Dabo Swinney discusses why Clemson has been only school that hasn’t landed transfer via portal

In an era when the transfer portal rules college sports, only one non-service academy failed to land a player through it.

Clemson University started last year ranked No. 9 in the country, but a loss to Duke dropped it to 25.

After Week 2, the Tigers didn’t crack the Top 25 until Week 13.

The 2023 season marked the first time since 2010 Clemson did not win at least 10 games in a season.

Dabo Swinney looks on

Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers walks the sidelines against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Memorial Stadium Nov. 4, 2023, in Clemson, S.C. (Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

The Tigers finished 9-4, beating Kentucky in the Gator Bowl. But this offseason they have not landed anyone from the portal.

(For what it’s worth, Army, Navy and Air Force do not take transfers.)

Head coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged there were “a couple guys we looked at,” but the feeling about a transfer must be mutual.

Dabo Swinney walks out

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers and players before the start of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against the Kentucky Wildcats at EverBank Stadium Dec. 29, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (James Gilbert/Getty Images)


“Well, it wasn’t really necessarily like an intentional thing. There were a couple guys we looked at. They gotta love you, too,” Swinney told ACC PM on the ACC Network, via USA Today. 

Despite that, the Tigers do have a solid incoming freshman class. It ranks 11th in the country and includes two five-star recruits and 11 four-star players.

“We just signed a whole class of guys transferring from high school, so we like our guys. We like our starters. … We had 127 players go through spring, and 125 are still on our roster post-portal,” Swinney said.

Dabo Swinney coaches against Miami

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers reacts during the second quarter of a game against the Miami Hurricanes at Hard Rock Stadium Oct. 21, 2023, in Miami Gardens, Fla.  (Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Clemson opens its season against the Georgia Bulldogs Aug. 31.

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