Signing day wrap: Need vs. BPA, Tony Elliott likes Twilight?, Clemson & planes, the new Wild West, and Beverly Nkemdiche ‘friends’ Jeff Scott

CLEMSON – We often hear general managers and recruiting coordinators say their philosophy is to simply take the “best player available” regardless of need.

But of course we don’t live in, and teams don’t operate in, vacuums. There are holes to fill and the reality is for college teams like Clemson not only is National Signing Day its draft, but it’s also its free agency period.

Clemson placed need over BPA with its 2013 class and to this scribe it was a wise decision. Why?

In its history, at least since the 1980s, Clemson has not opened many seasons ranked in the top 10, where it will likely be in 2013. (Last month, had Clemson tied with ND and Louisville as the 8th most likely teams to win a national title in 2013).

Clemson is the Toronto Blue Jays of college football. This is the offseason to go all-in (trademark infringement, sorry Dabo). 2013 offers a rare opportunity.

While Clemson returns an elite offense led by a senior star quarterback, a potential 1st-round gamebreaker in Sammy Watkins, four OL starters, and one of the nation’s top OCs in Chad Morris, it had holes to fill on defense, particularly in the secondary.

How many times did we see Clemson defensive backs miss tackles, assignments and bust coverage in 2012? Too often to be an elite team. Clemson made Dylan Thompson look like Dan Marino.

Clemson went need heavy with its class:

*15 defenders (8 defensive backs)

*7 offensive players

*One undetermined in ATH T.J. Green

Refreshing to hear recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott say they actually targeted need over BPA:

“Defensive back was the No. 1 need,” Scott said. “It was evident before the season and throughout the year for us to be able to make a strong run like we are planning on doing we needed to get some help in the secondary. I think (needs) starts your class and then once you fill those needs it does become the next best player.

“The other thing that comes into this is your 2014 class. That’s something a lot of people maybe don’t look at. We have our 2013 class on side of the board and the 2014 class on that side … Do I take the third receiver this year or do I wait because I think we have a chance to take two special receivers in the 14 class? There are some calculations you have to make.”

I think Clemson made the right calculation in 2013 and the Tigers were a Nkemdiche and/or Adams signature away from an elite class.

*Swinney said Clemson will only sign 12 to 14 players in 2014 because Clemson already has so many young players on scholarship.

*Quarterback will be a priority in 2014 along with WR.

*Clemson does rave about 6-foot-5 WR Mike Williams in the 2013 class, who Scott said after watching Williams take three reps at camp they could tell he was “special.”


Tony Elliott is a Twilight fan? Woah.

Wednesday should have been a happy time for Clemson running backs coach Tony Elliott, a James Island native. He just received a Letter of Intent from five-star CB Mackensie Alexander, whom he was the point man on in recruiting. Big catch.

Instead, it’s a lesson that we must always be wary of our surroundings.

You could take from this photo that Tony Elliott is a huge fan of Twilight, notice the posters adorning the wall. How damaging could that be on the recruiting trail? (Twilight is a vampire/fantasy romance series and I only know this because of my wife, I swear)

At his press conference yesterday, Dabo Swinney even addressed the photo saying it was taken in the office of a female staff assistant. Suuuuuure, it was.


There was a Web report out today that painted Clemson’s use of a state plane as a gift from Gov. Nikki Haley.

To address this: state planes can be used by state agencies, like Clemson, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Clemson pays to use the plane.

Clemson has only one university plane, and during busy recruiting periods it often needs access to another plane. Clemson prefers to use state-owned planes over private jets.



Just when Clemson thought the Nkemdiches had moved on, Beverly Nkemdiche accepts Jeff Scott’s friend request on Facebook … the day after NSD

Jeff Scott sent Robert Nkemdiche’s mother, Beverly, a Facebook ‘friend request’ last spring, Facebook is an important vehicle with which to connect with recruits and their families in the social media era.

After allowing the request to sit for a year, she accepted the request today, a day after National Signing Day.

Is that passive-aggressive behavior or what? Comical, right?

