Photo-realistic Death Valley replica!
Leadership Void

  by - Senior Writer - Sunday, December 29, 2013 12:42 AM

Swinney says Stephone Anthony will be one of the leaders of the defense

CLEMSON – Five days after the completion of the Orange Bowl, the Clemson coaching staff will sit down with the players that are returning next season and go over the winter schedule and expectations.

Conspicuous in their absence will be many of the team’s leaders from the past few seasons – quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

View Full Profile
, running back Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
Sumter, SC

View Full Profile
, offensive linemen Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
Gr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

View Full Profile
and Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
Gr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
Icard, NC

View Full Profile
and linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

View Full Profile
. Juniors like Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

View Full Profile
and Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

View Full Profile
– should they opt to head to the NFL – will also no longer be in the meetings.

With all of that leadership heading into new chapters in their lives, who will be the leaders of the 2014 Clemson Tigers?

“That’s always interesting to see,” Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
View Full Profile
said Friday. “I will have a team meeting the week they start back, and that is really the first time that it starts to set in that those guys (seniors) aren’t in the room anymore, and it’s a new team. There is recruiting going on, and there are mid-year guys coming in and new guys showing up. It takes a few weeks, I think, for it to start settling in and everybody to start adjusting to different roles. The guys they have been listening to are no longer there.”

Swinney said that he hopes leaders will begin to emerge once the off-season programs commence.

“Once they start to roll into that off-season program the next week, and when we get back with them and get to going on the mat drills and all that kind of stuff, that is when your football team starts to gel a little bit,” he said. “And then you carry that over into spring ball. It is a continual process. Even with this team this year – we changed drastically from January to the team we started with in August.

“Coach (Joey) Batson will have accountability teams and we will accountability leaders, and those guys will draft their teams. And it has nothing to do with football. It’s all about who they want on their team from an accountability standpoint, and we carry that all the way through the semester, whether it is academics or study hall, tutors, wearing the right things to workouts, everything counts. There is a point system, and everything counts. That is the way we develop our team within the team, and it’s kind of fun to see how all of that kind of comes together.”

I asked Swinney who he would like to see step into the leadership void, and the first name he mentioned was rising senior quarterback Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

View Full Profile

“We have a lot of guys. You want to see a guy like Cole Stoudt, who has been around here a long time, assert himself. I think he has good respect from all the players,” he said. “I think you look at the offensive line, and you have Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS So. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
Simpsonville, SC

View Full Profile
, who isn’t a senior but he is a guy that has played and established himself. He has the great respect of his teammates. You look at the linebacker position and you have Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

View Full Profile
and Tony StewardTony Steward
Jr. Linebacker
#7 6-0, 235
Hastings, FL

View Full Profile
. In the secondary, you have Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Jr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 195
Conyers, GA

View Full Profile
and Robert SmithRobert Smith
Jr. Safety
#27 5-10, 210
St. George, SC

View Full Profile
and Bashaud BreelandBashaud Breeland
RS Jr. Cornerback
#17 6-0, 195
Allendale, SC

View Full Profile

Swinney has never had a large senior class during his tenure, and he said that he was excited about how many upperclassmen he will have next season.

“We have a really good junior and sophomore group on this football team that will be juniors and seniors next year, which will be fun because we will have the largest number of upperclassmen that we have had in a while. I am excited about that, because it means you have a lot of experience on your team. This senior group next year has won a lot of ballgames. I really like where we are from an upperclassmen standpoint. We are losing some good players, good people and good leaders, but I like the group that is moving up. “

Rate this Story:
31 votes
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
    Herbstreit doesn't like Stoudt's or Clemson's chances at Georgia - 19 hours ago
    ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit thinks that Georgia’s environment and a defense helmed by former FSU defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will be too much for Clemson quarterback Cole Stoudt when Clemson and Georgia meet in the season opener in Sanford Stadium on August 30th. Photo by Dale O. Watson / US PRESSWIRE Full Story »
    Fall camp ends, Tigers turn attention to Georgia - 22 hours ago
    The last practice of fall camp was held Tuesday in Jervey Meadows, and on Thursday the Tigers will turn their full attention to Georgia. What is the latest injury news? What is happening with the kickers? Full Story »
    Peake returning at just the right time - 2 days ago
    Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake was back at practice Monday, and he said that while isn't quite back to 100 percent, his goal is to be ready and playing full speed in the season opener at Georgia later this month. Full Story »
    Venables talks position battles at safety and corner, talks Georgia run game - 2 days ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables told the media Monday that he has been pleased with his defense through the first two weeks of camp, and with a little under two weeks left until the opener is spending time evaluating the remaining position battles. What does he say about those battles? What does he say about facing Georgia's run game? Full Story »
    Jadar Johnson turning heads in the "No Fly Zone" - 3 days ago
    Sophomore safety Jadar Johnson earned praise from head coach Dabo Swinney during spring practice, and he has continued to impress during the fall. What is the difference in his game? What does he say about the competition with Jayron Kearse? Full Story »

Post your comments

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Sign Up for News Alerts
Daily Digest