Brent Venables has hit the ground running in his first month as a member of Clemson’s football coaching staff, first helping the Tigers put the finishing touch on a top-10 recruiting class and then diving into the process of evaluating personnel in advance of spring practice, which will get underway on March 7.
Dabo Swinney says he’s been impressed by everything he’s seen so far.
“Brent’s just been great,” said Swinney. “He’s a tremendous fit in every regard – in football, in recruiting, personality, and chemistry with Marion (Hobby), Cheese (Charlie Harbison) and Dan (Brooks) – that whole dynamic.
“It was just really, really a great pick, and I’m excited about getting out on the field with all those guys. He brings a freshness and a lot of experience in different things.”
Swinney said what has impressed him most is the way Venables is already building relationships with Clemson’s defensive players.
“I’m really excited about working through the off-season with him and watching him engage with our players,” Swinney said. “That’s something that I love, as a coach.
“I always took a lot of pride in my segment (as an assistant coach), and in developing relationships with those guys and trying to impact their lives. That’s what I try to do as I coach the team now, like it’s a segment, even though it’s a little harder to do with the whole team.
“To see Brent and how he’s already engaged with the defense and his linebackers, already starting to develop those relationships and build that trust – that’s very exciting to me.”
After Venables was hired, Swinney pushed back the beginning of spring practice nearly a week, primarily to give the defensive staff time to develop a practice plan.
Venable says that now that “all the hand-shaking is done,” he’s ready to roll up sleeves and get to work.
“I’m getting comfortable – talking ball, watching tape, installing and going through fundamentals and technique and the things we’re doing to emphasize,” Venables told www.clemsontigers.com.
“I know the players are very anxious to get to know what we’re doing. Time is our enemy right now, in trying to put a plan together prior to spring practice.”