Thursday Thoughts

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Thursday Thoughts


A department head at Clemson, who has been teaching there for over 25 years, taught me a valuable lesson a couple of years ago.  He said he loved his students and never gave up on any of them.  He said that when dealing with young people you have to understand that they mature at different rates.  He said that some are ready for success earlier than others but you can never give up on any kid because most eventually will come around.

I use this all of the time when evaluating athletes.   Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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

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are great examples of this.  

Jarrett came from a family with an NFL background.  He understood what it meant to work hard and to handle your business off of the field.  He understood sacrifice and was mature enough to have goals in mind and how to get to where he wanted to go.

Beasley was an immature player as a freshman.   Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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says he was a joker and a silly young man.  In fact, Swinney said this week that in the spring, before Beasley's sophomore season, that he wrote a personal note to himself about Beasley that read, "Can't win with him."

In time Beasley matured.  He bought into the program.  He discovered what it took to compete in the off-season.  Like Jarrett, he realized his goals and began to understand what it took to get there.  

The result in the 2013 season is, perhaps, the nation's top defensive tackle and defensive end combination in the country.  On the TV broadcast Saturday, Chris Spielman said Jarrett is the best defensive tackle he has seen on film or in person all season.  Beasley leads the country in sacks.  They got there in different ways, but this combination has been the most productive in the country.

Early Entry

Most believe Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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is almost a sure bet to leave school early and enter the NFL draft.  Watkins has not commented on the subject but he is projected by many as a first round pick and most believe Watkins will not be around next season.

Others will have a big decision to make.  Because of their sensational junior seasons, Beasley and Jarrett may have to make big choices.  Both have size issues.  Beasley is undersized as a 4-3 defensive end and may move to an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.  His speed and power remind me of former Texas A&M and current Broncos star Von Miller.  Jarrett is short but plays with great leverage.  His height might turn some away but his production more than makes up for that.

I don’t think Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC

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is anywhere near ready for the NFL, but if he decided to leave he would test well at the NFL Combine.  

The only two juniors, besides Watkins, that would have a chance to leave early in my opinion are Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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

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.  Both are having terrific junior seasons, but both would benefit from a senior year in my mind.

The Freshmen

The future appears really bright due to the freshmen and red-shirt freshmen classes.   Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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has shown some signs despite coming off of a torn ACL.   Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
Elberton, GA

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and Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
Fr. Running Back
#9 6-1, 195
Loganville, GA

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are red-shirting, but both impressed during fall camp at running back.   Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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looks like a future superstar at wide receiver and TJ Green looks like a player that can develop.  Like Williams, Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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looks like a star at tight end.  On the offensive line we have seen good play from Jay GuillermoJay Guillermo
RS Fr. Center
#57 6-2, 290
Maryville, TN

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and I hear great things from Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
Fr. Offensive Line
#55 6-2, 325
Marston, NC

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On the defensive line it didn't take Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Fr. Defensive End
#90 6-4, 260
Central, SC

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long to make a big impact.  He has a huge upside.  The staff has not seen a lot of Scott PaganoScott Pagano
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 280
Honolulu, HI

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due to his injury but they were impressed with his maturity.  At linebacker, Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Fr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-1, 230
Anderson, SC

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made a nice impression early and has a good future.  Three red-shirts at corner have big futures in MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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, Marcus Edmonds and Adrian BakerAdrian Baker
Fr. Cornerback
#21 6-1, 170
Hollywood, FL

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.  We have already seen some good stuff from both Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
Fr. Safety
#20 6-4, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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and Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Fr. Defensive Back
#12 6-1, 185
Durham, NC

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Home Sweet Home

The Tigers enjoy one of the best home field advantages in the country.  Clemson has won 16 of the last 17 home games and 25 of its last 27.

The next step for the program was to take that success on the road and in neutral site games.  Clemson has now won seven of its last eight games away from Death Valley.

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, 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, 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, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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