Clemson coach Dabo Swinney already shrugged off any issue with Alabama being allowed more practice and meeting time due to not being in school. As it turns out, the effect will be more minimal than he even expected.
According to a school release, Clemson received a waiver from the NCAA Wednesday to exceed the daily-hour limitation on Thursday – the only day it would apply now as the Tigers head to the Phoenix area for the game on Friday.
The school says that the Tigers won’t exceed the weekly 20-hour maximum, using the waiver on a “very limited basis and for student-athletes to miss class Thursday afternoon with professor approval.”
“We’re appreciative of the NCAA working with us in granting this waiver to assist in our preparations for next Monday’s game while maintaining our commitment to student-athlete welfare,” Clemson athletics director Dan Radakovich said in a statement.
The Tigers practiced Thursday afternoon and Friday morning in Clemson before heading to Arizona for one final warmup before Monday's kickoff.
After a pretty quiet fall on the recruiting trail, the Tigers have shot up the recruiting rankings in the last month.
First, five-star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence moved them up to six spots from 24th in 247Sports’ composite rankings. Then five-star linebacker Rahshaun Smith bumped to the ’16 class to No. 15 overall. And with four-star Diondre Overton’s pledge Sunday, they are now top-10 across the recruiting sites.
Rivals.com likes this Clemson group the most – at No. 5 overall with nine four-stars and two five-stars on board with the second-highest star average (3.75; Georgia next-highest at 3.86).
While these latest commits have long been Tiger targets, Clemson co-OC Tony Elliott talked about the effect of this unbeaten run on the trail moving forward.
“It just brings more attention to the Tiger Paw,” he said. “That’s something that our social media and recruiting department does an unbelievable job in branding and getting the Tiger Paw out there. It’s validation that we’re not just some small school in the South. We’re a significant football power that can compete with anybody in the country.
“It also validates the kind of culture that we have. Shows them if you’re looking for an opportunity to grow in every area of your life as a person, spiritually, in the classroom and as an athlete and Clemson is the best place for that.”
2016 class ranking by site
ACC/SEC in the top-10 – LSU (1), FSU (3), Alabama (4), Ole Miss (6), Auburn (7), Florida (8), Clemson (10).
ACC/SEC in the top-10: LSU (1), Ole Miss (2), Clemson (5), FSU (6), Notre Dame (7), Florida (8), Alabama (9).