Would you be in favor of football having an early signing period?
Swinney: Oh, yeah, absolutely. It's ridiculous that we don't have one. It's a waste of a lot of people's time. It's a waste of a lot of money. It creates a lot of the garbage that goes on in recruiting, to be honest with you. A lot of that would be eliminated.
Y'all have probably heard me say this plenty of times, y'all know how I am. If a guy is committed and he's taking visits, then he's not committed. Whether it's somebody coming here or we have one of our commits wanting to go somewhere else. That's their right. I would never tell somebody don't go visit another place. That's a player/prospect's right. But don't commit. You can't expect us to hold somebody's scholarship for them and be more committed to them than they are to us. That's just the way I deal with it. It doesn't matter who it is or whatever. If you're committed, that's what it means. If you're not, you're not. If you want to be committed then go take five visits, let's just call it recruiting. That's just what it is, recruiting. It doesn't mean we're not going to recruit you. It's not commitment.
It would really, I think, be beneficial to both sides if we had a signing day in -- I don't know, there's a lot of different theories -- let's just say you had one Sept. 15, for example...if you had a signing day, say in September, we'll, Oct. 1, if those guys don't sign with you, then you know they're not committed. You know then, OK, I better get to work and make sure that we're going to be able to fill our numbers because we can't count on this guy.
If he doesn't sign with you and he's committed, OK, there's obviously a problem. That's fine. There's no problem with that. Everybody has got to do what's best for them. But, at least then, from a coaching staff, you know. All those guys can sign with you because they know what they want to do, they can enjoy their senior year. They can enjoy the confidence of knowing they've got their scholarship and somebody's not going to pull it from them in January...I think it would be beneficial on both sides.
I'm sure there are cons on both sides, but, to me, it's much more beneficial, just because guys are committing so early. You get guys that are committed for two years. That's a long time. When you can only sign 25 in a year and you have to go by need...I think an early signing period would be beneficial for everybody involved. Then, you can really target and move on to those who truly are uncommitted, then go from there.
With every one of your commitments, you say, 'If you want to take other visits?' Then, what?
Swinney: I just tell the guys up front...that's why nobody can take a commitment from anybody, but me. I'm going to have the same conversation with everybody so nobody can say you didn't say this. No, if you're sure you want to commit.
The first thing I try to do is talk them out of it. That's the first thing I do. I want to really see if you're serious or not. If they are, I ask them some questions and we talk about it. I define it, so we can both agree on a definition, so there's no, nobody's mad, we know later on, if we decide I don't want to be committed, that's fine.
If you want to be a commitment and you want to go visit other places, that's not commitment. Don't commit. I just don't get that. Let's keep recruiting, keep recruiting you. Nobody gets mad. You don't have to worry about it. It's not an issue. I don't know what's so complicated about it.
Some guys, I guess want to make a reservation or something, call up and cancel it later. That's just not how, we try to not operate like that here.
I would never want a guy to not do something that's not best for him or anything like that. When a guy makes a commitment at Clemson, we define it up front, very clearly. There's no grey area. So, then, again, once we have a guy that wants to go visit, in our mind we know he's not committed, regardless of what the public says. That's just how we think. We better make sure that we've got another number here. We keep a group, but we've got to make sure that we can cover ourselves. We can't just sit there and twiddle our thumbs and act like a guy's committed. It doesn't work that way.
Just like when a guy's committed to another school. They'll reach out to us and say we're interested in Clemson. Well, they're not committed to that school. They're not sure what they want to do, and that's what happens with young people. There's nothing wrong with that. Young people get confused. Other people get involved. There's a lot of things. Sometimes, circumstances change at the school. That's just part of it. You have to respect that whole process.