New rules could further muddy recruiting

Tigers already hard at work on Class of 2014

02/07/2013 12:00 AM

02/06/2013 11:58 PM

The changes since he stepped into the job four years ago as Clemson football recruiting coordinator are mind-boggling, particularly with the impact of social media, Jeff Scott said Wednesday.

And it’s going to become even more complex later this year with the potential of relaxed rules that would create virtually limitless access to recruits.

Under a set of proposals approved by the NCAA Board of Directors and expected to be ratified by membership in April, recruiting would be deregulated in several areas — including personnel, amateurism, recruiting, eligibility and awards, benefits and expenses.

A recruiting coordinator wouldn’t necessarily be a member of the coaching staff, and additional support staff may be hired.

Unlimited use of texting and social media would be permitted so coaches could communicate with potential prospects year round.

“It’s going to be crazy, to be honest with you,” said coach Dabo Swinney, who believes it would further define the class system in college football, making “that gap bigger between the haves and have nots.

“I don’t particularly like it,” he said, adding. “I’m glad I’m in a place like Clemson.”

Scott, too, expressed reservations. Eager for a new challenge, he said, “We may look back on this in 10 years and wonder what we have created.”

Looking to next year

Five players have committed to next year’s recruiting class, and though it may be the smallest since Swinney’s first in 2009, it’s already shaping up to be critical with five-star running back Jae’lon Oglesby of hometown high school Daniel and four-star quarterback Deshaun Watson of Gainesville, Ga.

Well-lined class

Losing only center Dalton Freeman from the offensive line, there wasn’t a critical need to sign anybody, but Swinney said he believed they hit a home run with Maverick Morris of Douglas, Ga., and Tyrone Crowder Jr. of Rockingham, N.C., an Under Armour All-American.

Clemson hearts N.Y.

For the second straight year, Clemson signed the state of New York’s top prospect. Last year, it was quarterback Chad Kelly, who will push Cole Stoudt at backup to Tajh Boyd.

This year, Ebenezer Ogundeko hosted Swinney and assistant coach Dan Brooks in his home in Brooklyn.

Swinney said he felt like a fish out of sea when he visited Thomas Jefferson High. “I’d never been to Brooklyn,” he said. “It’s pretty different from Pelham, Alabama, and Clemson.”

During a 15-hour trip to Hawaii to visit defensive tackle Scott Pagano, Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables dined with C.J. Spiller, who played there in the NFL Pro Bowl.

Little rest

Coaches are scheduled for a short break then begin a self-scout of last season, Swinney said.

Winter conditioning — all-in drills — are schedule to start next Thursday, and spring practice is scheduled to open March 8.

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