Happy Thanksgiving, Clemson Style


by - Senior Writer -
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Thank you to all of the readers of TigerNet. We hope you have a great Thanksgiving! (Mark Mcinnis)

Another Thanksgiving hopefully means a lot of time spent with friends and family, with some good food and great football thrown in for good measure.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, and in football terms that means rivalry week, championship games, bowl selections and the bowl games themselves. Once that’s all settled in early January, the NFL will dominate the consciousness of football fans everywhere, ending with the Super Bowl a month later.

However, it’s still Thanksgiving. And while I hope you all put down the tablets and phones and spend time with your parents, your siblings, your wife or husband or significant other, your children and extended family and friends I know you might take a peek at TigerNet to see if anything is new.

With that in mind, I thought I would take few minutes to write down some of the Clemson things I am thankful for.

I Am Thankful……

*For a place like Clemson, where I can go to work and cover a little football and interact with the best college fans in the United States. However, all you have to do is walk across the street from Death Valley and visit Clemson’s Scroll of Honor to realize that everything we do and the liberties we have are because brave men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice. It’s great that Clemson honors those sacrifices.

*For the chance to see the beginning of a great career in Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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, and it happened in the same year we said goodbye to Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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. Getting to cover Boyd and Watkins was a distinct pleasure, and being able to see every single one of their games in person was something I will never forget. My greatest memory? The show that Sammy put on in the Orange Bowl in January, and seeing the faces of those two young men in the tunnel outside of the locker rooms after the game. Every time a special player leaves, you wonder when that next special kid is going to walk through the door. He did, and his name is Deshaun. Injuries have marred his freshman season, but this kid is going to be good. Really good. Unlike Sammy and C.J., don’t wait until the end of his career to appreciate this special talent.

Add in other special talents like Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
RS Fr. Running Back
#23 5-11, 214
Elberton, GA

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, MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Cornerback
#2 5-11, 190
Immokalee, FL

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and Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 190
Oldsmar, FL

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and a bevy of linemen and playmakers that will come in this January, the future is bright.

*For the chance to see a dominant defense patrolling Death Valley once again. It’s been a long time since Clemson fans have seen a defense this dominant, and the Tigers head into the regular season finale ranked number one nationally. That front seven – as we’ve said all along – is legit. I’ve seen them do big things against good running teams in Florida St., Boston College and Georgia Tech. Do they have another great week in them? I think they do…..I’ve seen more tackles for loss over the last two seasons than I probably saw in the previous four or five. This group is just fun to watch, and it’s fun to watch Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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coach those guys up.

*That I got to see Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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play. Seeing this young man mature and turn into an elite level player over the last four seasons has been fun to watch. No. 50 isn’t usually the player the fans go to the games to see, but I tend to watch him on every snap. He’s good, and since the end of last season he’s been unblockable. The fact that he occupies two and sometimes three blockers means that Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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and the other linebackers are free to make plays. Take time Saturday to watch 50 do work…you won’t be disappointed.

*For the chance to see another game in Death Valley Saturday. Every game is special, and I can’t believe that fans stayed away last week or gave tickets away because they didn’t like a certain player or the coaches’ decisions. Seeing a game at Clemson goes beyond those petty things, and we wait during the longer winter months and the heat of summer for those special chances to see the Tigers run down the hill. Saturday is the last time this year. The next time we get to see that on a real game day (not the spring game)? 280 days. Show up and be loud and leave it all in the stands. The next time the stadium hosts a real game – on Sept. 5th, 2015 against Wofford – there will be a new press box, an oculus and several improvements.

*That this is the last season of Littlejohn as we know it. Littlejohn is old and tired and really doesn’t have the same wow factor as the facilities as other schools in the ACC. Clemson doesn’t have the storied tradition of Duke, which plays in a band box called Cameron Indoor Stadium, so having something to recruit to is at a premium right now. In the new-look ACC, it would be nice for the Tigers to be able to compete across the board in all sports, not just football.

*Finally, I am thankful for all of the readers of TigerNet. Without you, we don’t get to do what we do. Enjoy your families and friends today, but before you do just know that we thank you for being readers and for your support. Happy Thanksgiving, and here is a toast to what I hope is the beginning of a fun five weeks or so.

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