Clemson coach Dabo Swinney will always be tied to the state of Alabama. He is, after all, a native of Pelham, Ala., a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama and former Crimson Tide assistant.
Swinney, however, said recently the state might not be quite as happy with that association as it was in years past, especially after his Tigers downed the Crimson Tide 44-16 in the 2019 College Football Playoff championship game. That’s especially true on the recruiting trail, where Swinney has dipped into the state on several occasions to pluck some of its best blue chip talent.
MORE: Swinney shuts down possibility of return to Alabama
Swinney recently was asked on SiriusXM if the state would have to put up a wall to keep him from pillaging the state of its top recruits. And Swinney had an interesting response.
“I don’t know about walls, but I’m kind of like Osama Bin Dabo,” Swinney said (via TigerNet.com). “I have to navigate my way through the caves and back channels to make my way through Alabama these days. They aren’t as happy to see me. But it’s all good. It’s a good problem.”
Unsavory language aside, Swinney certainly has made good use of his recruiting trips to Alabama. He lured five-star receiver Justyn Ross, the state’s top player in the class of 2018, to Clemson. Ross then went on to torch the Tide for six catches, 153 yards and a touchdown in the title game.
“It’s almost like you are playing your brother or your cousin,” Swinney said. “Even though you are brothers, and they blow the whistle, you want to compete and you want to win. But when it’s over you hate you lost and you are like, ‘Crap, I lost. But at least it’s to my brother.’
“I think they’ve made me a stepbrother now. But I am still in the family.”
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