Clemson University

Clemson made a statement on the field and to recruits against FSU

Clemson receiver T.J. Chase of Florida caught a touchdown and recovered a fumble Saturday afternoon against Florida.
Clemson receiver T.J. Chase of Florida caught a touchdown and recovered a fumble Saturday afternoon against Florida. USA TODAY Sports

The night before Clemson handed Florida State its worst home loss in program history, several Tigers coaches were out in Florida on the recruiting trail.

The message from Clemson’s coaching staff? You can come from Florida to Clemson, make a difference for one of the top programs in the country and accomplish personal and team goals in the process.

Clemson then went out and proved what an elite program it is, dominating the Seminoles in every fashion in the 59-10 victory. It was not only Florida State’s worst home loss in program history, but it also tied for the largest margin of defeat ever. Willie Taggart is trying to build FSU’s program up, but Saturday showed the ACC, the country and recruits just how much separation there is between the two programs.

“I think it’s great. We’ve had a lot of success recruiting in this state. We had about five coaches out last night all over the state of Florida,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “I know there was some top talent that was here at the game watching.”

One of those players was five-star athlete Quavaris Crouch, who was on his official visit to Florida State over the weekend.

The Charlotte native is considering Florida State, Clemson and a few other programs and had to be impressed by what he saw, as did all of the recruits that were at home watching on TV.

“It’s not just winning today, but it’s four games in a row that we’ve won against Florida State,” co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “It really, really reinforces all of the things we tell guys in recruiting, that you can come to Clemson and accomplishment all of the objectives that you set for yourself.”

Clemson had several players from the Sunshine State contribute in the victory, including Garrett Williams and T.J. Chase, who each scored touchdowns. The two actually outscored the Seminoles by themselves.

“I think it just gives us some notoriety in the state of Florida,” Elliott said. “Guys know that they can leave the state and come up to Clemson and have success. I think it just further reiterates where our program is and the consistency that we’ve had.”

C.J. Spiller and Sammy Watkins helped start the trend of Florida players choosing Clemson, and it has continued with Mackensie Alexander, Jayron Kearse, Deon Cain, Artavis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, Trayvon Mullen and several others.

As the Tigers continue to have success against Florida State and continue to win at a high level, they should continue to land major prospects from Florida.

The Tigers are ranked No. 2 and appear headed towards another College Football Playoff appearance. FSU is currently 4-4 and is a middle of the pack ACC team.

Taggart said following Saturday’s loss that some of his players quit, while defensive tackle Marvin Wilson proclaimed, “I thought when I signed up to Florida State, I would never lose like this in my life.”

The gap between Clemson and the Seminoles is a large one, and the Tigers demonstrating just how large that gap is should pay off come Signing Day.

“We’ve always done pretty good. We pick and choose where our pockets are. But we’ve got a good reputation down here and the guys that recruit down here full time, there’s a lot of good ones to choose from,” defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. “It obviously helps tremendously.”