Chat Transcript: David Blackwell

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Question: What has allowed Leroy Hill to be such a big surprise this year and what parts of his game does he need to work on the most?

Answer: He has great instincts. I would like for him to get bigger and stronger in the offseason so he can play better at the point of attack.

Question: Looking forward to next year, who will the Leaders/ motivators on D be?

Answer: Leroy Hill, Eric Coleman, Mo Fountain, Travis Pugh, Justin Miller

Question: What does CU have to do to turn the corner?

Answer: Keep recruiting

Question: Who is the surprise player of the year?

Answer: Travis Pugh and Leroy Hill

Question: Are CU fans the best in the world or what?

Answer: We have great fans, very passionate.

Question: Coach--were we out "physicalled" by Wake or did you think it was scheme or ???? Thanks!

Answer: We just did not play well.

Question: Is the weather here warmer than Pittsburgh?

Answer: yes

Question: If you weren't coaching what would you be doing for a living?

Answer: Running a

Question: Who is the best recruiter you have gone up against?

Answer: Doc Holiday from NCSU

Question: Do you actually have a copy of "The Fax?"

Answer: No

Question: Does Anthony Waters have the potential to be a 1st team All-ACC LB?

Answer: He has a lot of work to do to reach that level.

Question: I've heard good things about Nick Watkins. Is he possibly the biggest surprise out of last year's class?

Answer: We expect great things out of Nick. I think people will be surprised by the whole class.

Question: I am sure the staff will recruit the best players available at each position but at this point in the recruiting game what is your numbers breakdown per position?

Answer: Would rather not say

Question: So, can you put to bed the rumor once and for all that no meeting took place this week between TDP and Tommy

Answer: Not that we are aware of.

Question: Do you think the players were thinking to much last week and not just "playing"

Answer: A lot of things went into last week's game. Hopefully we can get them corrected for this week's game.

Question: First of all, great job on the linebackers this year. They look much improved. Wonder if you can give some insight on the rush defense problem over the past 2 games. Do you have a good handle on how to correct any mistakes that might have been occuring? Good luck tomorrow.

Answer: We have a very good handle on what we need to correct. In the UNC missed tackles cost us over 200 yards in rushing. In last week's game we just really played poorly in all phases.

Question: Do wish the athletic department had a better public relations presence? It seems like we get a good bit of news like the recent graduation numbers and nothing is really made of it.

Answer: I think you always want as much positive press as you can get but I am a believer you make your own positive press.

Question: Great job coming in and giving spark to the linebackers....what is the key to bringing the good talent in state this year to Clemson?

Answer: A lot of factors figure in. The main one is we need to win games.

Question: Who wins this weekend - Pittsburgh or Virginia Tech?

Answer: Pitt - 3rd year in a row

Question: It seems there are times when our guys are focused more on big hits and they fail to wrap up. What's the best way to correct that?

Answer: Physical practices

Question: Will breaking ground this year on the 45 Million Dollar upgrades show recruits that the commitment is real and that it is more than just a drawing?

Answer: No question.

Question: it "APPEARS" to the fans that miller has gained weight--and "may" have lost a bit of speed in his game--do u see it that way ?

Answer: No. Justin has not had very many opportunities to make plays becasue of that when he has given up plays it shows up more.

Question: What have you enjoyed most about Clemson thus far?

Answer: The people.

Question: Which coaches have had the greatest influence on your career?

Answer: Larry Coyer - Denver Broncos DC

Question: Are folks double teaming our DL less to get a blocker on Hill now?

Answer: Sometimes

Question: How frustrating is the fickleness of college football fans today?

Answer: It's their right. You are glad they care.

Question: First off, great to have you here at Clemson! Who are some of the freshman who are being red-shirted that might have a big impact the next few years?

Answer: Kuam Williams, Nick Watkins, CJ Gaddis, Roy Walker

Question: When you actually get a little bit of free time what do you like to do....hobbies?

Answer: What free time?

