You’ve got to spend money to make money in business, and the same adage applies to college football recruiting.
As Clemson’s fortunes have skyrocketed under Dabo Swinney, so, too, has the program’s recruiting spending. In fact, according to a study by the Greenville News, Clemson’s recruiting spending has grown tenfold over the course of Swinney’s decade-long tenure — from $292,525 in 2009-10 to $2.9 million in 2018-19.
The ramping up of the Tigers’ recruiting arm has come in two lanes.
The first is staff, where four full-time staffers, temporary and support staff and student workers collected $684,690 in compensation. Clemson also spent $344,000 in change on recruiting operations, including nearly $17,000 in postage alone.
The other lane, obviously, is travel. Clemson is casting a wider net than ever — only 15 percent of Clemson signees hail from South Carolina since 2017, and only two of the Tigers’ 2020 class are from the state. As such, it costs money to go out and find the nation’s best, and Clemson spent $1.4 million utilizing the university’s aircraft, more than $125,000 on charter flights and more than $37,000 on commercial flights.
Clemson football spent more on recruiting than the rest of the athletics department — combined.
The numbers will almost certainly go up in 2019-20, as Clemson’s coaches are in the process of inking one of the best recruiting classes in the sport’s history. The Tigers’ 19-man class is rated No. 1 overall on the 247Sports Composite rankings and includes the commitments of:
— No. 1 overall player Bryan Breese, a DT from Damascus, Md.
— No. 4 overall player Myles Murphy, a DE from Hillgrove, Ga.
— No. 1 quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, from Bellflower, Calif.
— No. 2 running back Demarkcus Bowman, from Lakeland, Fla.
— No. 3 cornerback Fred Davis II, from Jacksonville, Fla.
— 5-star defensive tackle Demonte Capehart, one of the two native South Carolinians though he plays at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Additionally, Clemson is the industry favorite to land the nation’s No. 2 player, Columbia, S.C., defensive end Jordan Burch, and No. 1 linebacker Justin Flowe from Upland, Calif.
Business is up in the Clemson recruiting office and business is booming.