New Clemson recruiting czar Turnipseed reunites with Swinney

CLEMSON — Pulling from the support staff of the nation’s premier football powerhouse, Clemson lured Thad Turnipseed from Alabama to reunite with coach Dabo Swinney.

Turnipseed becomes the Tigers’ Director of Recruiting and External Affairs. He’ll work closely with Swinney, a former teammate in pads and on the coaching staff in Alabama in the early 1990s, as well as recruiting coordinator Jeff Scott and the Clemson staff on all recruiting activities.

Clemson has ranked in’s top 20 recruiting classes each of the past four years, including No. 14 in 2012 and 2013. That’s been good for no worse than third in the ACC (trailing only Florida State and Miami over that span) since 2010, Swinney’s second full recruiting season since his appointment as head coach.

Jeff Davis has served the past four years as assistant athletic director of player relations and external affairs. The director of high school recruiting title is a newly created position.

Not that Turnipseed’s position falls under these conditions, but the NCAA is currently reviewing new legislation which deregulated many recruiting stipulations, which sparked a hiring spree at Alabama, Auburn and Texas among other programs looking to increase their recruiting efforts with off-field coaching positions.

Turnipseed spent the past 11 years at Alabama, which is gunning for its fourth national championship in five years, in a myriad of roles, most recently Director of Football External Affairs for coach Nick Saban.

Turnipseed was also Director of Capital Projects and Associate Athletic Director for Special Projects for Alabama, where he designed and guided more than $200 million worth of athletic projects. In late February, Alabama athletics unveiled a state-of-the-art $9 million weight room spanning 37,000 square feet.

Swinney and Turnipseed won a championship as Alabama players in 1992, and served as specialty assistants under Gene Stallings from 1993-95.

Turnipseed earned his B.A. in political science from Alabama in 1995, before becoming project manager at Beaver Construction from 1995-97 and owner of Calvary Construction and Calvary Flooring from 1997-2003 preceding his lengthy stint at Alabama.

The Tigers currently rank as Rivals’ No. 1 ACC recruiting class of 2014 (No. 7 nationally), with Clemson’s 10 verbal commits.