Posted: 11:14 am Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
By Michael Carvell
The never-ending feud between Steve Spurrier and Dabo Swinney was one of the highlights of the bowl season.
The South Carolina and Clemson coaches each took subtle jabs at each other after bowl victories, even though their teams weren’t playing each other.
The archrival coaches crossed paths on the recruiting trail this week in Georgia.
Spurrier and Swinney happened to show up on the same day at the same time at North Gwinnett High to check on different prospects.
Did everybody just duck and hide?
If you were expecting some tense moments or a WWE Steel Cage Match to break out, you’d be disappointed. Without TV cameras around to trade barbs and ignite their fan bases, the two got along like perfect gentlemen (But we’ll stick to the fun and folklore, and just say the good behavior was only because impressionable kids were closely watching).
North Gwinnett coach Bob Sphire picks up the story:
“Dabo was in here first, and I was telling him how entertaining those two have been with their quotes back and forth, and their banter. You know, the first thing (Swinney) said was ‘I really like him (Spurrier). We’re really good friends.’ I will be darned if that wasn’t the first thing that Spurrier told me when I tried to stir it up. He said, ‘I really like Dabo. We’re really good friends.’
“Anyways, Dabo was leaving out when Spurrier was coming in, and I stopped them and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a fundraising idea. There’s a 1,000 kids over there in the cafeteria right now for lunch. We’re going to go over and wrestle, and I’m going to charge admission.’
“They just smiled and laughed. They talked to each other for a little bit. I told Coach Spurrier that I get a kick out of his little digs, the way he stirs everybody up. I think it’s funny.”
Spurrier has won five straight against Swinney, and hasn’t been shy about letting people know (at least publicly).
Clemson and South Carolina aren’t recruiting head-to-head against each other for any North Gwinnett players. Offensive lineman Mitch Hyatt is one of the nation’s top juniors and is considered a Clemson lean because of his family connections to the ACC school. North Gwinnett senior defensive end Dante Sawyer committed to South Carolina over Missouri last month, but has generated interest from other colleges since registering three sacks in the Army All-American Bowl.
“There were people who would probably like to get back in on Dante but he’s done,” Sphire said. “He’s firm with South Carolina. The Ol’ Ball Coach is really excited about him. He’s losing a few defensive linemen that can play. They’ve kind of had a little run on some guys up front. Dante played great in that all-star game. If we had won that game, he probably would’ve won MVP.”
- How dedicated is North Gwinnett wide receiver Caleb Scott to his faith? Scott bumped up his official visit to TCU to Thursday because of a prior commitment to attend “Young Life” camp this weekend. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior is one of the state’s hottest prospects, picking up offers from Missouri, Nebraska and TCU within the last week. With signing day less than two weeks away, it’s going to be hectic for Scott. “He’s really big into mission trips, and had a Young Life camp set up — and that’s a really, really important part of his life,” Sphire said. Vanderbilt could be Scott’s next offer, and some other big schools are reviewing his senior film. “It’s funny how this works,” Sphire said. “I got the feeling there might be some others out there that will come in.” Why is Scott on fire? “You have a combination of things. First off, when you have multiple guys on the team that can be recruited, I think most college coaches like to separate them. (Missouri WR commit) Nate Brown was having a monster year for us. But I think, in reality, Caleb is physically a late bloomer. His measurables now versus last summer are a lot different. He’s 190 pounds now. And I think everybody kind of had to see how he was going to develop. Obviously the season we played with the kind of teams we played against, that’s a grind. You have 15 games, plus our scrimmage against Stephenson. Caleb basically went through a high school SEC schedule. He had a great year, and was still rocking and rolling in the state championship game. I think everybody was still waiting to see how he would physically develop. He’s always been a great route runner with ball skills. He’s an extremely skilled athlete. He’s a punt return guy. He walks out here and wins 100 hurdles in region and doesn’t even work at it. It was just something he does because some of our football coaches are helping with the track team. It’s not something he works at. He’s just a very gifted athlete. More than anything, he is just one of those guys who is going to get more physically strong. His physical maturity is going to be there, and colleges are realizing that.”
SINCE YOU LAST CHECKED THE BLOG …
- Will UGA’s late push work with top uncommitted prospect?
- Spurrier vs. Dabo Swinney … in a wresting match?
- Could Georgia Tech flip a UCF commit? It looks promising
- Who will Mark Richt hire as UGA’s new recruiting coordinator? Well …
- Revenge?? Todd Grantham trying to poach one of his UGA recruits … for Louisville
WHAT A WEEK
- Lorenzo Carter on meeting new UGA coach & ranking his LSU trip
- Arizona, UCLA, Clemson and OSU inquire about Alabama RB transfer Alvin Kamara
- How did new UGA target Tavon Ross like recruiting trip to Bulldogs?
- UGA turns to a familiar face for commit No. 17
- How to find out where Mark Richt and Paul Johnson are recruiting today … via Social Media
WHILE YOU DEFROST FROM THE COLD …
- Recruit’s mother issues statement … about UGA and Alabama
- UGA target names South Carolina as his leader, but, but …
- It could be a WILD, WILD finish in recruiting with Myles Autry … Georgia Tech and FSU are leaders but could Florida & UGA get involved because of Lorenzo Carter?
- Catching the BIG one! 5-star commits to UGA
BUT. THERE’S. MORE.
- UGA and Alabama make late push for Atlanta football star
- 1st BIG recruiting test for new UGA defensive coordinator
- Top UGA recruit “inks” his loyalty to Bulldogs … risky to do before signing day?
- Georgia Tech offers four players in one day from Stephenson HS
- Record-breaking WR declines late UGA offer
- UGA QB signee shakes off his struggles in all-star games