USC Gamecocks Football

Dabo Swinney’s final words for Tavien Feaster before he graduated Clemson, went to USC

Dabo Swinney was recently texting the potential starting running back for an upcoming Clemson opponent.

It helps when the contact’s been saved for at least four years.

Swinney and Tavien Feaster go back to when Feaster was a blue-chip running back coming out of Spartanburg High School. Swinney successfully recruited Feaster to the Tigers, leading to 1,330 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns over three seasons. The relationship will be different this fall when Swinney is still in orange and Feaster is in the rival garnet and black.

But perhaps the Palmetto State’s biggest transfer this offseason doesn’t mean a complete cut-off in communication.

Feaster said as much Thursday in his first media availability since joining USC earlier this month.

“He actually texted me the other day, a day before graduation,” Feaster said of Swinney. “Me and him had some kind words and I’m very thankful for him. He gave me an opportunity to step on a college football field and I’m forever grateful for Coach Swinney.

“He just told me nobody gave me anything, I earned it. That put a big smile on my face.”

Feaster missed Carolina’s practice last Friday to be at Clemson for graduation ceremonies. He’s now back at USC in pursuit of a master’s degree in hospitality.

On Nov. 30, both of his schools will collide on the football field. He’ll be on Will Muschamp’s sideline. Swinney will be on the other.

“I wish him all the best in all [games] but one of them, for sure,” Swinney said earlier this month. “It’s no different whether he’s going to your rival or whether he’s going to someone else on your schedule. That’s kind of where where we are with college football now. You’re going to see that more and more.

“We certainly wish him well. He was a model student-athlete for us. He’s a great player.”

Andrew Ramspacher has been covering college athletics since 2010, serving as The State’s USC men’s basketball beat writer since October 2017. His work has been recognized by the Associated Press Sports Editors, Virginia Press Association and West Virginia Press Association. At a program-listed 5-foot-10, he’s always been destined to write about the game. Not play it.
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