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

Hey Mickey,


Hope all is well with Ryan... I would like too know who do you see being the starting running back next season? Just give me the one player you think will be the starter in your book.


Go Tigers!



I think you will see more of a running back by committee next season. Zac Brooks and DJ Howard have more experience. I like CJ Davidson and think he has a good opportunity in the spring. If Tyshon Dye is healthy he will have good shot to make a big splash. The true freshman will get a look too. But if I had to pick one guy who will make the biggest impact I am going with a sleeper and say Wayne Gallman. Gallman runs harder than any back on campus. He is violent with the ball in his hands.


I read and enjoy your articles very much!. Several weeks ago I addressed in Tiger Net the issue you raised regarding Dabo needing to mature and prepare his team before for all games but big games in particular. One would think I was the biggest , dumbest traitor in the world! I was mocked, made fun of and harassed beyond belief.

The fact is I coached in a different sport at a fairly high level and do know what I'm talking about. Dabo does need to improve in the areas you correctly pointed out. There does need to be a specific defensive and offensive game plan for every opponent with a special emphasis on the "how will we prevent player X from beating us. We may lose but we do not want player X to beat us. On offense, we need to get back to some basics--tough defense, ball control by running the ball, keep the flair of some trickery and coach to out muscle the opposition and make them succumb to our will, not the other way around. Today there was an thread about recruiting to which I responded under "tiger james " with a program that will work--with refinements of course. We need to expand our horizons and get more looks at 4's and 5's to have more come to us. It really is a sales game--plain and simple. I may not know much in life, but I spent over 40 years in very high level sales in a variety of capacities and I do know this: Nothing happens until someone sells something! I enjoy your work on Tiger Net and your radio program. Keep the faith and much luck.




Thanks for the email. I can assure you that if any talk show host, blogger, internet poster, tweeter or fan has ever thought of a play, game plan or aspect of the program that might make a difference, then a coaching staff has already thought about the same solution. These college staffs have trained for many years at their trade. They meet for hours and hours and have covered every aspect of their programs. Their recruiting strategies are also covered with extensive hours of planning. Winning and losing programs are not due to a lack of thought or planning. Its not that simple. I agree on the sales end. This is a people business and these coaches sell themselves and their programs every day.

Dear Mickey,

I just finished watching The Clemson Furman Basketball Game on ESPN 3 and I am  appalled that the Broadcast Team has been interrupting live action with replays of every offense score as a slick way to slip as much advertising as possible into the game. I counted 32 occasions where live play was interrupted, totaling over 5 minutes of the game not being shown. If I were a Furman fan, I would furious as it all occurred during their offensive possessions. I understand that advertising is an important way from the program to generate revenue,. especially with facility enhancements on the horizon. However, we have a  responsibility to the fans of both teams to cover the game in its entirety and not disrupt the flow of the game. This has been going on all season , as I am sure it will again for the remainder of the non conference schedule. In short, I was wondering if you could pass this on to the your contacts within the Athletic depart, or provide an email and phone number for those in the AD that are responsible. If this were to continue in league play, I can assure you that the fans of opposing teams would light up John Swofford's email and heads would roll. I doubt I am alone on this as many other fans have complained on the message boards about this new advertising format.

All that aside, Thanks you for the wonderful work you do on Tigernet and I always look forward to reading you blog.




I have never watched a game on ESPN 3 but I think the one you are referencing was an in-house production. I would forward your concerns to the athletic department. Dan Radakovich's email address is I know he spends a lot of time answering his emails and might be able to provide better answers.


Someone last in last week's email was spot on in my opinion regarding the SC loss, and you disagreed. He says that all this "Clemson beating Clemson" is garbage. I agree.We didn't just lay the ball on the ground.In five of those six turnovers, it was taken from us by good defensive play, and the strip of Tajh was a great defensive play.I also agreed with him about this game having become "mental" with at least part of the staff, mainly Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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, and maybe Dabo too. You do not call that trick play on the games opening drive, after having taken it straight down the field, having them on their heels, and the crowd already almost quiet. Tajh seemed to be in a rhythm, which has always been very important for getting him going in games, and Hot Rod seemed like he couldn't be stopped. Why let Sammy throw it there? I, too think it shows little confidence in the offense being able to finish the drive. My question is concerns all the turnovers. What is the thing you do to fix it? What is the cause of this team turning into a turnover machine in the two biggest games of the year? Yes, I know the Ga one was big, and we didn't self destruct in that one, and I have not forgotten. This seemed tilt start on the first play of the FSU game. Is it strength and conditioning?



The trick play issue is something that can be seen from both sides of the rivalry. Clemson's trick play failed. South Carolina's went for a touchdown. Trick plays are great when they work. I don't see how strength and conditioning have anything to do with Martavis Bryant running into the punt returner or how strength and conditioning has anything to do with a quarterback throwing interceptions.

Mickey, wanted to see if you could give me an update on recruiting, as I am starting to get a bit worried.  We have a strong class coming, but are seeing these bigger names escaping us with some recent announcements.  We are clearly in the mix, but are not closing the deal.  Given the notoriety of the program, I would like to think we can start landing some of these players, especially if we are going to keep up with the likes of FSU.  Can you give some idea as far as what we can expect?






