Dan Scott Blog Extra: Napier Continues To Impress


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It's an old cliche, but it remains true today. Perhaps more than ever before.

Recruiting is the lifeblood of a college football program.

If you can build a relationship with a player, convince them that your school is the right place to be, and do it consistently, your future in the business is a bright one. With the stakes higher than ever before, with terms like "arms race" being thrown around where facilities are concerned, coaches who can recruit successfully will be rapid risers throughout the profession.

Tommy Bowden has a number of good recruiters on his staff.

Veterans like Brad Scott and Ron West have seen and done it all. Dabo Swinney has made a name for himself among the elite players on Clemson's roster. David Blackwell was brought to Bowden's staff in part because of his recruiting prowess.

But who is the brightest star of them all?

It could very well be Billy Napier.

The former Furman quarterback began as a graduate assistant at Clemson, went away for a couple of years, then came back to Bowden's staff to launch his career. And launch it he did, in a major way. Major college magazines have taken notice of Napier's recruiting ability, and it seems the more he works at it the better he gets.

His boss, Tommy Bowden surely is impressed. And not just with his recruiting. It's the total package that still catches Bowden's attention.

"He is productive. We put him in charge of punt blocks last year and we didn't have any punts blocked last year after having five blocked in 2005," Bowden said earlier this week. "His tight ends have been productive. Thomas Hunter had the most yards by a Clemson tight end in 30 years last year, and this year Brian Linthicum already has two touchdown passes.

"His recruiting speaks for itself. He has a pretty good future in this profession. He's got a good pedigree with his father being a coach. When you play quarterback, it really gives you and understanding offensively of every position on offense, plus defensive structure, support, and coverage. Right now after two years with me, he has obviously shown he can recruit, and his unit (tight ends) has been productive on the field."

The only problem, if you can call it that, is upward mobility.

The better Napier does, the more likely another school comes calling with a bigger, better job with even more responsibility. It's the nature of the business, and likely to happen sooner rather than later.

Clemson fans should enjoy his production while they can.

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