Question: Coach, great to see you back in the upstate, How did you come to the attention of Clemson? Did you contact our staff, or did they call you?

Answer: Rick Stockstill and I are very good friends. He initiated contact.

Question: Is there sense of urgency in the program that's translating to greater intensity this week in practice?

Answer: It's a big game there is always a sense of urgency for big games.

Question: What is the toughest aspect of recruiting?

Answer: The fickleness of 18 year olds

Question: What has happened to our tackling? We started out tackling pretty well, but the last two games have not been good.

Answer: We are pressing too much and losing focus on our fundamentals.

Question: Which, if any, special teams units are you involved with?

Answer: Kickoff coverage and punt block.

Question: Why did you come to Clemson?

Answer: I feel it has potential to be one of the top 10 jobs in the country.

Question: Do you ever play EA NCAA College Football 2004 on the Playstation or Xbox?

Answer: Yes. Playstation.

Question: Coach, you represent the University well...thanks to you and the staff, keep your head up focus on improvement and this staff and Coach Bowden will be successful at Clemson University. Thanks Again

Answer: Thank you.

Question: which program in the ACC is Boston College most similar?

Answer: UVa.

Question: How can we stop Florida State from scoring tomorrow night?

Answer: Put a road block in front of their

Question: Is there an ongoing effort to try and get former players more involved with the program?

Answer: Yes, Jeff Davis does a great job with that.

Question: Do you think L. Hill will be an All ACC LB at the end of the season?

Answer: He needs to finish strong.

Question: Can John Leake make it on the next level?

Answer: He has potential.

Question: Is speed more important that ever?

Answer: Yes

Question: What is your favorite uniform combo of the Tigers?

Answer: Orange jerseys and White pants

Question: Will purple be more prominent in the uniform combo tomorrow night?

Answer: I have no idea.

Question: What do you have to battle the most when recruiting (in terms of what folks say about Clemson)?

Answer: Job security and nothing to do in Clemson.

Question: How many true Div I prospects do you estimate SC produces yearly on average today?

Answer: 15 to 20

Question: Let's talk about landscape. How much has it really changed?

Answer: Tremendously with all the TV coverage and the internet everything is public.

Question: What's your favorite brand of music, Bocephus? :)

Answer: Heavy metal and country and regaee

Question: What does it have to do to reach that "top ten" job potential?

Answer: We have an administration with a great vision to reach that goal.

Question: Let's please tackle Greg Jones this year!

Answer: I'm with you!

Question: What do you think drives the mind of 18 year olds now? Winning, playing time, facilities, or more to do in their free time?

Answer: Winning and facilities.

Question: How do you compare where we are now to what you had at Pittsburgh? Close or do we have a ways to go?

Answer: Close. The ACC has more depth in the conference. The middle of the pack teams are much more competitive.

Question: You remind a lot of people of a young Tommy West. Has anyone ever mentioned that to you?

Answer: Yes and Butch Davis

Question: Seems like Coach Lovett is hitting NJ pretty hard in recruiting this year.

Answer: We are trying to branch back in that area.

Question: Where do you like to hang out in Clemson, besides work and home?

Answer: Death Valley

Question: Can you give some insight on how adjustments are derived at halftime? Do you have a basic set of defensive formations and the flexibility within those to target certain 1st half playmakers/plays? Is this philosophy taught or do you simply have the defender shift by keying off of formations or signals?

Answer: You have 15 minutes at halftime. You have to be careful not to do too much.

Question: If I remember correctly, Pitt just finished or is in the process of finishing off a tremendous upgrade of its facilities. How big of a role did that play in recruiting and is that one of the reason Pitt has returned to being a pretty good football team?

Answer: It definately upgraded our recruiting when you spend 33 million dollars on a facility you expect to get results.

Question: If you were a DC, what kind of style would you prefer? A style like Lovett's or like Herring who blitzed a ton?

Answer: Somewhere in the middle.

Question: You ever eat at Mac's?