Nkemdiche’s mother declined to visit Clemson (or any other school besides Ole Miss) and did not want to communicate with the Clemson coaches, even though her son had committed there last year. Was she worried that Ole Miss might not really be the best place for Robert, that she could be sold on another school? Or did she simply not want to be bothered by another assistant coach?

What was clear through her public comments is that it was Ole Miss or bust for her son.


On August 1 some new NCAA deregulation rules are going to go in effect that will dramatically change recruiting as we know it.

And Dabo Swinney and Jeff Scott aren’t pleased about it.

“Ten years from now, we’re going to look back and say, ‘What have we created?,’” suggested Scott yesterday.

We know there will be unlimited texting, with Swinney guessing recruits will now received “200″ texts a day. But more significant is there will be no limitations on support staff and football-related buildings (think athletic dorms).

We’re about to see an explosion of spending.

Swinney predicts teams will begin creating scouting departments like pro teams, and even hire support personnel like graphic designers to create posters for prospective recruits since there will be no limits on mailings.

Perhaps most pricey could be the athletic dorms that are soon too follow, dorms that could resemble 5-star hotels and programs look for every edge

“I thought we were trying to cut spending?” Swinney said on NSD.

10 thoughts on “Signing day wrap: Need vs. BPA, Tony Elliott likes Twilight?, Clemson & planes, the new Wild West, and Beverly Nkemdiche ‘friends’ Jeff Scott

  1. I wished Robert Nkemdiche (and Montravius Adams, too, for that matter) decided to come to Clemson but this irrational “hate” for his mother has got to stop. Now where imagining that she “.. was worried that Ole Miss might not really be the best place for Robert, that she could be sold on Clemson, and did want to ever allow such thoughts to enter her mind so she simply ignored it.” All because she did not immediately accept a friend request on Facebook. Come on and grow up!

    Bev Nkemdiche has loved and cared for her son long before ANYONE at Clemson had ever heard of him and will love and care for Robert long after everyone at Clemson, coaching staff and Clemson fans alike, will have long forgotten about him. Even if Robert had decided to come here and became a better defensive lineman for us than Jadaveon Clowney is for USC, she still will love and care for him long after the rest of us will have forgotten him. And more, it is perfectly natural and probably to be expected that she would want her sons to play on the same team.

    Indeed, let’s be real. If anyone here had a son who was playing college football at Clemson (and doing fairly well, too, I might add) and then they had a younger son who was the top-rated, five-star recruit who wanted to South Carolina or Auburn or wherever, which of you would not make a stink?

    So let’s please stop it with the Bev Nkemdiche “hate” and surmising. She, Robert’s mother, got her wish. Robert decided on Ole Miss and her sons are playing together. I wish them all the best. Life moves on a so should we.

    • Zoot,

      No one is doubting Beverly Nkemdiche’s commitment to her son. But I wonder if parents should really hijack the commitment/signing process to fulfill their wishes?

      For example, we had one parent who played keep-away with a LOI yesterday. We had Beverly Nkemdiche saying she would not let her son sign with Clemson, where Robert Nkemdiche had originally committed.

      I don’t have kids. But at some point you have to let your child make his own decisions, no? They earned these opportunities with their talent and commitment (and parental support, yes).

      (And why accept a friend request the day after NSD after allowing it to sit for a year? Comical.)

      Robert Nkemdiche got caught in a tough spot. But his mother opened herself up to criticism for being so public about her wishes in the recruiting process.

      But I agree that it’s time to close the door on the Nkemdiche saga. And, yes, I’m done giving parental advice for the time being.

      • Bev Nkemdiche *DID* let her son make the decision. She did not do anything like Alex Collin’s (IMHO, admittedly unhinged) mother and steal Robert’s letter of intent. She simply said that she disagreed (vehemently) with his decision to attend Clemson and wanted him to change it. Just because her son has make a decision does not mean that she needs to agree with or even support his decision. Being a parent, even the parent of an adult child, does not mean that you must automatically agree with everything your child wants to do.

