Nearly every new signing class brings a family link or two (or even three). There might even be a few more notable connections across the ACC with incoming recruits in 2017.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney welcomed his son, Will, as a walk-on receiver, then quipped to local reporters, “I have been recruiting this kid for 18 years and paid his mother a lot of money.”
Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Ted Roof gets to coach his son, too. T.D. Roof, a three-star scholarship linebacker out of Buford (Ga.) High, will get to play for his father for the first time.
“I wanted him, before he made a decision on where he was going to go to school, to understand all the implications that come along with that,” Roof told reporters on signing day. “If he comes here, he's going to get whatever he earns. I lean on the other way of treating my sons harder rather than easier because that prepares them for the world and not just football. All he wants is a fair shake and the other coaches here, Coach (Paul) Johnson will make sure he gets that.”
Roof tried to stay out of the recruiting process as much as he could, leaving the heavy lifting to Johnson and former assistant Bryan Cook (now at Georgia Southern). T.D. made his commitment last summer and didn’t waver. His twin brother, Mic, ended up signing with UNC-Charlotte as a quarterback. Georgia Tech didn’t recruit him because he wasn’t a fit for Johnson’s offense.
So not only will T.D. Roof be with his dad full time, he will be away from his brother for the first time in his life. Both will take adjusting. As for learning how to play as the defensive coordinator’s son, Ted Roof said, “At the end of the day if you're a tough guy, if you’re a baller, you get respect and if you're not, you don't. He’s going to have to start from scratch here and earn it.”
That was not the only familiar connection for Roof. Brothers Bruce Jordan-Swilling and Tre Swilling also signed with the Jackets. Their dad, Pat, played with Roof at Georgia Tech.
Those connections, between alums and their sons, are generally more prevalent. And there were plenty in this class, too. At Florida State, Stanford Samuels and Decalon Brooks both followed in their famous fathers’ footsteps; Miami signed punter Zach Feagles, son of alum Jeff Feagles; and Virginia signed receiver Germane Crowell, whose dad Germane Sr., ranks No. 6 all-time at the school with 2,142 yards receiving.
One famous son broke ranks -- Cade Weldon signed with Miami, though Florida State never offered him a scholarship. But there is a connection there, too. Miami coach Mark Richt coached Weldon's father, Casey, with the Seminoles.
He joins a Miami roster loaded with connections: Vincent Testaverde, Michael Irvin Jr., Pat Bethel and Scott Patchan all had fathers who played at Miami.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher made it clear on signing day that he didn’t give preferential treatment to legacy players. Samuels, for instance, was an ESPN 300 recruit as one of the top cornerbacks in the country.
“I wouldn't recruit them just because they're a legacy,” Fisher said. “I think that's disrespectful that way, too, because if we don't think that's a guy that can help our program, you only hurt that young man. These guys, on their own accord, are guys that can help us win football games and they can have great futures here. That's why we recruited them, and we recruit them just as hard or harder than we do anybody else.”
The beat will go on into the 2018 class. Already, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has a big commitment: his son, Jake.