Friday Email Bag

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Friday Email Bag

Each Friday I publish your comments and answer your questions.  To submit a comment or questions please email me at


Me and you have a lot in common: we're the same age, grew up on nasty Clemson D and we both are from the home of the Chickens: Columbia.

I think that the biggest issue we've had on defense is the lack of ballhawking instinctive playmakers in the secondary.  Our LB's have some talent issues and our DL is young, but our DB's are not populated with the type of instinctive football players who, combined with speed and athleticism, can create turnovers.  I'm not just talking INT's here, but causing fumbles with big hits and deflections that are picked.  It seems that for several years we've had a secondary who are patrolling their area and making tackles after completions and, without great QB pressure, are giving up yardage in chunks.  

Having said that, Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
#11 6-1, 190
Tallahassee, FL

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looks like the type of instinctive football player who really is a football player who happens to be a DB, not a DB who is just a specialist.   Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
Jr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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is another ballhawk type.  I really hope that we recruit more of those types who can be developed as true DB's but they already possess field awareness and instincts to where the scheme doesn't slow them down.  

A healthy Steward looks like he can be that guy too because when he has a straight line route to a ball carrier he has that X factor body language like a predator going for the kill.  We used to always have those guys in the secondary and at LB, even at corner: Delton Hall, Underwood, Dexter Davis, Miller, etc..  Our DL is young but i think they will develop into a group that will bring back memories of Stuckey, Jeff Bryant, Michael Dean, etc.....maybe not all as good, but the type of guys who slice into the backfield on almost every play.  

Venables is the man for the job, i'm we just have to give the guy the chance to coach and develop.  I'm tired of seeing the Kavell Connor's and others who have NFL careers but were almost afterthoughts at Clemson because a lack of development.  I think that BV and the other D coaches will do some great things if we give them the time to do so.  I worry about him and Coach Morris bolting for other jobs but at least the coaching staff is set a standard of quality that i really think might be unmatched in Clemson history from top to bottom.  

On another note, I TOTALLY agree with you that Orange helmets, Purple jerseys and White pants are the best uni we have.  I think it should be our only home uniform, actually,  It's about time we Clemson folks realize that our school colors ARE Orange and Purple and always have been.  They never will be Orange and White and even worse, Orange and Navy Blue.  Thanks for all that you do, brother.  I've been in the trenches with the Tigers since '77 when i went to the ND game in DV and i'm proud to be a Tiger from Columbia.  I know you know the feeling.


GySgt T. A. D'Alesandro USMC


Thanks for your service to our country and please pass along our gratitude to all of those you serve with. My college roommate's son just joined the Marine Corps and he is so proud. Also know that we are all so proud of what you guys do every day!

I have felt all along that our secondary is my biggest concern on this football team. With the way offenses spread the field, you have to have playmakers and the Tigers have major issues in the secondary.

I do agree that Blanks has a tremendous future and should develop into a terrific player. Steward is another guy that will be a much better player down the road. I also agree with you about Venables. He is a very good football coach.

Finally thanks for the football memories. It's always nice to reminisce about some of the great Tigers of the past!

Thanks again for everything!


Ever since Dabo called you into his office, you've become a homer for the coaches.

You give them a pass on the defensive woes saying their track record speaks for themselves.  Then, answer me this.  Why does this staff recruit these no talent kids to come to Clemson?  If this is purely a talent issue, then why do they recruit kids that can not play?  Why do most have offers to SC, FSU, or other schools?

The defense is not even average.  Development is not happening.  Strength and conditioning remains very weak.

Deny all you want, but most of this IS the responsibility of the coaching staff from recruiting to player development to product on the field.  Sometimes a kid doesn't pan out for various reasons, but when your entire 2 deep is inept, that is an indictment on the coaches and their evaluation process.

I personally reject the "no talent" angle.  If that's true, then why are they at Clemson in the first place?



They recruited those guys because everyone else did also. Most of those guys were four star players. There are a bunch of reasons they have not played well and there is enough blame to go around. Hall is playing on one and a half knees. Several of the guys did not qualify. Adams gave up football after knee surgery for track. Sometimes the player development is on the player too. Sometimes it is on the coach. But go back and look at the players Charlie HarbisonCharlie Harbison
Defensive Backs
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has put in the NFL. There is enough blame to go around.

BTW-Since I got called into Dabo's office the Tigers are 14-5 with an ACC title.


Assuming we win, if the right teams lose, we could be back in the top 10.  But, will we move ahead of the GA/SC loser?  Or will the SEC bias kick in?  Our only loss was to the #4 team, and their loss would be to a #5 or #6 team. 

Chad from Tooter Town


There is an SEC bias. Make no mistake about that. Remember Clemson was 10th when it lost and the loser of the USC-GA game is 5th or 6th. A lot will depend on how the game turns out. It would help if it were a decisive margin of victory. Usually teams drop between seven and ten places depending on who they lose to and the point margin.


Good luck on Ryan's Foundation. I heard you on the radio but had to get out of the car and didn't get a chance to hear all of the details. What can I do to help? Good Luck!



Thanks for listening and inquiring. We are playing a 100-hole golf marathon on October 15th at Carolina Springs Golf Course in Fountain Inn, SC. We will have a party after the event from 7-10 at the clubhouse. All are invited to kick off the Ryan Harless Foundation. You can make any size gift if you would like to contribute. On our website there is a way to donate a dime, quarter, fifty cents, a dollar a hole or any amount. The website has all of the information about where the money goes and our mission. Thanks again for inquiring.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

Prayer List

We have started a prayer list on the blog. Here are the guidelines:

If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance. The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at

*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.

Those who need our prayers include:Finn Brookover, Mary-Louise Pawlowski (John's daughter), Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S, Daniel Rosborough, The Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Ethel Southard, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L, Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs,Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys", Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas. V Family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers,Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr, Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Billy McLeroy, Gary G, William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Travis Patterson, Nick Chrisley, Bud Long, Arthur R. Cressman Sr, Jennifer Chancy, Eden Chandler, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins.

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