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Outdoors of the navy academies, Clemson was the one program within the nation to not take a single switch. Whereas many have criticized coach Dabo Swinney’s method to the portal, the Tigers’ head man defended his program’s lack of exercise within the switch market throughout an interview Wednesday with Siriux XM.

.”I imply, it is actually fairly easy,” he stated. “Many of the guys within the portal aren’t adequate to play for us. That is simply the fact of it.”

“It wasn’t actually essentially an intentional factor,” Swinney stated. “There (are) a pair (of) guys we checked out, however they have to like you too.” 

The Tigers reportedly did attain out to a number of gamers within the switch portal however had been finally unable to discover a match. Twelve gamers transferred from this system, together with starters Beaux Collins (receiver) and Andrew Mukuba (defensive again). Conversely, 18 totally different FBS groups took not less than 20 transfers throughout the 2024 offseason. 

“Truthfully, each participant is technically a switch,” Swinney stated Tuesday throughout an interview with the ACC Community. “We simply signed an entire class of fellows who will switch in from highschool. We like our guys, we like our starters.” 

Swinney additionally doubled down on the method by pointing to Clemson’s success off the sector, together with commencement price and NFL improvement. Solely 4 energy convention faculties boasted higher roster retention than Clemson. 

“Dabo Swinney bets on loyalty as a two-way avenue,” 247Sports nationwide recruiting analyst Anna Adams stated. “Clemson is not immune from departures because of exterior infleunces or tampering, however the loyalty this system reveals its gamers usually aids this system in retaining its stars.

“Whereas tradition performs a big position, Clemson cannot get by on that alone in 2024. {Dollars} are certainly being spent to maintain gamers from leaving.

Long run questions

The switch portal formally launched on Oct. 15, 2018, three months earlier than Clemson received its second nationwide championship underneath Swinney. Since its launch, Clemson has solely taken two transfers, each quarterbacks. Hilariously, one was former Clemson quarterback Hunter Johnson returning to campus for a second stint. 

Nonetheless, the true mark was the 2021 season, the primary full 12 months when transfers had been granted one-time speedy eligibility. Throughout that season, the Tigers misplaced three video games for the primary time since 2014 and snapped a six-year ACC title streak. Clemson received one other ACC title in 2022, however dropped beneath 10 wins for the primary time since 2010 this previous season. 

“There’s a lot to promote with a profitable program and plenty of excessive draft picks coming off the board,” 247Sports nationwide analyst Blake Brockermyer wrote. “I am not anxious about Clemson’s capability to signal good gamers, however in at this time’s NIL and portal world, it is exhausting to outlive even should you’re hitting 90% in your recruiting courses.” 

Massive image, Clemson has been a mannequin of retention and improvement underneath Swinney. Nonetheless, even his program misplaced 12 transfers over the offseason. The Tigers reeled in one other stacked recruiting class, however solely signed 22 gamers. With 12 transfers and 18 listed seniors on the 2023 roster, it is unclear whether or not Clemson can stand up to 85 scholarship gamers.

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