Recruiting Roundup: The Closer (Dabo Swinney) has come out of the pen
|Thursday, February 1, 2018, 7:38 AM- -|
The best closers in major league baseball have iconic entrance songs that not only whip the fans into a frenzy, the song signifies to the opponent that it’s about to be “game over.” Trevor Hoffman had “Hell’s Bells” and Mariano Rivera had “Enter Sandman” and Craig Kimbrell likes to make an entrance to “Welcome to the Jungle.”
That makes me wonder what song should play when Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney gets on the team plane to make the final in-home visit with a standout prospect because Swinney has been known as one of the best closers in the business.
The past few days have seen Swinney and members of the Clemson coaching staff traveling to make the final visits with the top 2018 prospects while also visiting select 2019 prospects and handing out offers. The Tigers are still looking at Phenix City (AL) Central 5-star receiver Justyn Ross, Plantation (FL) American Heritage 5-star corner Patrick Surtain Jr., Lee’s Summit (M).) West 4-star cornerback Mario Goodrich and 4-star offensive tackle Richard Gouraige.
Swinney spent Wednesday with Ross and his family. Swinney, Alabama-area recruiter Todd Bates and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott visited with Ross' mother, Charay Franklin, and aunt, Joy Hurts, at their jobs and then spent the evening with the family. Ross has narrowed his list down to three teams – Clemson, Alabama, and Auburn. However, we’ve been told that it’s really down to Clemson and Bama.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban used his in-home last Thursday and the Tide will send in two assistants to see Ross Thursday.
Swinney will spend today in Florida visiting with Surtain and Gouraige.
A late development has the coaching staff securing a visit from 3-star defensive back Trevon Flowers (6-1 185) out of Tucker (GA). Flowers is on an official visit to Clemson as we speak. Flowers is a relative newcomer to football. He signed with Kentucky for baseball as a middle infielder back in November, but after his first season playing football decided to ask for his release from the Cats and pursue both sports in college.
Clemson will give him that shot.
"It's a great opportunity," Flowers said. 'I've talked to the baseball and football coaches. The baseball coaches already knew me from showcases and stuff like that. I'm looking forward to going down there and seeing what they have to offer.
“I’m just looking to make sure I'm around good people and a good environment.”
Flowers will head to Tennessee for a visit as soon as his Clemson visit is complete.
I have a friend in baseball who has seen Flowers play, and he said that Flowers has “special tools and has a chance to be a really good player with coaching and development.” I was told he projects as a middle of the diamond athlete – meaning shortstop or centerfield.
Sounds like a win-win for both Monte Lee and Swinney.
The coaches also made the trek to Virginia to check in on two 2019 players that recently visited campus.
Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables traveled to Mineral (VA) to see Louisa County 4-star defensive end Brandon Smith. Smith visited Clemson’s campus for Junior Day two weeks ago, and came away impressed.
“The visit was great,” Smith told TigerNet. “I saw the facilities and had a chance to talk with Coach V (defensive coordinator Brent Venables) for a while about the defense and how I would play an important role in the defense.”
Smith also spent time with Swinney on the visit.
“I got to talk with Coach Swinney as well, which was great,” Smith said. “I actually rode with Coach Swinney to the basketball game on the golf cart which was pretty cool. It was great because we got to spend more one-on-one time with the coaches, and that is what we were looking for. I didn’t hang out with any of the players, but we did meet some of the players at the game.”
After the coaches visited this week, Smith told TigerNet it created a stir at his school.
“They came to my school on Tuesday. It was great to see them,” Smith said. “Of course they couldn’t talk to me but it was great. A lot of excitement around the school.”
The coaches also checked in with Chesapeake (VA) Oscar Smith 4-star defensive back Cam’Ron Kelly.