Answer: Yes

Question: Are you going to keep on donating to the ECU alumni fund if Stock doesn't get things turned around up there?

Answer: Yes I believe at supposting my alma mater at all

Question: Will we go after a punt this year?

Answer: We have been

Question: Coach, love your intensity and work ethic. Hope you're in Tiger Town for a very long time!

Answer: I would love to be here for a long time.

Question: How do the majority of the players feel about the coaching staff?

Answer: Ask them. We feel comfortable with the way they feel about us.

Question: Where did you go to high school in G-ville? Graduation Year?

Answer: Berea - 1989

Question: Since you are a Berea alum (Im a Devildog), how much do yall recruit/ pay attention to Greenville County when it comes to recruiting? How is the talent level there compared to other places you have been? Thanks and good luck tomorrow!

Answer: Good talent,we always pay attention to local recruiting.

Question: How is recruiting going this year for you?

Answer: Good so far but too early to tell.

Question: Do you miss anything about Pittsburgh - the city? If so, what?

Answer: A lot to do.

Question: Do you think all coaches on a staff should be strong recruiters?

Answer: Yes

Question: Do you prefer to being on the field rather than in the box?

Answer: On the field

Question: Hey David! Just wanted to say I have been very impressed with your recruiting ability. Was some big shoes to fill taking Rick Stockstills spot but you have done it! What direction do you see our recruiting going right now and do you feel like we have a top 20 class coming for 2004? Also are we narrowing the gap on our SC recruits as far as keeping them in state? Like I said I have been very impressed so far and keep up the great work! GO TIGERS!

Answer: We are working extremely hard on recruiting. You really will not know till February what you will get.

Question: How well do you know Anthony Downs? What is he up to?

Answer: My brother knows him very well. He coached him. I believe he lives in Florida.

Question: How is the mood of the team right now?

Answer: Ready to play

Question: Have you met Coach Ford since you moved back to the Upstate?

Answer: Yes. I've known Coach Ford since I was very young.

Question: Did you watch the Ark./Coot game last night? If so, thoughts?

Answer: Saw some of it. Ark looked good.

Question: How do you shake up the mindset of a team after such a thorough defeat as occurred last week? Tough practices? Yelling?

Answer: You would hope that they would be self motivated after such a defeat.

Question: In hindsight, did the NCST loss bother us more than it appeared? We clearly should have won that game.

Answer: Hard to say

Question: Who is your favorite all-time Tiger? Do you have one?

Answer: Rob Bodine, Ty Granger

Question: Are we ready to beat the Seminoles?

Answer: Hopefully

Question: Whats the keys for tomorrows game?

Answer: Eliminate big plays and stop the run.

Question: What is the game day schedule for a 7:45 game?

Answer: 10:30 special teams meeting, 11:30 Def meeting, 3:13 chapel, 3:45 pre game meal, 5:15 team leaves for stadium, coaches at office at 4 to see recruits

Question: Ultimately are you looking at a HC position or would you prefer a coordinator role?

Answer: I would always love to be a head coach but next step is probably coordinator.

Question: Where is Bodine now? You know?

Answer: Don't know

Question: Because he is such an unbelievable athlete, does J.J. Howard still have a shot a being picked up as a free agent at some point in the future?

Answer: Yes

Question: How many recruits will we have in tomorrow?

Answer: between 85 and 100

Question: Is there any thought of getting Jasmin more touches?

Answer: I have no idea.

Question: Do the players understand that the fans boo the pitiful officiating crews we get thrown from the ACC... not the players?

Answer: Yes

Question: Looks like our big recruiting weekend will be Jan you feel like that's too early since it gives the guys time for other visits and the other schools can destroy any progress we've made and flip a recruit?

Answer: No, it should be a good weekend for us.

Question: Do you think that high school football players should be able to sign a letter of intent early, as is the case for other sports?

Answer: It would be hard because of our season.

Question: Of the 85 to 100 recruits we expect to have in, how many can you reasonably attempt to speak to on a one-on-one basis?

