Sunday Swinney camp notes
CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and his football staff put the finishing touches on his
annual high school football camp Sunday morning, putting the remaining three-day campers through a
final workout on the practice fields behind Jervey.
In all, over 1100 high school campers participated over the six days.
The biggest name in Clemson on Sunday was 2013 OG Tyrone Crowder of Richmond County (NC)
Rockingham, who was at the camp with teammate Alex Norton and Norton’s dad Jason, who also
coaches at Richmond County.
Crowder was met by many of the coaches as he entered the practice fields, including Swinney, tight
ends coach Danny Pearman, recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.
Crowder sat with his head coach watching the offensive line go through their drills, and he told me that
he had been looking forward to getting back to Clemson for a visit.
“I haven’t been here this year,” Crowder said. “I came last year, but I wanted to see how things had
changed. I also wanted a chance to talk to the coaches again.”
Crowder said Clemson was still in his top school choices, and that he wants to wait until later on in the
fall to make a decision. However, both Crowder and his coach said that they like the way the Clemson
program is headed. Norton said they were at the beach when the news came across that the Tigers had
landed defensive prospect Robert Nkemdiche this week, and both of them feel like Swinney is putting
together a nice collection of talent.
Speaking of Alex Norton, the 2013 offensive line prospect doesn’t have a ton of offers, but he looked
pretty good to me during his offensive line drills. He comes from a football family, and he looked like
one of the strongest of the bunch in Sunday’s group. He is my Sunday ‘under the radar’ guy that looks
like he could help some bigger programs.
*Another visit at the camp Sunday – and not working out – was 2014 running back prospect Jonathan
Vickers of North Florida Christian (FL) Tallahassee, who was with former teammate and current Clemson
Tiger Travis Blanks.
Blanks was playing the part of host and recruiter for Vickers, who has offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech
and Ole Miss. Blanks was even telling anyone that would listen that Vickers was “my son” and generally having
a good time with the visit.
Vickers told me that he hears from Clemson the most – his recruiter of record is Jeff Scott – and then
Ole Miss. He said Georgia Tech has extended an offer, but he hasn’t heard from them since the offer came
through. He rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2011 – on just 144 carries – and rushed for 112 yards in the
state championship game. He is listed as 6-0, 205 pounds, but looks a little bigger than that to me.
He told me the visit had been a good one.
“I wanted to come up and see the campus,” he said. “It looks like the coaches have a good bond, and I
have a great relationship with all of them. I love the coaches. They are down to earth and will tell you
like it is.”
*I have to take a second to talk about Clemson defensive line coach Dan Brooks. Brooks coaches every
second of the camp like he is coaching in a national championship game, and it doesn’t matter if he is
coaching a 5-star prospect or a small kid with no chance of ever playing college football.
I love to watch him during drills, and you can tell he is about to get serious when he turns his hat around
backwards, put his hands on his knees and starts yelling. He is known as one of the better defensive line
coaches in the business, and it’s easy to see why.
*Sound bite of the day goes to Tracy Swinney, Dabo’s brother. Tracy has moved to Clemson from
Alabama, and he is going to help his brother with the All In Foundation. He was helping with some of
the younger tight ends Sunday morning, and one of the younger players had on Tennessee Volunteers’
shorts and t-shirt. As the young player went through drills, Swinney was telling him they needed to get
him “in a better shade of orange. That puke orange just doesn’t look right. It’s awful.”