Scott's efforts pay off with second top 10 class

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Scott landed another Top 10 class – currently ranked No. 9 by ESPN – for the second year in a row and the first time since 1988-89.
Scott landed another Top 10 class – currently ranked No. 9 by ESPN – for the second year in a row and the first time since 1988-89.

CLEMSON – Jeff Scott is not ready to step down as Clemson's recruiting coordinator just yet.

And that is welcome news for Clemson fans, especially the ones who follow recruiting and noticed that the Tigers hauled in their second consecutive Top 10 recruiting class on Wednesday, the first time since 1988-89 that feat has been accomplished.

Scott met with the media Wednesday afternoon, and he was asked – because of the intensive nature of his job – if the Tigers might be looking to transition to another recruiting coordinator in the near future.

His answer was simple and direct.

“You are asking the current recruiting coordinator?” Scott asked with a wry smile. “Number one, let me say this. I really enjoy helping with the recruiting. One thing I will never forget – in 2009 when Coach Swinney became the head coach and made me the recruiting coordinator and Billy Napier the offensive coordinator. I have never seen Billy smile as big as he smiled then. He walked across the hall with this huge crate with notebooks and tapes and everything, and he said, ‘Enjoy.’

“I really didn’t know what he meant by that until about a year later. At some point in my career I am going to look forward to walking that crate over to the next person’s office and saying ‘Enjoy’ but right now I am very comfortable with what we are doing. We have a proven system in place, and unless something happens and they tell me they have decided to go in a different direction I will enjoy what I am doing the next couple of years.”

Scott said that recruiting is definitely labor intensive. He estimates that a typical week in the off-season will constitute 30 hours of football-related activities, while recruiting will take up to and beyond 50 hours per week.

A typical day might see him in the office before the sun comes up, meet with players and coaches and have meetings, then hop a plane to Birmingham or some other outpost. Once on the ground, he might take a trip to a school to meet with coaches, then it’s back to the plane and back to the airport for the flight home. Back on campus, it’s more meetings, contacting recruits and then another flight, this time to some small town in the lower part of the state where he will conduct an in-home visit with a recruit. A flight back to Clemson gets him back later than most of us are working and he gets to go home and sleep, then wake up and repeat.

“Recruiting is definitely an everyday thing. You can't really turn it off,” he said. “Other than the three hours on the practice field and the hour and half meeting with the receivers, a large part of the day is recruiting. I have to spend more hours up here after everyone else goes home. A lot of time and energy goes into it. I really enjoy it.”

It also feeds his competitive nature.

“I really enjoy it because it is a way to compete in the off-season,” he said. “I enjoy flying around and competing against other programs because I know that is going to pay off on the football field in the fall.”

Making his job a little easier is the fact that he has a little help from a familiar face – Brad Scott, who happens to fill the role of Director of Recruiting and is also Jeff’s father.

“The last couple of years he was on the field coaching, and I told him, ‘I am the recruiting coordinator and I can assign when you go out and when you stay in.’ When Coach Swinney made him the Director of Recruiting, he now reminds me that he is my boss,” Scott said.

He said that people outside of the program don’t understand what the elder Scott has been able to accomplish since he has been in that role, especially in getting the eight mid-year enrollees on campus in January as happened with the 2012 recruiting class.

“He does a good job on campus. He can't be on the phone with recruits or go off campus, but he does a great job with the academic side,” he said. “I don’t know if anyone realizes this, but the eight guys that enrolled mid-year were scheduled to graduate on December 15th.. Some were scheduled for January 8th, the 11th or the 15th and we had classes here starting on January 11th . It took a lot of communication on campus [to get it done].

“Another benefit in having that role is that once they [the new recruits] get here in June, he will stay with those guys for an entire year of transition. They will still have their position coaches, but his number one job is the transition of that group. That is part of Coach Swinney’s vision – to make sure that the transition is as smooth as possible.”

Scott said Clemson’s recent success and the vision of the coaching staff has made his job different than it might have been five years ago.

“I feel very blessed to be at a place like Clemson, where we can have the opportunity to recruit the type of players we are recruiting and sign the type of players we are able to sign,” he said. “From my experience – playing here from 1999-2003 and then transitioning over to coaching – we are recruiting a different caliber team than we were five years ago. We are not going to win as many [recruiting] battles, but to go into any home in the country and wear those Tiger paws and know you have a chance is incredible.”

He said the commitment the Clemson administration has made in regards to facilities and even the coaching staff is also a reason that he believes recruiting will only continue to get better.

“Look at this facility we are in now. It’s no accident this has been here for two years, and we have had back-to-back Top 10 recruiting classes,” he said. “With the new dining hall and the indoor practice facility, I think prospects see the facilities we have and we continue to build. They also see we are not satisfied and that says a lot. Also, the commitment that Coach Swinney and the administration have made to Coach [Chad] Morris and Brent Venables – guys who could have gone anywhere in the country - says a lot. Recruits see that and they know.”

ESPN's Class of 2012 Team Football Recruiting Rankings

School			ESPNU 150	Commits
1. Alabama		13		26
2. Florida State	10		19
3. Texas		12		28
4. Florida		9		23
5. Georgia		6		19
6. Ohio State		5		25
7. Michigan		4		25
8. Miami		6		33
9. Clemson		6		20
10. Notre Dame		5		17

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