Life on the recruiting trail: Six coaches, one barbecue joint

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – The fraternity of college football coaches ranges far and wide, and it’s hard for the coaches of one program to look across the nation and not find another coach that they’ve worked with or coached against in some capacity.

Sure, there are times when coaches get angry at the opposition – see Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer throwing his gum and yelling an obscenity at Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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last fall – but coaches get along for the most part.

This past week, I asked Clemson recruiting coordinator Jeff ScottJeff Scott
Asst. Coach (WR) / Recruiting Coord.
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if he had one story from the 2014 recruiting cycle that was different, something that he would like to share, and he said that one incident in particular stood out to him.

Scott mentioned that he an offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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were on a recruiting trip (I think it was in Texas) when they ran into several friends.

“I was with Coach Morris recruiting in a particular place,” Scott said Wednesday. “Later that evening, it just so happened that I was sitting in a BBQ restaurant and I’ve got coach Morris there, Rhett Lashlee, the offensive coordinator at Auburn and Tom Herman, the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, and the offensive line coach at Ohio State, and Chris Rumph, the defensive line coach at Texas. We really didn’t plan that out. We just ran into each other on the road.”

Imagine a barbecue joint in the middle of nowhere filled with some of the top assistants in the country - who wouldn’t have liked to listen in on that conversation?

Scott said it was a “unique” situation.

“We go out and we’re competing during the day for all these guys,” he said. “Then, at night, we get together and talk football for three or four hours. I think that was unique. That’s one thing unique about our profession.”

Scott said the bystanders are surprised when they see rival coaches having a civil conversation while watching a high school prospect practice.

“At times, there’s so much competitiveness,” he said.” that’s one of the funniest things, we go to a practice and see other coaches at a practice, we’ll go over and talk to them while we’re watching the practice. Sometimes, the parents, they can’t believe that you’ll actually talk to a coach of another team that you’re all trying to compete for this young man. There’s a common bond in the coaching community, so that was a pretty unique experience talking a little bit of ball there on the road.”

Scott then – perhaps wisely – declined to share any further specifics of life on the road. In other words, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

“I think there are a lot of things that happen on the road that need to stay on the road,” he said with a smile. “I think I should say it that way.”

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