Clemson football: Dabo Swinney responds to speculation that new Arkansas coach Chad Morris might try to hire Brent Venables

  • Mitchell Forde
  • Diehards
4:02 p.m Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 Sports

It didn’t take long for a promise made by newly introduced Arkansas coach Chad Morris to his players to turn into a rampaging rumor. It took even less time for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to hear it.

In a team meeting Thursday, Morris told his Arkansas team that he is “gonna have the best defensive coordinator in the country right in here.” That naturally led to speculation that Morris might try to make a run at hiring Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, whom Morris worked alongside at Clemson from 2012 to 2014.

Later Thursday, Arkansas sportscaster Bo Mattingly asked Swinney about the possibility of Morris hiring Venables away from Clemson. Swinney’s response was succinct.

“Good luck with that,” Swinney said.

Swinney on thoughts that Chad Morris might try to hire Brent Venables: "Good luck with that!"

— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) December 7, 2017

Overall, during Swinney’s appearance on Mattingly’s radio show, Swinney spoke positively about Morris, who served as Clemson’s offensive coordinator from 2011 to 2014. Swinney said that everywhere Chad Morris has been, he’s won, and that Razorback fans will enjoy his fun brand of football.

Swinney: Right out of the gate (with Chad Morris), you’ll see guys having fun. … It’ll be a fun brand, it’ll be something that Arkansas fans will love to see.

— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) December 7, 2017

However, Swinney’s message was clear: It’s unlikely Morris could pry Venables away from the Tigers.

Venables is in his sixth year on Swinney’s staff. He is the second-highest paid assistant coach in the country. His team is about to compete in the College Football Playoff for the third season in a row. Had Venables wanted to leave Clemson in recent weeks, he almost certainly could have found a head coaching job; in fact, he was a candidate for the position at Arkansas, which eventually went to Morris.

If Morris wants to reach out to Venables about coming to Arkansas, that’s likely fine with Swinney. In his words, “good luck” trying to beat his current job description.

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