University of South Florida Vice President of Athletics Michael Kelly officially announced on Monday that Clemson Co-Offensive Coordinator Jeff Scott would become the fifth head coach in program history. So we figured we’d reach out to our friends over at Shakin the Southland to learn about our new head coach.
TDS: What role did Jeff have in scheming an offense each week?
STSouthland: He was just as involved as any other coach on the offense is. As a Co-OC, he was also going to have a final say on the direction of any schemes for the week as well. But because of how vague the coaching staff is, as well as the system mainly being a Chad Morris system with tweaks, it is hard for me to highlight something Scott did specifically. He definitely knows the scheme and understands the goals of plays, etc. but I think he’ll lean on his OC to run the offense rather than being in the nitty gritty like a Gus Malzahn.
TDS: What’s been his best trait as a coach?
STSouthland: Easily his recruiting ability. As a WR coach, he was our recruiting coordinator and was responsible for putting the whole picture together for the staff. A WR coach has to be able to recruit and Scott fit that bill. It is a skill he hasn’t lost as an OC because Dabo likes his coordinators to be out on the recruiting trail to help nab top guys.
TDS: For recruiting, who were some of his top pulls?
STSouthland: If a top recruit comes to Clemson, Scott has had some hand in it. But for guys he’s been responsible for a few names to highlight recently, Tavien Feaster, Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Frank Ladson, Joe Ngata, Demarkcus Bowman. All are blue chip guys that Scott has had a part in over the last 3 years. And his work goes back even further. It is hard to understate how much he does for Clemson recruiting.
TDS: Before you turned into the second Death Star, how was his recruiting skills?
STSouthland: Even before 2014 Scott was an excellent recruiter. He’s been great at bringing in talented WRs and before he became Co-OC he was also our recruiting coordinator before support staff was really a thing and did a great job. I think he’ll be able to do the things needed at a smaller school to build relationships and bring in those guys that can raise the talent level for the team.
TDS: As a person, what’s his personality like?
STSouthland: Scott seems to be a grounded family guy. He has a young daughter that he spends a good bit of time with, and from everything I’ve heard the players love playing for him. Expect to see a family atmosphere around USF while Scott is there, that may be the biggest thing he brings from what Dabo does. It will probably help that he’s rumored to be bringing his dad, Brad Scott [and USF graduate], along with him.
TDS: How big (if any) of a blow is it to Clemson losing Jeff?
STSouthland: It is a big blow. He’s the second or third best recruiter on staff and that isn’t easy to replace. The support staff and everyone else can cover the details, but closing with prospects is going to be hard. Clemson is likely promoting from within so a lot of the relationships will remain, but anyone that is handwaving Jeff’s departure on the recruiting front is kidding themselves.