Clemson football does not need a transfer portal

Clemson football does not need a transfer portal


The best way to fish is that you don’t need any fish.

That’s how Clemson football’s Dabo Swinney describes navigating the NCAA transfer waters in action. The Tigers left wanting to sign an offensive lineman, but Swinney was satisfied with the bulk of their recruiting.

“We’re not a catch-and-release type of program,” Sweeney said. “… If we can’t get the best high school kids anymore, we have to fix it.”

Even after losing defensive coordinator Brent Venables to Oklahoma and offensive coordinator Tony Elliott to Virginia, Clemson still has players through spring practice. Swinney promoted quarterbacks coach Brandon Streeter, as well as defensive assistants Wes Goodwin and Mickey Cone. None of the players were out. Even safety Tyler Venables, Brent’s son, is back.

Clemson begins practice Aug. 5 and opens the season Sept. 5 at Georgia Tech, with a home opener against Furman a week later.

“They were the only four Power Five teams that didn’t release somebody in the spring or after the spring,” Swinney said. I think it says a lot about what our players think about our coaches, but more importantly about their experience and their love for Clemson, the culture and what they think of each other.

“It’s the right thing to do for some guys whether they graduate or want more playing opportunities or whatever. If we do a good job of loving our players, serving our players, making sure they have a good experience,” … they’ll stay.

Swinney said he spoke with each player individually in April.

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“Every time you have a meeting you have to take a deep breath because it’s going to be a tough meeting.” “Or you have a meeting and you’re not on the same page. I didn’t have any this year.”

Clemson added a player from the transfer portal.

“Boomerang portal,” Swinney said.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney walks into the Tigers before the 2022 Orange vs. White spring game at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina, Saturday, April 9, 2022.

Hunter Johnson, the quarterback for Clemson in 2017, went to Northwestern and started five games that first season. The 23-year-old asked Sweeney about the graduate assistant position and mentioned he has another year of eligibility. Sweeney said Johnson is third string behind junior starter DJ Yougalley and freshman backup Cade Klubnik.

The Clemson coaches wanted to add an interior offensive lineman.

With Matt Bockhorst’s graduation, injuries to Hunter Rayburn and Mason Trotter indefinitely, the Tigers have been weakened up the middle due to personnel issues. Putnam moved from guard to starting center.

MORE: Despite his new position, Clemson’s Will Putnam is considered one of the best in the country.

Clemson reportedly extended an offer to Osiris Torrens, a first-team All-Sun Belt guard in Louisiana, but he chose Florida instead.

“There were a few guys we talked to,” Clemson offensive line coach Thomas Austin said. “We brought in a young man and went through the whole process with him. He went somewhere else … We were just looking for a veteran. We didn’t find him. It’s good, we have enough guys. Our team is going to do whatever we have to do. We’re not looking anymore.

“We want to build through our team. We want to build through the high schools. Our portal is the locker room.”

Todd Shanesy covers Clemson athletics for the USA TODAY Network.



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