Tennessee did a great job on Josh Malone Josh Malone
Wide Receiver
6-5, 190
Gallatin, TN

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. He was an in-state kid and their staff sold him on staying close to home. Raekwon McMillan Raekwon McMillan
6-3, 235
Hinesville, GA

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was a national recruit that chose one of the nation's top programs in Ohio State. When you compete for five star players, you have to beat the best. Ohio State did not get to be a great program by losing five stars. The reason Clemson has been in the top 10 in many polls the last three years is the fact that Clemson has landed some of these type of players. Sammy Watkins, Tajh Boyd, and Nuk Hopkins. They have in the past with players like DaQuan Bowers and CJ Spiller. And they will in the future with players like Deshaun Watson Deshaun Watson
6-3, 190
Gainesville, GA

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. I would expect Clemson to continue to recruit in the top 10-15 in the next few cycles and I expect Clemson to stay in the top 15 in the polls as a result.

Hello: Another great article. My 2 cents worth. We live in tough times economically and I think the major problem is money. Pretty darn expensive after a full season of home and some away games.

Second, there simply are far too many bowls. Teams with .500 records are rewarded with a bowl? Give me a break. Just another sample of the people in this country settling for mediocrity.   Bowls should be a reward for outstanding achievement not a mediocre year.

What concerns me is exactly what NASCAR did---.they overplayed their hand relating to "overcharging" their fans and then the bottom fell out. Getting those fans back is a MOST DIFFICULT thing  and they continue to pay the price. I love college football and the  Tigers specifically. Fact is the concession prices are far too high, tickets can be out of sight depending on the game, and then the travel costs. I would prefer 8-10 bowls which would cover basically the top 20 teams. Hope all is well with you and yours and Merry Christmas to you.



I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas! I agree on the NASCAR topic. NASCAR should be a warning to all major sports. They are give us the example of how not to expand. They are a great example of how they left many fans behind.


I didn't get to hear the radio show, but wanted to offer my $.02 worth on attendance in general. I blame the NCAA and television as much as anything.

I have enjoyed Saturdays at Clemson most of my life, for years I tried to get to at least one road game each year, plus the bowl. The tiger's record didn't matter, the game before didn't matter- its just what you did, and I loved it. 

Now, I get frustrated sitting through what seems like 10 minute commercial breaks after driving 2 1/2 hours down and facing a 2 1/2 hour drive back. Really frustrated. The NCAA has made it clear, it's about the money. I'm a capitalist, so that's not a problem in general, but that makes it about entertainment value for me- and everybody else- as well. By making college football a game for television at the expense of the spectator moves me from the bleacher to the easy chair. I'm simply responding as the NCAA has suggested that I should. 

Granted, there is a lot more to it than that, especially for the bowl... expense, time, etc as you covered- including the crappy seats if you get through the school rather than what you can purchase through the secondary markets. But I'm convinced that most fans do not find the game as much fun in person as we used to. I understand the dynamics of money at play, and recognize that it will only get worse.

Have a good trip- I'll be watching every minute in Hi-Def. Go Tigers!



I understand your points but I still enjoy going to the games more than watching them on TV. I may be in the minority but I enjoy the complete game experience more.


The reason I don't go to the games is that my wife refuses to go, period. She would rather stay home. Yeah, I know, I can get together with some friends and drive down to Miami or Tampa or Orlando without her, but I truly LIKE my wife and I like spending time with her. For the first time in our 28 years of marriage, she is really getting into football. She can tell me who the various players on several teams are, who the coaches are, what signals the refs use are, why Jessie Palmer sucks, and she learned all of that this year. Trust me, if I could get her to go to the games, get her to feel the excitement, she would probably be hooked. She says if I win the lottery and buy a box, she MIGHT consider going. But until then, I am homeward bound.

Thanks, and y'all have a Merry Christmas!!!



When I read the first sentence of your email my first response was to give you email addresses of divorce attorneys. Then I read the rest of the email. I am happy that you found your soulmate and I hope you guys have a great Christmas!



My wife and I froze while watching our most recent experience in the Orange Bowl. But being the loyal fans that we have been since the 1960s we stayed until the very bitter end, and indeed it was bitter. I think we have a much better chance to win this year’s Orange Bowl vs OSU. We also were present at the ’78 Gator to witness Woody’s punch, but I digress.


Last week Sammy said that the difference between this year’s Orange Bowl prep and the WVa debacle is that the team will be allowed to “have fun” while prepping for this Orange Bowl. We were at the ‘82 Orange Bowl and I don’t recall Danny’s team having “fun” while in route to Miami.  I seem to recall that they stopped in New Smyrna Beach for a week to practice & “get acclimated.” Their prep showed on Nebraska’s first possession when our defense caused a fumble which we recovered. We then scored and never trailed.


Question- Did Dabo let the team have “fun” in prepping for the Chick Fil A Bowl? Is that why we beat LSU or was it LM’s dumb passes with little time on the clock?


Seriously, does Dabo now have a bowl prep formula that he used last year that he will use this year or is each team/year different?


Love our Tigers and our coaching staff.


Go Tigers!




Coach Ford had great bowl success but things have changed in bowl preparation. Teams work at home for a few days then meet at the bowl site. No one goes away for two weeks anymore. Dabo and most staffs talk to other staffs and share ideas on bowl preparation. Dabo has studied the most successful bowl teams and has copied what most of those teams do in terms of how much they practice, how often they wear pads and how physical they approach the bowl preparation.

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