Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney was clearly fired up at his media conference Tuesday.
Not only did Swinney give a passionate sermon about the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, but when asked whether he believed starting cornerback Ryan Carter could be this good when he recruited Carter, Swinney launched into a four-minute rant about the “recruiting narrative” that surrounded Carter.
Carter played at Grayson (Ga.) High School alongside No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche, David Kamara and former Clemson running back Wayne Gallman. When Swinney and the Tigers offered Carter, some speculated that they did so only to attract his teammates.
Swinney lampooned that notion Tuesday.
“I don’t know why you all think we recruit people who we don’t think can play,” Swinney said to reporters during the rant.
“We don’t sign people here who 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. And we would have committed him a whole lot earlier had it not been because of the ridiculous narrative in the recruiting world of, ‘we’re only going to offer this guy because of another guy at that school.’ ”
Swinney went on to say that sometimes Clemson declines to offer a recruit who is receiving attention from “a million” other schools, and other times they find diamonds in the rough that go largely unnoticed by other programs. Swinney named current Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Adam Humphries as an example.
“I don’t think [Humphries] had any offers,” Swinney said. “No, we didn’t offer him to get [former Clemson wide receiver] Charone Peake. No, no, no. We wanted Adam Humphries.”
Eventually, Swinney circled back to Carter. He praised Carter’s instincts, toughness and football intelligence, among other attributes, and said the Clemson coaches saw that in him as a high-school player.
“This kid is a baller,” Swinney said. “He can play. I watched him on a kickoff coverage and he ran down Dalvin Cook. I went, ‘whoa,’ because I loved Dalvin Cook.”
“He was returning punts, he played safety. I know Mickey Conn was the head coach. He said, ‘Coach, this guy is a freaking baller.’ ”
Check out the full video of Swinney’s rant below.