Answer: Most if not all. Just have to keep busy and move around a lot.

Question: Coach- do yall have some special plans to rattle Rix tommorrow?

Answer: Yes

Question: What position does Watkins project to? Leake's or Hill's?

Answer: Either

Question: Didn't you have a brother that coached at Camden High? Where is he now?

Answer: OC at Newberry

Question: Coach, what other positions, if any, in college have you coached? Sure like your intensity on the side lines and at practice, keep up the good work.

Answer: Coached DL and offensive tackles.

Question: We are very happy to have you and Dabo this year. The fan base that I have talked to...believe that you guys were absolutely fantastic additions...

Answer: Thank you

Question: Can the Coaches " blackball" officials to call the games??? I have a short list of about 3-5 that i never wanna see call a clemson game again..

Answer: No

Question: How good is Wahington

Answer: He has potential. He needs to keep improving.

Question: Is Maurice Nelson working as a whip or rover?

Answer: Both

Question: Oklahoma is a MACHINE. What does it take to get to that level?

Answer: Great recruiting

Question: can u comment on the impact Jamal Fudge has had this year?

Answer: He has really done a great job. He is really playing well right now.

Question: Which bowl game do we make it to..if we win out?

Answer: No idea.

Question: Do you know if FSU is doing a walk through in our stadium today or tomorrow?

Answer: No idea.

Question: It sure seems like that the last recruiter in the recruits house (or ear) on signing day gets the you see this alot?

Answer: Yes because usually the kid sets it up that way.

Question: Coach, do you think the intensity of the Clemson/USuC rivalry can match TR/Berea? Good to have you home man.

Answer: Not But my dog is better than your dog.

Question: Coach, what was it like the first time you ran down The Hill?

Answer: Haven't done it yet.

Question: Prior to the game, are you guys aware of the officiating crew that will be working the game and does this influence you?

Answer: Yes and no.

Question: Where will Charles Bennett play next year

Answer: DE

Question: You mentioned K. Williams, Watkins, Gaddis, and Walker as strong contributors next year. What positions are they projected to play?

Answer: Williams - LB/DE, Watkins - LB, Gaddis - QB, Walker - FS

Question: Do the recruits have a realistic idea of how much time football takes in college? I don't get why player's lounges and video games are so important.

Answer: No they don't have a realistic of how much time they will spend on football.

Question: What is Walt Harris' strengths as a Head Coach?

Answer: Outstanding offensive mind.

Question: Coleman is from my hometown. How's he doing?

Answer: He is really starting to come on.

Question: Coach, Myrtle Beach or Hilton Head?

Answer: Myrtle Beach

Question: Will K Morris be moved by to LB next year or stay in the secondary?

Answer: Secondary

Question: Did you come to Clemson more because of T Bowden or you wanted to get back in the area?

Answer: Tommy has a great national reputation and I thought the program has great potential.

Question: How good is Larry Fitzgerald? Are any of our WRs close to his talents?

Answer: Best I have ever seen. We have some very talente young men here. It is hard to compare.

Question: What is a typical recruit visit like for the staff on gameday?

Answer: Rather not say

Question: Do you have a specific recruiting area? If so, what?

Answer: Yes, upper state of SC and South Florida.

Question: Do you see a High Scoring game against FSU?

Answer: As a defensive coach hopefully not

Clemson assistant football coach David Blackwell was our special guest in chat on Friday. We would like to thank Blackwell
for his participation, and we hope to have him back soon. Stay tuned for future chat guest on TigerNet.


Question: Justin Miller seems to have a tendency to look for the big hit on a run and therefore bites quicker on play action and as a result has gotten beaten badly a couple of times this year... what is your opinion?

Answer: Justin is a very aggressive player who will take chances. He is still a young player who is learning.

Question: What areas/regions did you recruit while at Pitt?

Answer: South Florida and SC....Thanks for having me on the chat. I hope to see everyone in Death Valley tomorrow.

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