Clemson Used National Signing Day as 'Junior Launch Day'

Having wrapped up its entire 2021 recruiting class in the early signing period, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says the Tigers spent National Signing Day focused on next years recruiting class.
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From the outside looking in, it appeared as if National Signing Day in Clemson came and went without a lot going on. However, looks can be deceiving. 

The Tigers had the luxury of having their entire 2021 recruiting class locked up during the early signing period. There were no late, surprise additions to a class that finished ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Speaking with Adam Gorney of Rivals last week, head coach Dabo Swinney said that instead of scrambling to secure last-minute commitments, he and the rest of the Clemson coaching staff spent the day turning their attention towards the 2022 recruiting class.

"Today's kind of been more like a big junior launch day for us," Swinney said. "Really spending the day talking to some of our top juniors and really just moving on to the next class, turning the page."

Over the years Swinney was one of the bigger proponents of the early signing period. The Tigers head coach has always thought that giving players the opportunity to sign early would be beneficial to all parties involved in the process.

"To me, that's just another reason why I was always for another signing date," Swinney said. "Because kids have been committed for so long and obviously they don't have to sign, but they all want to sign and get that process over."

For the second consecutive season, the Tigers signed one of the best-recruiting classes in the nation and the Clemson brand is strong enough now to allow the coaches to recruit on a national level.

Clemson signed a total of 19 players, nine of which were SI99 prospects. Only Ohio State had a better ratio of total commitments to SI99 recruits and Swinney says its a class that fills all of the team's needs.

"We got a great group, really excited about it," Swinney said. "Ten different states represented in this class and really hit on all of our needs. Signed twelve offensive guys, and this is probably our fewest defensive group in a while. Coach Venables was very charitable to the offense this year in giving up a few spots."

"We're excited about this group," Swinney said. "Good group of guys in the trenches, we signed a big-time linebacker, a few really good DB guys, three wideouts, a couple of quarterbacks, couple running backs, a great tight end, so I feel like we hit on all of our needs."

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