Dabo Swinney Not Ready to Turn to Transfer Portal... Yet

While Dabo Swinney has been reluctant to look to the transfer portal for talent to this point, the Clemson head coach said a day could come when he was forced into rethinking that position.
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The landscape of the college football world is changing at a rapid pace and coaches have been forced to evolve with the times or risk getting left behind. 

One of the biggest changes to the sport over the last few years has centered around the transfer rules and the implementation of the transfer portal. While it seems to have brought more transparency to the entire process, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney isn't a big fan of other programs being able to recruit the players on his roster. 

"Now other people can just recruit your roster," Swinney said recently. "I don't think that's a good thing, but it is what it is and I won't get into all that."

See, Swinney is an old-school kind of coach. A traditionalist. While he may still be just 51 years old, that is absolutely the kind of mentality he has. 

The Clemson head coach is well known for his "learn to blossom where you are planted" approach and Swinney would much rather recruit high school players into his program and develop those guys instead of tapping into the transfer portal to fill an immediate need. 

However, he's also a coach known for his "never say never" attitude. He has watched Joe Burrow and Justin Fields, both transfer quarterbacks, torch his defense in each of the Tigers' last two postseason losses, and he is mindful of the fact that the day could come when he is forced into revisiting his "no transfer" policy.

"It hasn't changed to this point. Again, certainly reserve the right to have to change that," Swinney said. "I mean, unfortunately, there will probably come a day if things keep going down the path that they are, but we love to recruit high school kids and develop those guys."

When that day does come though, it won't be a knee-jerk reaction to one or two losses. As it stands currently, there are only a couple of specific scenarios in which Swinney could envision himself tapping into the transfer market.

"If things change and you have guys that, and I don't see it as an issue right now, but you know all of a sudden you have guys that pack up and leave," Swinney said. "Whether it be after the season or after spring practice or whatever, and maybe you didn't anticipate that. Maybe you have some glaring needs, then you may have to consider it, but I hope not." 

Swinney is still hopeful that it never comes to that but says if the time does come, he will adapt. At the same time, he says the standard will not change. 

There's a reason why Clemson hands out fewer offers than almost every other Power 5 school across the nation. Players have to be the right fit and Swinney says that no matter what, that is something that will never change.

"I hope we can continue to stay the course on how we've done things," Swinney said. "But if we have to adjust, you just have to make the adjustments. But even if we did that our process wouldn't change, our criteria wouldn't change. We'd still be looking for the same things that we look for now."