Topic: Ramblings of an old Tiger fan (may be to long)
Replies: 3   Last Post: Jan 3, 2018 1:17 PM by: alabamatiger
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Ramblings of an old Tiger fan (may be to long)

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 12:21 PM

It doesn’t take a real genius or very knowledgeable football fan to see how the Tigers have risen to the top since Coach Swinney became the head signal caller. Clemson has always been a respected football team but rarely have they been a feared team. Even under Coach Ford most of the football powers had no fear of playing the Tigers and those were among our very best years. We have all longed for those years to return and Clemson has had a host of coaches who tried to get us to the top. All with little or no success.

I am not totally sure what Dabo has that the others lacked but there truly is something there! Regardless, it all began with bringing in the right coaches and players to be the Clemson football team. No one will disagree with this. We all have an opinion as to where the turnaround began and with whom. Many of you will suggest it was with the successful recruitment of Spiller. Perhaps that is true. He certainly began a new era of recruiting for the Tigers.

In reality, it was a progression of recruiting over several years that got us to where we are today. I believe Dabo saw that to be a championship team he would have to have a big time quarterback to always lead the team who could run the kind of offense that he preferred. I think this started when Boyd came on board a few years ago and almost immediately became the ‘star’ and the leader that was necessary to be a championship team. Combined with some other big time skill guys the Tigers began to be a respected,but not feared, team. While Boyd was in control, the coaches began planning ahead to be sure the right guy was under center for every game in the future. That really is an obvious reality as you have all seen this in the last few years with our recruiting of QBs. I suspect, without knowing, that the departure of Chad Kelley threw a monkey wrench into these long range plans for the coaches. I would like to hear your thoughts on that. Watson was certainly the guy to get us over the top and to help us become a more feared team and that worked pretty well! There was a brief time while DW was getting ready to take over the job that no one was really prepared to be ‘the guy’ for a while. Fortunately DW developed even quicker than the coaches thought and the rest is history. Now Lawrence is on board and the question becomes how long will his development take? Bryant, and several others, are more than ready. We saw that with Bryant this year. Do you guys think that he is a part of the puzzle that is fitting into place, just as Coach S has planned?

Bringing in the right quarterbacks has made it possible to increase the talent at running back, receiver and even in the offensive line because it is easy for a big time recruit to see what is in place at Clemson. Same for the defensive teams
All this adds up to what we have on the field today. Spring ball will be exciting as we watch the next group get ready to run down the hill. I love it!

Sorry. I never know when to quit,

Re: Ramblings of an old Tiger fan (may be to long)

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 12:40 PM

I agree whole-heartedly with your assessment of the program. While there have been many small moves in the positive direction, all together they show that Dabo was the man and that he had a plan. There may be disagreements as to which recruit was the one that turned it all around, you have hit the nail on the heard in that the Head Coach (Dabo) has set the standard for greatness and the young men understand and follow him. Go TIGERS!

Re: Ramblings of an old Tiger fan (may be to long)

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 1:09 PM

Good post. When ramblings = love for Clemson football I’ll read a bible’s worth.

Re: Chad Kelly, sometimes you guess wrong on character. Hiring managers do all the time. Best thing Dabo did was cut him free once he realized CK’s head wasn’t going to get right relative to Dabo’s (correct) vision for our program in terms of building good men and a great team. I agree us having to play with CS before DW4 was a step back for the program.

No doubt an elite QB makes winning it all easier. You can go back across many different programs, Texas with VY, Auburn with Cam. Clemson with Desean. (He gets his own sentence). But I think Clemson has just about gotten to where a good but not necessarily once in a generation QB can win us a title. Our talent and player development all over the field is getting us to a point where a Jalen Hurts / Kelly Bryant QB should be enough. If our O-line was as consistently good as our D-Line we might have done it this year.

Our coaches have a high class challenge on their hands with the wealth of talent they have at QB. But they still have to get the right guy in there and help him get better week after week without the pressure of other talented guys gunning for the starting job hindering QB1’s play. No easy feat when you’re coaching 18-22 year old kids. Still, take that any day over not having any options you like.

We lost a painful game in the national semifinals. There are 125 or so D1 programs who would trade places with us in a heartbeat. Be grateful and move on to next season. Tiger football is in a great place.

Re: Ramblings of an old Tiger fan (may be to long)

Posted: Jan 3, 2018 1:17 PM

I think you are on to something with your line of thought! Chad Kelly's behavior problems kept him off the field (then as well as now). Had he remained in the program and disciplined like Cole Stoudt and DW4, I think DW4 might have been given more time to develop, gain weight and strength.

Many people seem ready for Kelly Bryant to move on. He's had his ups and downs. However, hypothetically had the Watson been given another year behind Chad Kelly (maybe not even possible), he might be taking home another Natty or the Heisman he deserved. This is why I believe that Kelly Bryant, Zerrick Cooper, Hunter Johnson, Tucker Israel, and now Trevor Lawence will be outstanding for our program overall! If Kelly Bryant is pushed more, isn't that what we want, he wants? If Zerrick learns the reads better and Hunter Johnson gains weight and muscle while learning the system and wins the job...wow! What if Trevor Lawence has a great Redshirt year, learns the system sits as a number 2, and then walks into a spring down the road as the starter...wow!

I'm not sure where Tucker Israel is going to be... we need QBs who work with coaches and players to signal calls in too!

I do think there is something to the fact that Mitch Hyatt the highest rated OL prospect we've had in a long, long while came in with DW4 and Trevor Lawrence was followed by Jackson Carmen.

I've always wondered about why recruiting RBs has been so hard since CJ. We've had some high ranked guys that didn't pan out as well as we've liked (Harper, Bellemy, Dye, and Brooks, and Choice). However, Feaster and Etienne are giving us a nice feel with the recievers we've been developing over the years.

This spring will be more than interesting...Kelly Bryant and the O have a chip on their shoulder... And Zerrick and Hunter say they aren't afraid of competition and embrace it. That's a recipe for success, if you ask me!

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