        Indeed, as an aside, I do question if most of the recruits — indeed, most 18-year-olds — are mature enough to make this decision without very significant parental advice. Completely forgetting about Robert Nkemdiche for the moment, it looks like half or more of all the top recruits changed their commitments at least once before NSD this year. For example, consider Reuben Foster as just one example. Most high school seniors make their decision as to where to go to college based on their parents; that is, if their parents don’t make the decisions themselves. Why should it be different for high school athletes?

        And you are being disingenuous when you say that Nkemdiche’s mom, “opened herself up to criticism for being so public about her wishes in the recruiting process.” She opened herself up to criticism only because she disagreed with her son’s decision: which, again, she did and does have a perfect right to do. If Robert Nkemdiche initially chose Ole Miss or any other school but his mother had just as publicly expressed a wish that her son play at Clemson, you and the host of others here would be lauding her as Mother of the Year.

        As for accepting the friend request after NSD, it makes sense if she wanted avoid the “noise”. Maybe a better question is how active is she on Facebook in the first place. I personally am not on it that much and have let friend requests sit for weeks, if not months. If Facebook is not that much a part of your life, it is not that much a part of your life and you tend to let things sit and avoid “controversy” or “noise” on it. Maybe not the norm but definitely not rare.

        Travis, you said it yourself when you said about yourself, “I don’t have kids.” Honestly, that says it all. Instead of being “done giving parental advice for the time being,” maybe you should become a parent yourself before you even begin to try.

        • Why did she make any public comments at all? In doing so, it gave an appearance that it was she alone who compelled/demanded her son to switch his commitment, even if was Robert’s own decision to vacillate and ultimately chose Ole Miss.

          If she was private about her wishes, much of the backlash would have been avoided as it would have appeared that it was Robert’s choice alone. And she’s a politician, she isn’t naive when it comes to the press and interviews, I’d imagine.

          I personally don’t care whether Nkemdiche chose Clemson or not. I’m an Ohioan, not a Clemson grad or SC native. I’m more fascinated by how certain parents meddle more than others in the process, and curious if that’s helpful or harmful.

          What I don’t understand is why you wouldn’t bother to visit as many campuses as you could, and meet as many coaches as you could, if you’re Beverly Nkemdiche. It’s the environment and coaches that will have a critical impact on a young person’s development, plus he and his brother’s careers will only overlap for two years. What of the following year or two?

  2. Zoot sounds like the typical Gamecock fan sticking his nose into places that he has no business…She and her husband did nothing more for her son than make $$$ on him….That’s not love in my book…

    • Wrong, JR!

      As for me being a Gamecock fan, that is just silly. Indeed, for the record, my wife is a professor at Clemson and usually has a few football players in her classes. There is no way I am a Gamecock fan and not a Tiger.

      And you are not just wrong, you are also being STUPID and INSULTING.

      You, JR, said, “[Bev Nkemdiche] and her husband did nothing more for her son than make $$$ on him …”

      Where is the LEAST BIT OF PROOF that you have to support that accusation?

      Your comments are just stupid and insulting. And a perfect example of the type of irrational hate that just needs to stop.

  3. Let’s see Zoot, there are rumors of Ol Miss boosters donating to good ol Beverly’s political campaign in Nigeria. There was the job offer extended to Robert’s father that was suddenly retracted when it became public. Ol Miss boosters have a storied history when it comes to inappropriate involvement in recruitment as well. There are plenty of let’s say unusual circumstances surrounding his recruitment.

    I can’t figure why you are so bent on defending this woman who has deserves every bit of the criticism she receives. I don’t hate her, but I sure as heck don’t like her. At the end of the day, I would have much rather seen Carl Lawson commit. He didn’t come with the drama or the baggage of a loud mouthed parent.

    You are pretty naïve if you truly believe Beverly’s friend acceptance of Jeff Scott one day after NSD is a coincidence. She openly admitted to speaking with Alabama coaches on Facebook, so we all know she has logged in. I’m not sure what your agenda is, but give it a rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>