It was just a week or so ago that Dabo Swinney and Steve Spurrier’s paths crossed unexpectedly on the recruiting trail when both stopped in for a visit at North Gwinnett High — Swinney to check in on junior offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt and Spurrier to visit senior defensive lineman Dante Sawyer.
North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire jokingly suggested that Swinney and Spurrier wrestle in the cafeteria as a fundraiser.
The coaches declined, said a few nice words about each other and went about their recruiting business.
On Wednesday, their work at North Gwinnett paid off — Spurrier’s with the signing of Sawyer and Swinney’s with a commitment from Hyatt, the nation’s top-ranked offensive lineman for 2015.
The rivalry banter already was underway after Hyatt announced his decision in a ceremony at the school Wednesday night.
“I was already getting onto him about it,” Sawyer told the Gwinnett Daily Post. “I was holding up five fingers because (South Carolina) beat (Clemson) five years in a row.”
Sawyer said he knows he’ll have his hands full down the road when he lines up across from his former teammate.
“He knows my moves,” Sawyer said of Hyatt. “He knows everything I’m up to. It’s going to be pretty hard going up against him in a couple of years, but that’s the whole point.”
Sphire is justifiably proud of both players. He said that Hyatt’s decision didn’t come as a surprise in light of his familiarity with the Clemson program.
“I think (Hyatt’s decision) comes from (the fact) he’s grown up around it,” Sphire told the Daily Post. “I think the whole process started where he felt really good about Clemson, and it was just a matter of whether they’d drop the ball or not.
“And they’ve done a great job recruiting him.”