Three Tiger assistant coaches named in the top 5--including one coach at No.1
.5. JEFF SCOTT, CLEMSON CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Take a look at the players Scott is credited with landing over the past several seasons at Clemson and it comes as no surprise why he is regarded as arguably the ACC's top offensive assistant. If quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and tailback Demarkcus Bowman stick, that makes five 5-stars Scott has convinced to sign with the Tigers in recent years, strengthening Clemson's national brand as college football's new powerhouse program for supreme talent. Scott was the 247Sports Recruiter of the Year for the 2018 cycle after helping the Tigers land the nation's sixth-best class. Scott, a former recruiting coordinator for the Tigers, became a full-time assistant at Clemson in 2009. He’s a former Tigers player and arrived at Clemson as a graduate assistant in 2008.
.4. ALEX GRINCH, OKLAHOMA DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach last season, Grinch is an excellent recruiter and was expected to see a larger role on staff in 2019 entering the Ryan Day era before mutually parting ways to join Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma. A three-time Broyles award nominee, Grinch has won at every coaching stop following a brilliant career as a player at Mount Union and is best known for leading the defensive turnaround on Mike Leach's staff at Washington State before heading to Columbus. He has a veteran group with the Sooners and there's nowhere to go but up for statistically one of the nation's worst units last fall.
.3. TONY ELLIOTT, CLEMSON CO-OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR
The brains behind Clemson's high-powered spread, Elliott was named college football's top assistant during the 2017 season after helping the Tigers shatter several program records on offense with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. Clemson continued its offensive assault last fall as true freshman Trevor Lawrence managed a historically incomparable season as a decorated passer. He is the Heisman frontrunner in 2019 alongside potentially the nation's top running back, Travis Etienne.
“I never planned to be a coach. In 2011, my life changed when coach (Dabo) Swinney brought me to Clemson," Elliott said after winning the Broyles Award in 2017. "What you see is what you get with coach Swinney. I stand before you today because at Clemson, I stand on the shoulders of giants, which makes me actually look taller and better than I really am."
.2. DAVE ARANDA, LSU DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
The nation's highest-paid assistant coach in 2018, Aranda's defense took a step back last fall, but much of those figures were skewed by LSU's 74-72 loss at Texas A&M in seven overtimes. LSU has produced several draft picks under his watch and there's supreme talent on the way within a Top 5 class nationally for 2019 according to the 247Sports Composite, including 5-star corner and potential freshman starter Derek Stingley. Several programs have tried prying him away from Baton Rouge since his arrival but the Tigers have been able to retain his services in every instance. Here's what one anonymous coach said this spring about Aranda: “Dave Aranda is a consistently good coach — as good of a defensive coordinator as there is in the SEC."
.1. BRENT VENABLES, CLEMSON DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Credit Swinney and his ability to retain his lead assistant for several years as Venables has become one of the hottest names surrounding a number of coaching vacancies annually. Venables has spearheaded Clemson's defense since the 2012 season and during that stretch, the Tigers have posted 87 wins, two national championships and four consecutive ACC titles. The Broyles Award winner in 2016, Venables reportedly passed on an opportunity at Kansas State — his alma-mater — following Bill Snyder's exit this season. He continues to land premiere talent at various positions and is helping the Tigers potentially land an all-time recruiting haul in 2020.