December has been a whirlwind month for new Wide Receivers Coach Tyler Grisham.
Shortly after the Tigers returned from winning their 5th straight Atlantic Coast Championship Title, Head Coach Dabo Swinney broke the news to the team that Co-Offensive Coordinator and Wide Receivers Coach, Jeff Scott, had taken the job as the new Head Coach for the University of South Florida. In that meeting, he also took the time to promote Grisham to his current role.
“We immediately went downstairs and had our pizza party while watching the playoff show and finding out where we would go,” Coach Grisham said. “I was able to engage with all of the guys, they were coming up to me and congratulating me. It was really a great afternoon. That Sunday after the ACC championship game, I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction than that. It’s been whirlwind ever since. It hasn’t fully sunk in yet but it is a dream come true.”
Grisham didn’t have much time to enjoy the moment or the party before heading out on the recruiting trail to help finalize the Tiger’s 2020 class. Early Signing Period was just nine days away but he says he was more than prepared to pick up right where Jeff Scott left off.
“If you remember when Chad Morris left for SMU, they put me on the road for two weeks. I did that by myself. That was interesting but I got my feet wet then. I knew how it worked when you went to a high school and engaged with the coaches. I’ve had that experience,” said Coach Grisham.
He also took the time to praise Coach Tony Elliot and Coach Todd Bates for their help in showing him how not only how to recruit but recruit the right way.
“With Tony it was great. He is such a pro and does things the right way. It was amazing to watch him work. He led the way the entire time and I followed suit and watched him interact with the coaches. That was amazing,” Coach Grisham said.
Coach Bates recently joined him on an in-home visit with EJ Williams’ family. “They are a great family,” said Coach Grisham. “EJ was at the Alabama Mississippi All-Star Game so he wasn’t present but we had a great time with them and to see how Todd interacts. I have a great staff around me to really learn from and improve my craft.”
Back at Clemson, the new coach made a point to talk with his group of wide receivers and ask for help from the senior leadership in the room as the team prepares for the playoffs.
“The receivers have been great,” Coach Grisham said. “I told them, hey listen, there are some things I don’t know. Senior leadership must do like I had to do when Jeff (Scott) went from being a Defensive GA (Graduate Assistant) to coaching receivers in 2008. The senior leadership like myself, Jacoby Ford, Aaron Kelly, and Nelson Faerber, we had to step in and help him. I told them the same thing. That’s what I need from y'all and they’ve been phenomenal.”
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Tyler Grisham finished his 4-year (2005-2008) career at Clemson with 1,390 total receiving yards and 8 receiving touchdowns. However, the game of football is about more than just stats and big plays for Coach Grisham. It’s also about working on effort, techniques, and fundamentals. Coach Swinney focused on playing with effort and the fundamentals when he was a player and that’s what he intends to do with the players he is responsible for now.
“I think my personality is that I don’t really know anything different than giving 100% and Coach Swinney demanded that as a coach and so he got that from his players. You get what you demand. That’s what I’m going to provide for them. That expectation, day in and day out. It starts in practice. It really does,” said Coach Grisham.
Recruiting at a high level will help to get talented players on the field but it’s about what the player does on the field, in practice, and when the stadium lights are off that matters the most.
“Obviously, we are recruiting at the highest level and the talent is going to be there but if you can’t match that talent with that effort and intensity then you’re not going to be the best player you can be,” Coach Grisham said. “I didn’t know any other way and Coach Swinney wasn’t going to have it any other way.”
Coach Grisham played only one season in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers. During his time on the team, he tried to learn as much as he could from legendary wide receiver and two-time Super Bowl champion, Hines Ward.
“I’ve played with Hines Ward, he was one of the best-blocking receivers so for me that’s part of the position that has to be there,” said Coach Grisham.
His experiences with his teammates while playing at Clemson has also helped to mold him into the coach he is today.
“Jacoby Ford, he was a track guy but gave great effort all the time on the field,” said Coach Grisham. “We also knew that if we helped block downfield we had CJ Spiller that could break a long one and I could be a part of that, that’s a key block, that’s a helmet sticker, that’s such an important part of the game and that’s what the good NFL teams look at.
They don’t want to look at the touchdowns and the catches, they look at how you play without the ball and that’s what’s really important to me.”
Coach Tyler Grisham might be new to the position but he has had on-the-job training from some of the best coaches and recruiters in college football.