Clemson's recruiters, as always, had searched the Southeast with a fine-toothed comb.
And still, somehow, T.J. Green fell through the cracks.
Robbie Caldwell remedied the oversight late in the recruiting cycle. Contact was made, and interest was mutual. Then it became a matter of keeping Green under wraps until signing day.
Clemson's coaches nearly pulled it off.
On the final weekend of January, Green - a 6-2, 195-pound two-way standout at Sylacauga High in Talladega County, Ala. who had been committed to UAB since Thanksgiving - made an official visit to Clemson, following up on a trip to Cincinnati.
On the day that Green traveled to Clemson for an official visit, Auburn delivered a scholarship offer.
It proved to be too late. Green had all but made up his mind to decommit from UAB and commit to Clemson. After visiting campus in the company of fellow late additions Ryan Carter and Marcus Edmond, Green confirmed his intentions.
Green says the coach who recruited him to UAB - Garrick McGee - supported him in his decision.
“I called coach McGee and told him that I committed to Clemson,” Green told his local newspaper, The Daily Home. "He knew I had the ability to play on a bigger stage.”
Dabo Swinney said Green is a perfect example of how some talented prospects manage to slip through the cracks.
"We didn't find T.J. until late - we'd never even seen tape on the guy," Swinney said. "He was as good looking a prospect as we saw. We couldn't believe it.
"I knew exactly that would happen. It's hard to keep anything quiet, but we tried...because I knew as soon as people found out he was coming up here, one of the in-state schools would offer him, and they did.
"We were fortunate to be able to hang onto him."
Swinney predicts that when Green arrives on campus there will be a "tug of war" for his services.
"I'm not really sure right now where we're going to start him," Swinney said. "He could easily play on either side of the ball."