Clemson football: Ryan Day, Nick Saban, Kirby Smart love Tigers’ Transfer Portal policy

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, Friday, October 15, 2021.Ncaa Football Clemson At Syracuse
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney during the fourth quarter at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York, Friday, October 15, 2021.Ncaa Football Clemson At Syracuse /

The Clemson football program suffered its fourth transfer within the 2021 season earlier this week when Dabo Swinney announced that OG Paul Tchio had entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Tchio had started one game and was listed as a co-starter on the depth chart coming into the UConn game. He had received decent playing time, but was still surpassed by freshman OG Marcus Tate in terms of the pecking order and it seems he decided he wanted to try his hand elsewhere.

Tate joined RBs Mikey Dukes, Lyn-J Dixon and S Joseph Charleston as Clemson football players to enter the Transfer Portal midseason.

Clemson football fans are spinning the transfer concern the wrong way

Many Clemson fans on social media and on message boards are looking at the volume of transfers that the Tigers have suffered and they’re somehow coming to the conclusion that there is something wrong with the culture.

They are driving the point home that there must be something changed within the program and that the coaches aren’t doing their job good enough to keep the players on the roster.

While no one here is arguing against potential staff changes, I believe we might be missing the overarching point and it all starts with Dabo Swinney.

The culture at Clemson is fine. The development– or lack thereof– is not the reason that players are leaving. Players are leaving because the Transfer Portal is an easy out and a way for them to garner playing time elsewhere. All the players who have transferred– even Tchio– faced an uphill battle for getting on the field, especially long-term when you look at the future. They wanted an opportunity to go somewhere else.

Every situation is a little different, but there’s no doubt that NIL and the emergence of money in College Football is going to make this even more prevalent as we progress into the future. And it’s happening everywhere, by the way. Clemson is not the only program losing players in-season to the portal.

But, Clemson football is the only program that is actively not recruiting the portal. And that’s the point that should be emphasized here.

Yes, it’s disappointing to see guys leave. But, you’re going to see more and more of that in the future. The difference is that the portal can’t be a ‘one-way-exit.’ That door has to swing back the other way in the future. If the portal is only taking away, you’re going to be fighting a battle against all the other major College Football programs with one hand tied behind your back.

That’s not a recipe for success in this day and age of College Football.

Clemson football has to actively start recruiting the Transfer Portal and replace these scholarships– especially on the offensive line– with experienced veterans who can provide depth and quality at positions.

You may not like it– I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t– but it doesn’t matter.

It’s the way the landscape is changing and if Swinney doesn’t begin to fight and compete for potential program-changing transfers, Clemson is always going to be at an inherent disadvantage because Nick Saban, Ryan Day and Kirby Smart have no problem taking as many transfers as they can fill roster spots– and they absolutely love the fact that one of their top competitors isn’t using the portal.

I’m not particularly upset at losing Tchio, though I do believe he could’ve been a major factor in the future and his departure is about as untimely as it possibly could be considering the injuries on the offensive line. What I do see, however, is four scholarships that need to be replaced by capable players who can make a difference, not walk-ons to play the scout team.

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