On Friday Clemson announced some notable changes to the football staff for 2021. Longtime tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Danny Pearman will be moved to an off-field position. Pearman’s new duties will include self-scouting and transfer portal scouting.
Clemson's plan is to move Danny Pearman into a scouting role that will include both self-scouting and transfer portal evaluations. This is significant because Dabo Swinney has historically not wanted to recruit the portal. He's showing he's willing to move with CFB as it changes.— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) January 15, 2021
This is a huge step for many reasons. One is that tight ends and special teams have been a source of frustration for the Tigers in recent years. Since Jordan Leggett’s departure following the 2016 championship season, Clemson has lacked a major weapon in the tight end department until Braden Galloway stepped up to make plays this year. Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot will be moving from his position as spot as running backs coach to tight ends coach. At the time of this writing, there has not been a special teams coordinator named.
This step also means that Dabo & company may finally be embracing change and will begin looking to add transfers to the Clemson program. Swinney had been fairly stern on the policy against adding in transfers, with a few exceptions along the way. Looking at former Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon gash the Tigers defense for Ohio State, it was pretty clear that Clemson is missing out on a huge chunk of talent by not pursuing transfers. Furthermore, as we saw this year, injuries really exposed some depth issues for the Tigers, particularly on defense. Adding in a few older transfers could help fill in some gaps that may get missed in recruiting. Like it or not, the transfer portal has become as key to the college football off-season as free agency has in the professional leagues, and for the Tigers, it’s time to get on board or get left behind.
With Elliot moving to tight ends, Clemson will put C.J. Spiller as the running backs coach. Spiller served as an unpaid grad assistant in 2020 for the Tigers and took over the duties as running backs coach for the Sugar Bowl when Elliot had to miss with Covid-19. The Clemson legend brings a lot to the table, including recruiting in his home state of Florida. Spiller’s hire will have to first be approved by the Clemson Board of Trustees during their February 4th meeting, but that does not seem like it will be much of an issue.
Spiller only Clemson athlete to get a standing ovation from Board of Trustees when he graduated. That meeting will take five minutes.— Tim Bourret (@TimBourret) January 15, 2021