During his years on the road as a recruiting assistant, Dabo Swinney crossed paths with a lot of peers recruiting the same prospects, and his reaction to those encounters covered a broad range of experience.
"You come across a lot of guys in this business," Swinney said. "Some you want to go have a cup of coffee with, and with some guys there's just no way."
Swinney's impression of new Clemson secondary coach Mike Reed was positive from the get-go.
"I've had an up-close interview with him for six years," Swinney said. "I've studied him closely, and he's done an outstanding job with the secondary at N.C. State."
What first caught Swinney's attention was the way Reed went about his recruiting business.
"I told Mike that one of the main reasons that he's here, other than his success as a football coach, is that I actually met him when I was an assistant six years ago," Swinney said. "Both of us were recruiting down in Jacksonville, Florida, and that was the first time I had met him. You meet a lot of people in this business, and I was just very impressed with how he handled himself. He was just a very classy guy with tons of integrity and someone who did things the right way. He was someone I appreciated being around and I liked the way he did his job, even though we were competing against each other.
"Every other time I've been around him for the past six years, it's been the same thing."
When Charlie Harbison informed Swinney of his decision to take a position on Gus Malzahn's staff at Auburn, Reed was one of the first names that popped into Swinney's mind.
"He was one of the first three names I wrote down when I found out that Charlie was leaving," he said. "I interviewed some quality people, but in the end he was the easy choice for us and the best fit at this time. He has experience in coaching all four (positions), which was a critical factor, and he had tremendous recommendations."
Swinney noted that Reed, who played for Tom Coughlin at Boston College, has worked under some of the best coaches in the business, including Tom O'Brien at N.C. State and Andy Reid, with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"He's been around some really good football coaches, and he brings a little bit of a different background, and that's good," Swinney said. "He has a ton of energy and he fits our recruiting footprint."
Reed not only has strong recruiting ties in central North Carolina, but he's recruited the Atlanta area extensively for N.C. State - one of Harbison's primary areas for Clemson.
"We've not sat down yet and figured out everything, but he's got strong ties in North Carolina and he's recruited Atlanta heavily, and since Charlie recruited Atlanta heavily for us, that will be a natural fit," said Swinney. "He's also recruited some in South Carolina, and then he's got some ties up in the Maryland-Virginia area. He's got a pretty good web as far as recruiting relationships...
"He's just a great fit for us. He knows our players, and a lot of our players are familiar with him because he was involved in their recruiting, as well. I'm excited, he's excited, and I think our players are excited."