced Spurrier into retirement. He beat a Bama team in the 2016 championship game that was better than Clemson at 15-18 starting positions. He was almost killed by Reuben Foster and the Bama D in the process and fearlessly gave up his body to do it. He super-charged Clemson recruiting with the 2016 national championship. Hello Power Rangers! Hello TL16! Hello Isaiah Simmons! Hello ETN! Hello Big Time College Football Power!
Dabo did more than go along for the ride. He facilitated the ride with great leadership, a great DC selection, and above average OC performance (with DW4 and TL16* - big asterisk).
As to Thomas Austin, it is clear Dabo wants to put his stamp on the Clemson Football program by taking his favorite former players and coaching friends and creating his version of Clemson Football. He has earned the right. We will see what Austin can accomplish in 2022 o-line play and 2023/24 recruiting. Get your popcorn, feel free to debate as Americans and Tigers, and support the program! Go Tigers!
Also aware that he was our 5th option and was a fall back guy. He turned out to be amazing but its not like he is a shining star of our recruiting capability like going into Alabama and snagging Justyn Ross
Dabo has been extremely successful and has absolutely earned the right to hand pick the coaches he feels are the best fit for our program.
I also believe that we as fans - most of whom have been Clemson fans far longer than Dabo has been our coach - have a right to be concerned about some of these recent hires.
We certainly hope that these are all home run hires that get us back to being a national championship contending team. It just feels risky, especially for a program that could’ve hired much more experienced coaches.
I didn't read all the post but Dabo's legacy is he will be a Hall of Fame coach with 2 National Championships, so far, and led a program that has been in the Top 5 almost every year in academic rankings.
Had he only been able to handle South Carolina, I believe Tajh Boyd would get a lot more credit for Clemson's rise than he does from some. HIS starting QB tenure is the one that got Chad Morris on the map. Morris was only around Clemson for DW4's freshman year, and then he caught the first train out to SMU.
Even though he didn't make it in the NFL, Tajh Boyd's deep ball was as pretty as any Clemson QB ever to wear the Paw. He just couldn't get over the hump against the Old Ball Sac.
Good post 76er® ... I would bet The Chad wakes up some mornings and wishes he will still back at rich and comfy SMU ... but Tajh did crank up the engine especially vs. LSU. 4th and 16 was a big time pickup for the game, the season, and the future of the program!