'Cycling out' is fun for Clemson fans right now


by - Senior Writer -
Clemson's recruiting success speaks for itself.
Clemson's recruiting success speaks for itself.

This cycling out thing is fun if you follow Clemson.

Tuesday evening, 4-star linebacker Barrett Carter announced his decision to commit to Clemson over top-4 finalists Ohio State, Auburn, and Georgia. Carter announced his decision on FOX 5 Atlanta. He wore a sweatshirt that he unzipped to reveal a dark Clemson shirt with the iconic orange Tiger paw in the middle, saying that he would further his education in the Upstate.

Of course, the cycling out comment is a simple and fun barb directed at University of South Carolina play-by-play announcer Todd Ellis, who made headlines before the annual rivalry game in 2017 when he said that Clemson was on its way out as a national power.

“Clemson is scared to death of Will Muschamp’s progress,” Ellis said. “We are the up and coming team. They are cycling out. We are cycling in. That’s a big part of the fear from the Tigers right now.”

Clemson has gone 31-2 since those comments, and the scary thing for everyone else is that things appear to be getting better for the Tigers.

When the season starts, Clemson will likely be ranked atop the polls and will be the favorite for many to once again reach the College Football Playoff (or whatever iteration we have this season considering we don’t know which schools will decide to play this year because of the pandemic).

Dabo Swinney told us during bowl prep that he wanted this decade to be the best in Clemson football history, a tall order considering what was just accomplished in the 2010s. As I wrote yesterday:

"Clemson enters the third decade of the 21st century after Swinney helped author one of the most prolific 10-year periods in the history of the sport. Clemson posted a 117-22 record under Swinney’s leadership in the 2010s, and the program’s 117 wins trailed only Penn (124 in the 1890s) and Alabama (124 in the 2010s) to tie for the third-most in a decade in major college football since 1890."

Those are some big and impressive numbers, but Swinney thinks the decade will get off to a good start with this year’s team.

“The good news is this is one of the youngest teams I’ve ever had,” he said. “We’ve got 80 freshmen and sophomores out of our 120. I think we’ve got a chance to be a better team next year. I really do.”

The team loses wide receiver Tee Higgins and four offensive linemen and do-everything defender Isaiah Simmons, but got a big boost with the fact that 15 mid-year enrollees like Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy and DJ Uiagalelei were able to participate in nine spring practices.

“Fifteen mid-years just got here, and we’ve got a lot of people back, and I’m excited about what our future is,” Swinney said. “This was the end of a great decade. We would have certainly loved to have ended it as national champs, but we’re excited about the Roaring ’20s.”

Add in the return of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and wide receiver Justyn Ross and running back Travis Etienne and a plethora of other playmakers on the defensive side of the ball – including fan-favorite James Skalski – and the Tigers are loaded for the foreseeable future.

Carter simply adds to an impressive linebacker haul that defensive coordinator Brent Venables has had over the last few recruiting classes – names like Sergio Allen and Kevin Swint and Trenton Simpson and Keith Maguire and Lavonta Bentley will be household names before long – and points to an exciting future for the defense.

Other top-notch recruits like offensive lineman Nolan Rucci and wide receiver Troy Stellato are considering the Tigers and could join an already-impressive haul for 2021.

In other words, things aren’t going to slow down anytime soon.

“My grandmother told me about the Roaring ’20s, so I’m getting to live them, and I can’t wait,” Swinney said.

This cycling out is more fun than we thought it would be.

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