Dabo Swinney Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney speaks with media during the first day of Spring practice at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility at the Allen N. Reeves football complex in Clemson S.C. Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

Over the past several years, the Clemson Tigers have largely declined to use the NCAA transfer portal to build their roster, instead opting to rely heavily on high school recruiting. This current offseason, the Tigers were the only team outside of service academies not to sign a single player out of the portal. And head coach Dabo Swinney defended this approach.

Dabo Swinney had a pretty clear response to anyone criticizing the Tigers for their approach to building their roster, pointing out that the Tigers have been successful.

“So I mean, that’s just — we’ve won. I mean, I know we only had eight wins this year, but there’s only two other teams that have had 13 8+ plus win seasons in a row,” Swinney said according to On3. “That’s Georgia and Alabama. So I think that’s just how we’ve done it. We’ve been consistent with graduation and we’ve been consistent with winning because of how we recruit.

“And again, we evaluate everything every year, so we get a situation where we think: if you bring somebody in, you got to let somebody go, you know, that’s the way it works and you know I love the guys here.”

It’s worth noting that since the adoption and popularization of the transfer portal, the Tigers have been far less successful than in previous years.