May 6, 2007

Swinney visits Rivals250 safety

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Clemson ace recruiter Dabo Swinney was back home in Alabama all last week. The Tiger wide receivers coach and former Crimson Tide pass-catcher swung by Auburn (AL) to check out Rivals250 standout Dee Finley.

What did the 6-foot-3, 210-pound safety think of the stop and of Clemson?

"Coach Swinney is pretty cool man," Finley told Tigerillustrated.com on Sunday. "I like Clemson's coaches and how they recruit. Only a select few players get into Clemson so it's an honor they are coming after me. It's a good place to get in. And they always have good recruiting years. They always bring in good recruits."

Alabama's new head coach Nick Saban visited the athlete's school on Wednesday. Georgia defensive line coach Rodney Garner was by recently.

Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and Florida head coach Urban Meyer were in the week before.

The coveted recruit expects Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville and a member of North Carolina State's staff to stop by this week.

Finley has visited Auburn, Alabama and LSU. He's planning to visit Clemson, Florida, Miami and Oklahoma this summer - including a June 22 stop in Gainesville, the lone trip he's sure of at this point.

So far 14 schools have offered with the Gators, Hurricanes, Clemson and Oklahoma recently joining the mix. Seven have risen to the top and the blue-chipper expressed what stood out about each.

Clemson - "I like them. I like coach Swinney. He's always telling me about their campus so I'm hoping its nice when I visit there. They are moving up and will be in the Top 10 this season."

Georgia - "They have great tradition. They also have good competition there and good talent."

Florida - "They keep winning there. I like that their defensive back, Reggie Nelson, just got picked in the first round."

Miami - "It's the U, man. Everyone loves Miami. I have to visit there and check out the beach. So many good defensive backs have come out of there - Ed Reed, Brandon Merriweather and Sean Taylor."

LSU - "I love their campus. It's so nice. I like (head) coach (Les) Miles. He doesn't stress certain things about schools to me. He's laid back and mellow."

Alabama - "They have an intense rivalry with Auburn. It was amazing for them to draw 90,000 fans for their Spring Game. I like how coach Saban is so hands-on with the defensive backs."

Auburn - "I have fans here. I like the coaches and have watched them a lot."

He'll base his decision on three elements.

"I want to play for a good secondary coach," Finley noted. "I want to go to a comfortable environment and play in a good overall team environment."

Who currently leads for his services?

"Auburn, Alabama, LSU and Florida are my top four right now and recruiting me the hardest," the safety admitted. "Those are my favorites until I take more visits."

As a junior, the defensive back tallied 50 tackles, seven pass breakups, eight interceptions and one sack. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and caught nine passes for 98 yards and another score.

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