Clemson's academic track record a centerpiece of Dabo Swinney's recruiting pitch

Parents take notice, as Tiger program consistently stands among nation's elite in APR scores

May Graduation - Rod McDowell (Football)

Photo by Mark Crammer

May Graduation - Rod McDowell (Football)

After four-star linebacker Korie Rogers committed to the Tigers two weeks ago, he said his choice of Clemson over Georgia was more a matter of academics than football.

During an unofficial visit to campus, Rogers and his parents toured Vickery Hall, talked to members of Clemson's academic support staff, and were sold.

“Something was just telling me that Clemson was it for me," Rogers told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Clemson had the better academic side. That’s what me and my family were really looking at. Clemson is unbelievable in academics. Once we saw the academics and how much they put into the academics, we loved it.”

When it comes to recruiting, Dabo Swinney and his staff not only talk a good game on the academic front; year-after-after year, they deliver the good news that parents like to hear.

Rogers isn't the only player to have signed with or committed to the Clemson football program in the last several years that has cited the Tigers' high-profile academic emphasis as being part of their decision.

With good reason: Clemson ranked fourth nationally this year in Academic Progress Rate with a 983 score - a mark surpassed only by Northwestern, Boise State and Duke.

Clemson's comprehensive support system for student-athletes is reflected both in year-to-year progress toward achieving academic degrees, and in graduation rate.

The football program ranks as one of Clemson's top APR achievers overall, in sixth place program-wide behind golf, women's soccer, volleyball, men's tennis and women's basketball.

On the ACC football front, nine conference schools had APRs of 950 or higher, with six schools above 970. The SEC also had six schools at 970 or above, led by Vanderbilt at 978.

On Wednesday, the NCAA honored 13 FBS programs for ranking in the top 10 percent of all schools in APR. In addition to Clemson, the list included ACC schools Boston College, Duke and Georgia Tech. The ACC was the only conference with four schools on the list.

The other institutions honored for football APR scores were Boise State, Northwestern, Rice, Rutgers, Stanford, Ohio State, Alabama, Missouri and Wisconsin.

Clemson, Alabama and Stanford were the only schools in the nation in the top 10 of the last season's final USA Today poll and in the top 10 percent of APR scores.

Clemson joined Boise State, Duke, Northwestern, Rice, Rutgers and Ohio State as the only schools to rank in the top 10 percent in APR for each of the last three years.

Swinney is one of five coaches to have had a top-10 percent APR score in each of the past three seasons, along with Boise's Chris Petersen, Duke's David Cutcliffe, Northwestern's Pat Fitzgeral and Rice's David Balliff.

“One of the things we talk about with our players is developing to the best of their abilities in every area," Swinney said. “We have had consistency when it comes to graduation rate and academic progress. It reflects on the team’s overall commitment to being the best."

In parental circles, Swinney's message and Clemson's record resonate.

FBS Football Top 5

1. Northwestern, 995

2. Boise State, 989

2. Duke, 989

4. Clemson, 983

5. Wisconsin, 978

Clemson Football Historical APR Scores

2005 - 940

2006 - 945

2007 - 950

2008 - 955

2009 - 967

2010 - 977

2011 - 983

Clemson By Sport

Men's Golf - 1000

Women's Soccer - 992

Volleyball - 989

Men's Tennis - 988

Women's Basketball - 987

Football - 983

Baseball - 980

Rowing - 977

Women's Tennis - 977

Women's Swimming - 974

Women's Indoor Track - 974

Women's Outdoor Track - 974

Men's Cross Country - 972

Men's Soccer - 972

Men's Swimming - 971

Men's Basketball - 953

Women's Cross Country - 945

Men's Outdoor Track - 941

Men's Indoor Track - 937

ACC Football

Duke, 989

Clemson, 983

Miami, 980

Boston College, 977

Georgia Tech, 974

Wake Forest, 973

Virginia Tech, 968

Pittsburgh, 955

Syracuse, 950

Virginia, 944

North Carolina, 943

Florida State, 937

N.C. State, 931

Maryland, 931

Louisville, 911

SEC Football

Vanderbilt, 978

LSU, 974

Missouri, 972

Florida, 972

Georgia, 970

Alabama, 970

South Carolina, 966

Kentucky, 951

Texas A&M, 946

Auburn, 943

Arkansas, 936

Mississippi, 933

Tennessee, 931

Mississippi State, 905

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Comments » 2

woodysc#238200 writes:

"With good reason: Clemson ranked fourth nationally this year in Academic Progress Rate with an 893 score - "

Shouldn't this be 983?

KerryCapps writes:

Yes, thanks!

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