Dabo Swinney was thinking of his Tigers' schedule when he said Friday that Clemson "might as well be in the SEC."
That's certainly true when it comes to recruiting, as well.
Clemson has built a string of nationally-ranked recruiting class by going head-to-head and winning its share of battles against SEC competition.
That's true again this year.
Of the 16 players currently committed to Clemson's 2013 recruiting class, at least nine came down to battles between the Tigers and SEC schools.
Linebacker Ben Boulware and running back Tyshon Dye picked Clemson over Georgia; wide receiver Mike Williams chose Clemson over South Carolina; the Gamecocks, among other SEC programs, also offered running back Wayne Gallman, linebacker Dorian O'Daniel, and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson.
Robinson eventually came down to a Clemson vs. Florida battle. O'Daniel also had offers from Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee, and Gallman had offers from Auburn, Georgia and Vanderbilt.
Wide receiver Ryan Jenkins selected Clemson over Oklahoma State, and also had offers from Tennessee, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt. Defensive end Dane Rogers had an offer from Tennessee, and defensive back/wide receiver Jayron Kearse was at one time committed to Auburn.
As Clemson looks to put the finishing touches on its 2013 class, most of Tigers' remaining targets also have offers from SEC schools.
Of the players committed to Clemson for 2014, quarterback Deshaun Watson is the most heavily pursued. He has offers from, among others, Auburn, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
Defensive back Dylan Sumner-Gardner is being heavily recruited by former Clemson recruiter Charlie Harbison at Auburn, and earlier this week, Ole Miss also offered.
Running back Dalvin Cook of Miami, Fla., has an offer from LSU, while running back Jae'lon Oglesby has been offered by Tennessee.