With the wholesale changes that have taken place among the Clemson coaching staff, it's fair to question how those changes might impact recruiting.
The Tigers are not only replacing both coordinators and multiple members of the support staff but will also replace longtime offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell with Thomas Austin.
After spending two seasons (2019-20) as the offensive line coach at Georgia State, Austin returned to Clemson as part of Dabo Swinney's staff for the 2021 season, as the heir apparent to Caldwell. He was also an offensive lineman for the Tigers from 2005-09 and served as a grad assistant from 2015-18.
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With the new coaching staff already looking ahead to the 2024 recruiting class, All Clemson reached out to in-state offensive line target Kam Pringle to get his thoughts on Austin taking over the offensive line room and what kind of effect it might have on his recruitment.
"It was definitely some news that wasn’t too surprising," Pringle told All Clemson. "After having talks with coach Caldwell and coach Austin, coach Caldwell did his best to make it clear to me that he wasn’t sure how much longer he was planning on keeping the role as the OL coach, and to make sure that I formed a good bond with not only him but with coach Austin as well for the sake of the future."
While it is still very early in the process for Pringle, the departure of Tony Elliott could end up having more of an impact on his recruitment, but not in the way some might think. With Elliott now the head coach at Virginia, Clemson's former offensive coordinator could end up in a recruiting battle against his alma mater.
"(Elliott's departure) definitely doesn’t affect my recruitment, I’m still wide open with considering every school that offers me," Pringle said. "Of course, the future Clemson offer is something that would still be at the top of my consideration. But I must respect the fact that coach Elliott and I have built a great relationship and Virginia is a school of my interest."
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