Swinney says still-looking prospects not 'committed,' proposes early signing date

The Clemson Sports Blog

Dabo Swinney yells to an official.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Dabo Swinney yells to an official.

Dabo Swinney plays the game.

That doesn't mean he has to like it.

"If a guy is committed and he's taking visits, then he's not committed," said Swinney on Wednesday.

Swinney's stance tells a lot about why Clemson's coaching staff isn't fretting over this week's 'de-commitments' by Robert Nkemdiche and David Kamara.

Perhaps there are a couple of others on the Clemson commitment lists of various recruiting websites that Swinney would consider uncommitted, as well.

The root of the problem, Swinney said, is that college football doesn't - unlike most other sports - have an 'early' signing period.

"It's ridiculous that we don't have one," Swinney said. "It's a waste of a lot of people's time. It's a waste of a lot of money. It creates a lot of the garbage that goes on in recruiting. A lot of that would be eliminated."

Swinney said again, as he's stated on many occasions, that if a prospect is still actively engaged in taking other visits and talking with other coaching staffs, he's not 'committed.'

"Whether it's somebody coming here or we have one of our commits wanting to go somewhere else - that's their right," Swinney said. "I would never tell somebody don't go visit another place. That's a prospect's right.

"But don't commit. You can't expect us to hold somebody's scholarship for them and us be more committed to them than they are to us.

"That's just the way I deal with it. It doesn't matter who it is. If you're committed, that's what it means. If you're not, you're not. If you want to be committed and then go take five visits, let's just call it recruiting. That's just what it is, recruiting. It doesn't mean we're not going to recruit you. But it's not commitment."

Swinney said that an early signing day would be beneficial to both sides in the recruiting equation. He proposed Sept. 15 as a possible date.

"If you had a signing day, say in September, and players don't sign with you, then you know they're not committed," he said. "You know then, 'OK, I'd better get to work and make sure that we're going to be able to fill our numbers because we can't count on this guy.'

"If he doesn't sign with you and he's committed, there's obviously a problem. That's fine. There's no problem with that. Everybody has got to do what's best for them. But, at least then, from a coaching staff, you know.

"And all those guys who do sign with you know what they want to do, and they can enjoy their senior year and the confidence of knowing they've got their scholarship and somebody's not going to pull it from them in January."

For now, as a matter of policy, Swinney says his initial reaction to a player's decision to commit early is "to try to talk them out of it."

"That's why nobody can take a commitment from anybody, but me," said Swinney. "I'm going to have the same conversation with everybody so nobody can say 'you didn't say this.'

"The first thing I try to do is talk them out of it. I want to really see if you're serious or not. If they are, I ask them some questions and we talk about it. I define it, so we can both agree on a definition.

"If you want to be a commitment and you want to go visit other places, then don't commit. I just don't get that. Let's keep recruiting, keep recruiting you. Nobody gets mad.

"Some guys, I guess, want to make a reservation or something, and then call up and cancel it later. We try to not operate like that here."

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Comments » 4

brookesdad729 writes:

Kind of sounds like Dabo knew that Nkimdeche wasn't really committed after all! That's why he wasn't getting all caught up in the hype surrounding all of this! Good for you Dabo! Wish them well but don't give them any press time! Good job! Time to find some studs that want to play football with us! Go Tigers!

kellytown writes:

Great way of putting it it works both ways, recruiting has become a circus its filled with dramma!!! Dabo isn't into dramma lets go recruit and find the sort of players that want to be part of a team. Some recruits want it to be all about them.

TUN writes:

Another approach Dabo could take would be simply to not accept any verbal commits until a certain date thus eliminating premature commitments. Even if a guy says he is completely sure, tell him he can verbally commit on Dec.1 thus giving him more time to really think it over, make any last minute visits etc. before committing. This approach might seriously cut down on people changing their minds.

tigerdh writes:

in response to TUN:

Another approach Dabo could take would be simply to not accept any verbal commits until a certain date thus eliminating premature commitments. Even if a guy says he is completely sure, tell him he can verbally commit on Dec.1 thus giving him more time to really think it over, make any last minute visits etc. before committing. This approach might seriously cut down on people changing their minds.

Sounds like TUN might have something here, might could work for CU and recruit.

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