Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney weighs in on the NCAA’s new rules regarding student-athlete transfers.
Marcel Louis-Jacques/Orange and White
It was arguably Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s most memorable answer to any question during the 2017 season. During the week leading up to the team’s game against Wake Forest, a reporter asked him whether or not he thought starting cornerback Ryan Carter would be as good as he panned out to be.
Dabo responded in epic fashion.
“I don’t know why y’all think we recruit people that we don’t think can play. I don’t understand that question. I really don’t,” Swinney said. “We don’t sign people here that we don’t think can play great football for us. We don’t sign those guys. So damn right, yeah.
“That’s why we signed him, because we thought he could be a great player at Clemson.”
The former two-star recruit Carter is one of several under-appreciated prep players Swinney and his staff have brought to Clemson during his tenure — a list that includes a few NFL players.
Shortly after his initial answer to the Ryan Carter question, Swinney told an interesting story about Adam Humphries’ recruitment. Swinney traveled to Dorman High School to scout future Clemson receiver Charone Peake during a basketball game, when he came across Humphries for the first time. Swinney eventually offered him a scholarship and the rest is history.
Humphries caught 127 passes for 1,097 yards and three scores at Clemson before eventually signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent, where he’s currently one of the team’s starting receivers.
Rated a two-star recruit by 247Sports, Jarrett held offers from Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee, and Western Carolina before signing with Clemson. He earned a starting job as a sophomore and kept the gig through his senior season.
The Georgia native was named first-team All-ACC as a senior, recording 104 tackles, 20 before the Atlanta Falcons selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
A three-star defensive tackle from Riverside High School in Greer, SC, Dodd failed to qualify academically in 2011 and spent a year at a college preparatory school in 2012. He wasn’t heavily recruited, but committed to Clemson in 2010 and remained loyal through his year at Hargrave Military Academy.
Dodd spent a majority of his time at Clemson as a backup, but broke out as a starter in 2015, recording 12 sacks. The Tennessee Titans drafted him in the second round as an outside linebacker.
While his offer from Clemson was believed by many college football recruiting fans to be a ploy by the school to get his high school teammate and consensus No. 1 recruit in the nation, Robert Nkemdiche, Swinney insists otherwise.
Carter was a two-year, full-time starter and Clemson’s best cornerback as a senior in 2017. He wasn’t drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft, but signed with the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent.