|A Big, Physical Football Team|
|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:15 AM||
A Big, Physical Football Team
This football team looks different.
It is what my eyes tell me. It is also what I keep hearing from people who go to practice on a regular basis. This is a big, strong, physical football team.
I know Clemson fans don't want to hear this, but part of the reason why South Carolina has played so well in the last three seasons is the Gamecocks have been a big, strong, physical football team. This is what you see in the Georgias, South Carolinas, LSUs, and Alabamas of the sport.
I was visiting with a former college coach this summer and asked him about the Chick-fil-a Bowl. He said the difference in the game was the coaching. He said Clemson has a superior staff to LSU. He also said that the quarterback was superior in Clemson's favor. He was extremely impressed with Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
View Full Profile from a physical and mental toughness standpoint. He also mentioned Nuk Hopkins as being a difference maker and it was obvious in that game.
The former coach said LSU still with better in the secondary and it came as no surprise to me. He did mention that LSU's lines of scrimmage were better, but Clemson competed hard and the gap was not that wide. That little of a gap was the biggest surprise to me.
I began thinking about this the other day. The gap between one of the top two or three lines of scrimmage in the country and Clemson has been closed and I think it will continue to close.
Years ago Tommy Bowden and Clemson's linebacker coach David Blackwell went out to visit an Oklahoma practice. Blackwell told me that the biggest difference in Oklahoma's program and Clemson's program was the number of big bodies.
I have friends close to the Alabama program that have seen both teams and they say that is still the biggest difference between the nation's best program and Clemson. The Tigers' skill guys are every bit as good, if not better. However the big bodies and the number big bodies are still in Alabama favor.
Once again, that gap is closing. This season features a bunch of big bodies that have experience. Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Jr. Defensive End
#9 6-3, 270
View Full Profile played 232 snaps last season and has changed his body. Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Jr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 270
View Full Profile played 575 snaps last season and looks at a breakout season this year. Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
So. Defensive Tackle
#98 6-4, 280
View Full Profile is inexperienced with only 87 plays last season, but his body looks like that of an SEC defensive end. Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
View Full Profile was the co-defensive MVP last season and had 512 plays under his belt coming into this season. Jarrett is short but looks like a SEC defensive tackle. DJ Reader played 236 plays as a true freshman and looks the part of the future NFL defensive tackle. Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
So. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 300
View Full Profile is a former four star who played 113 plays as a true freshman. Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 285
View Full Profile is a bench press monster that played 461 snaps last year. DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 285
View Full Profile played 370 snaps this past year and looks to be in the best shape of his life.
This goes for the offensive line as well. The Tigers return four starters of its offensive line and it seems to have more depth this season. There is competition every day. There's competition at left tackle between Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
Gr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
View Full Profile, Eric MacLain and Isaiah BattleIsaiah Battle
So. Offensive Tackle
#79 6-6, 280
View Full Profile. There's competition at right tackle between Gif Timothy, Joe GoreJoe Gore
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#73 6-4, 275
Lake Waccamaw, NC
View Full Profile and Shaq AnthonyShaq Anthony
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#76 6-3, 265
View Full Profile. There is a major competition at left guard between David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
View Full Profile and Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
View Full Profile. There is competition at center to see takes over for Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
#55 6-5, 265
View Full Profile between Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS So. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
View Full Profile and Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS Fr. Center
#57 6-2, 290
View Full Profile.
This is a big, physical offensive line and I think it will lead to a more physical football team on this side of the ball as well.
Everyone talks about SEC speed, but the real difference is SEC power. It is not a coincidence that LSU, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia were the top teams in the league the last couple of seasons. Those were big, strong, physical football teams.
For the first time in many years this Clemson program looks like that and looks to be getting bigger and stronger in the future. This program has had brutal practices dating back to the bowl game last year, and it has continued through the spring and into fall camp.
In summary, this is part of the vision that Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
View Full Profile has had. He was on the sidelines in the Georgia Dome in 2008 and he saw the physical dominance of Alabama. He has seen what South Carolina has built on its front seven. That is the blueprint that is in place in Clemson. I don't know if Clemson will beat Georgia, but I do know that this team will look different when it steps on the field Saturday night August 31st at 8 o'clock.
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#98 6-2, 310
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