CLEMSON – Seven quick quotes from Monday Funday at the Clemson football complex, to get your football mind whirring this morning:
1) Offensive coordinator Chad Morris got philosophical.
“These guys have worked extremely hard to get to this point. What we talked to these guys about: some guys come in here and think they’re the only person who ever wore a Tiger Paw. What we talk about is, where you are today is because of the players who have wore the Tiger Paw before you, and don’t ever forget that. A lot of players been through blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, and they are just as much a part of where we’re at as our current players. Then you also remind our players who will wear the Paw after you leave.
“So all you are is holding a place and a seat right now. You’ve got to take advantage of every opportunity you get. Every day you step on this field. Most the players, you’re gonna get 28 opportunities on a Saturday to play here at Death Valley.”
He wasn’t done.
“A lot of guys don’t remember that 6-7 season. They walked in here with a silver spoon in their mouth because of the success we’ve had. They don’t understand what it was like a few years ago. I think a few guys had lost some of that hunger.”
Um, the initial question was about Morris’ emotions leading into a prep week against the No. 5 team in the country. He did get back on the rails:
“So anyway, I’m extremely excited.”
Just to change the mood, I asked Morris if his energy drink consumption (he’s an avid Red Bull drinker) would step up this wek.
“Nah. Well, maybe a little bit. No, we’ll talk to our guys about be the same every day.”
2) It’s pretty clear left guard Kalon Davis and right tackle Shaq Anthony, youngsters who took over for David Beasley (ankle) and Gifford Timothy (concussion) due to injury, are playing for their jobs. Beasley and Timothy have had their own struggles, but they’re healthy, they’re experienced, and Clemson can’t handle any lapses on Saturday.
“David Beasley and Giff Timothy, those guys are going to get in this week,” Morris said. “They’re going to get some playing time his week through practice, and we’ll start the five we feel like practiced the best this week.
“We’d like to get Giff in a little bit more, we’d like to get David Beasley in a little bit more as well.”
3) Wide receiver Adam Humphries loves the Twitter ban on a week like this. Well, it’s not like players can’t log on to their Twitter and check out their mentions or search hashtags without actually posting anything, but Humphries won’t partake.
“We stay away from the social media stuff as much as possible. Because all of that doesn’t have a factor on the game,” Humphries said. “The only thing that matters is what happens in this building and on that practice field. I’m not going to look at Facebook or even look at anything on the Internet. I’m just going to focus on our plan to win, and we’re going to execute much as much as possible.”
4) Defensive end Vic Beasley isn’t as deadset as a guy like Sammy Watkins or Teddy Bridgewater (or even Johnny Manziel) might be. But read between the lines, and it sure sounds like barring injury or drastic dropoff, the junior’s playing his last season in Clemson before his decision to go pro or stay this winter.
“Yeah, this all came real fast. My freshman year, my years at Clemson have flown by. It’s just been a great experience for me,” Beasley said. “If I do decide to leave, I’m going to leave a legacy here. There’s going to be a lot of memories.”
5) But still, thank you Mr. Beasley, for preaching truth. The nameless, faceless thing is a nice concept, but c’mon. Doesn’t fly this week.
“Florida State’s a totally different team than South Carolina State, you know? So as a team, we’re going to be more hyped,” Beasley said. “We’re going to come into this game with a chip on our shoulder, and we’re trying to go in for the win.”
6) Wait, we’re not done. Beasley’s bookend, Corey Crawford, is just as mild-mannered and polite as Beasley, but he also evoked quiet confidence Monday.
“I feel like we’re a team that likes to prove people wrong,” Crawford said. “If people say that we’re going to lose to Florida State, that’s just putting fire on top of the fire. I’m ready for it.”
The Seminoles are favored by a field goal on Clemson’s turf. Just like Georgia was.
“Whenever somebody feels like they have to favor the other team instead of your team, when they know you’re the better team on paper or what not, it’s somewhat disrespect(ful),” Crawford said. “But that’s the glory of going out and proving people wrong.”
7) Running back Roderick McDowell needs his own talk show. Or at least just mike him up for the game. Get on this, ABC.
“I see myself as a dude that people say, oh, he’s not going to stick his nose in there,” said the 5-foot-10, 200-pound McDowell, who’s had an uneven year out of the backfield. “I may be small, but I can bring some of the little thump to me after the ball.”