Clemson Football: The transfer portal window opens in one week

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks in the Smart Family Media Center at the Smart Family Media Center at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson, S.C. Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks in the Smart Family Media Center at the Smart Family Media Center at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson, S.C. Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023. /

Clemson Football has completed their regular season and now awaits word of their postseason bowl destination, which should be announced in about a week.

Another important date for the Tigers, and all of college football, is one week away. The window for players to enter the transfer portal opens on Monday, December 4th.

Players can announce their intention to enter the transfer portal whenever they choose, but most of them can only enter it when one of the two windows opens following the season and following spring practices.

There are a few sources for turnover this offseason for Clemson. Some players will exhaust eligibility. We know six players will exit the team for this reason.

  • Tyler Davis
  • Sheridan Jones
  • Justin Mascoll
  • Jalyn Phillips
  • Will Putnam
  • Xavier Thomas

There are a handful of players eligible to declare for the NFL Draft that could leave early. Some of those players might announce their intentions before the bowl game, some might wait until after the bowl game, and others might wait until the deadline on January 15th. I’m guessing four players exit in this manner, give or take one either way. That brings us to 9-11 players leaving.

Several seniors could return for their COVID season. We know at least two – Walker Parks and Aidan Swanson – will be returning. We might find out about a few of them quickly if they decide to transfer. If they are mulling a decision between returning to Clemson or moving on to the next phase of their life, they might take their time to announce their choice.

Some of these players were recognized on Senior Day. That doesn’t mean they will leave, but it at least means these players wanted their senior moment just in case that was their last game in Death Valley.

Then there are the players who decide they want to find another opportunity by entering the portal. We should learn about this group sooner than later. Players who want to transfer typically enter the portal as soon as possible so they can start working on their next destination.

Since the Tigers are not playing in the ACC Championship game, the players considering a change will have the luxury of a week to confirm they know what they want to do. I expect most of the players transferring out of the program will go into the portal on Monday or Tuesday.

Clemson has 17 verbal commitments in their Class of 2024 that will join next spring or summer. This means if at least 11 current players leave the team for the NFL, to start their life after football or to transfer, then the Tigers will have scholarships they can budget towards taking transfers in from other programs.

Clemson Football will get a clearer picture of how many scholarships they could offer to incoming transfers next week

There are still a few outstanding offers out to high school recruits, and if any of them commit, then that would increase the number of players that need to transfer out for there to be scholarships available.

Many Clemson fans still scoff at the idea of Clemson taking transfers. While Dabo Swinney has traditionally preferred high school recruiting, most insiders have been indicating to us that the Tigers are very likely to be more active in transfer recruiting than they have been in the past.

Here are the numbers on Clemson players entering the portal after previous seasons:

  • 2019: 4
  • 2020: 8
  • 2021: 11
  • 2022: 12

If the trend holds, we could see at least a dozen transfers out this offseason, possibly more. Consider though, some of those transfers didn’t happen until spring (think Malcolm Greene and TJ Dudley) so we might not have those scholarships available right away, but they can be budgeted for.

Let’s just take a complete guess at this:

  • 6 players exhaust eligibility
  • 4 players leaving
  • 1 player starts life after football
  • 12 players transfer out

That would total of 23 players leaving the program.

I think it is reasonable to think Clemson gets two more verbal commitments to their 2024 Class to bring it to 19 incoming freshmen.

That would leave four scholarships available for the staff to take transfers. It might be January before we know about some of these numbers, but we will learn about several of them in about a week.

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