Selfie with Dabo: Elite recruit talks Clemson visit and Tigers' head coach

by - Senior Writer -
Thomas is high on Clemson's list of 2018 targets
Thomas is high on Clemson's list of 2018 targets

Dabo Swinney isn’t on Twitter or Facebook, and he admits the new wave of social media doesn’t really interest him. But he doesn’t mind taking the occasional selfie, and 4-star defensive end Xavier Thomas took advantage of that this past weekend, taking a picture with Clemson’s head coach.

Thomas, a 4-star prospect out of Florence (SC) Wilson who will likely be the state’s top prospect in 2018, visited Clemson this past weekend for Clemson’s second Junior Day. Like many of the fans in attendance on what was also the Tigers’ spring Youth Day, Thomas angled for a picture with Swinney, and he got it.

Why did he decide to take a selfie with Swinney? Because Swinney is just “that guy.”

“Because Coach Swinney is one of the greatest and coolest college coaches I have ever met,” Thomas told TigerNet. “He told me to visit other schools and choose what’s best for you and choose, because of the people there, and how the coaches and players are. No other coach has ever told me to visit other colleges, but Coach Swinney is just that guy! That is what I most like about Coach Swinney.”

The 6-3, 225-pounder already has offers from some of the nation’s top programs, including Florida St., Georgia, LSU, Nebraska and Tennessee. However, it was his visit to Clemson Saturday and his time with Swinney that makes Clemson stand out.

“This visit was amazing. From the second I got there all the way to the second I left Clemson,” Thomas said. “I was always impressed about something, no matter what it was. I got close with Coach Swinney. He came to me during their spring practice for about 10 minutes and talked to me more about the program and Clemson. I also got to know more of the other coaches as well.”

Swinney also pointed out that Clemson is about more than just football – it’s about the educational side of college as well.

“Coach Dabo mainly talked about how he never wanted to just have a good football team, he wanted to have a good football program,” Thomas said. “He has had 135 seniors and 129 of them graduated with a degree, which he takes very seriously.”

Thomas also took a tour of the campus and saw the plans for Clemson’s new football operations facility.

“Clemson is also building a whole new facility connected to the new practice facility that will have a bowling alley, new weight room, new player’s lounge, etc. which will be done by next January,” Thomas said. “They also took us on a tour and showed us where we would be staying as freshmen, and the apartment was very nice. Also, they showed us the academic center where we would be studying and have to spend 10 hours there each week.”

Thomas said he hopes he can make it back to Clemson sooner rather than later.

“I can’t wait to visit back to Clemson,” he said. “Clemson is just something special. How could you not like Clemson?”

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