Saturday, September 20, 2014
Clemson Final Preparation For Ohio State
Miami, FL (CU SID) -- Clemson held its final practice at Barry University before taking on sixth ranked Ohio State in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl on Friday night. The Tigers worked for an hour and a half in preparation for the contest that will be played at Sun Life Stadium. It is the second time in three years Clemson has played in this BCS game.
It was a bittersweet practice in some ways for Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney as it was the final practice for his first recruiting class as head coach. "Back in February of 2009 when we signed most of this senior class, if I had written down what this class was going to accomplish you would have said I was crazy," said Swinney after practice.
The class includes fifth year seniors Tajh Boyd, Spencer Shuey, Tyler Shatley, Darrell Smith, Quandon Christian, Brandon Thomas,and Rod McDowell, all players who signed with Clemson that day in February who are fifth year senior scholarship players. All have gone on to become starters and be a part of three Clemson top 25 teams. Additionally, kicker Chandler Catanzaro is a fifth year senior who came to Clemson as a walk-on. He will leave a Clemson's all-time leading scorer and is second in ACC history.
"I still remember their first practice as Clemson football players back in August of 2009," said Swinney. "Some of them had a long way to go. Some of them were not highly recruited. But they have worked hard and improved and are part of a class that has done great things.
"When we left the Orange Bowl two years ago after a tough night against West Virginia I told that group it had been 30 years since Clemson had played in the Orange Bowl. I told them it would not take another 30 years. This class has been the nucleus that has brought us back just two years later. We had not been to a BCS Bowl before they got here and now we have been to two. This senior class has represented Clemson so well on the field, in the community and in the classroom."
Notes: Clemson starting tight end Stanton Seckinger has a sprained ankle and is questionable at this point for Friday's game with Ohio State....Swinney announced after practice that the permanent captains for the year were Spencer Shuey, Quandon Christian, Darius Robinson, Tajh Boyd, Tyler Shatley and Brandon Thomas....one of the visitors to Clemson's practice was new Clemson President James P. Clements...ironically, he was the president of West Virginia two years ago when Clemson played the Mountaineers in the Discover Orange Bowl. He is staying at the same hotel in the same room as he did two years ago, so hopefully that will bring the Tigers some luck this year as he was on the winning side in this game...the weather for Wednesday's practice was the best it has been since the Tigers got here on December 29....bright and sunny and 82 degrees for most of the time...there was a 15-minute light shower in the middle of the practice.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 68 %