‘He deserves it more than anyone’: Clemson players react to Venables to Oklahoma news

·3 min read
Dwayne McLemore/dmclemore@thestate.com

Brent Venables is leaving Clemson for his first head coaching job at Oklahoma.

Numerous reports Sunday night said that Venables, Clemson’s defensive coordinator since 2012, will return to Norman, Oklahoma to head up the Sooners football program following Lincoln Riley’s departure to Southern Cal last week.

Venables, 50, previously worked at Oklahoma as a defensive coordinator from 1999-2011 under Bob Stoops before leaving OU to take the same job at Clemson under Dabo Swinney.

Clemson football players took to Twitter following the news on Sunday night. Many sent well wishes to their coach as he leaves the Tigers’ program.

“So happy for coach. He deserves it more than anyone. Hardest working man I have ever known. Y’all take care of him!! @OU_Football,” Clemson defensive end Xavier Thomas tweeted.

Venables won two College Football Playoff national championships as Clemson defensive coordinator in 2016 and 2018 and won the Broyles Award for the nation’s best assistant coach in 2016.

“Brent Venables has been the most significant assistant coach in any sport in Clemson athletics history,” longtime Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret posted to Twitter.

Clemson defensive end K.J. Henry sent two tweets regarding his former defensive coordinator.

“Yall better party bout this one, hes that dude!!” Henry said in a quote retweet of the news from ESPN’s “Sportscenter” Twitter account.

“Much love Coach V @CoachVenables,” Henry said in another tweet with a crossed-fingers emoji.

Running back Darien Rencher also sent multiple tweets directed at his former coach.

“Would love for @CoachVenables to stay here forever because of who he is, but you gotta be so happy for this man and his family. Nobody more deserving!” Rencher said in a quote retweet of ESPN’s announcement of the news.

“This photo hits different now,” Rencher tweeted in response to a photo of Venables being drenched in orange Gatorade.

One Clemson football commit reacted to the news with a single emoji. Four-star class of 2022 edge lineman Jihaad Campbell tweeted a grimacing face emoji shortly after news of Venables’ move to Oklahoma broke.

“NO ONE BETTER. . .#LEGEND,” quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei tweeted.

Venables was the highest-paid assistant coach in college football at Clemson, making an average of $2.5 million a year. His contract had been extended over the summer to last until 2026.

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