Chat Transcript: LB Chad Carson


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Carson is featured on cover of the February issue of Tiger Insider.

CLEMSON, SC -- Clemson linebacker Chad Carson was the chat guest in TigerActive Chat on Thursday. Carson answered 135 questions for TigerNetters. We appreciate Carson's participation and wish him the best of luck in his senior season. Stay tuned for future chat guests.


Carson was named a first team Academic All-American in
2000 after a second team selection as a sophomore in 1999.
Carson and Kyle Young give Clemson the only Divison 1-a school with two first
team selections in 2000.


This past season Carson led the team in tackles with 146 which
ranked second in the ACC. His 22 tackles against Georgia Tech
were the most by a Tiger in 2000 and the third highest single game total in Clemson
history.


Question: With only four returning starters, do you think Clemson can have a defense able to help win a conference championship?

Answer: Yes I do, I think we will have a very nice blend of athletic youth and a few older leaders.



Question: Will your shoulder be ready for spring practice?

Answer: yes--i'm already lifting on it now. It just set me back in the weightroom a few weeks after surgery.



Question: Chad What do you know about any possible defensive changes? Would teh 4-2-5 scheme drastically change your allignment and your pre-snap reads?

Answer: I'm not so sure about any drastic changes. We have always been a variable front defense, so anything could happen--but the most important thing for us is getting young guys to step up and be players.



Question: Will your shoulder be ready for spring practice?

Answer: yes--i'm already lifting on it now. It just set me back in the weightroom a few weeks after surgery.



Question: Chad, who recruited you to Clemson?

Answer: coach Ensminger, Coach MacWhorter, and Coach Herring



Question: Chad, is the toughest person that you've ever had to tackle in a game?

Answer: Peter Warrick, the running back last year from UVA, and probably a couple more I can't remember



Question: Chad, do you think that Feaster will be a major contributor this year?

Answer: yes I do, he's a great player with a lot of heart



Question: Chad, have you decided on med. school yet? If so, which school?

Answer: It's on of a few goals I have, but I'm not sure exactly what I'll do yet. A few preliminary choices that I've heard some great things about are MUSC, MCG, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, and a few others



Question: McDonald's or hardees?

Answer: Hardee's breakfast biscuits--you can't beat 2 sausage biscuits for 2 dollars



Question: Why are you the most overlooked Linebacker in the country? lol

Answer: Don't know-I just play ball



Question: Not to put any undue pressure on you, but you need to DOMINATE next years game at Atlanta, against GT.

Answer: Don't worry about that--that's a given-Tech has something coming from me;)



Question: Chad, There will be amny new faces on defense this year. What do you think will be the biggest differences versus last year?i

Answer: I think we will have a bunch of great young players who will buy into the concept that we can win a conference and national championship. Sometimes it's easier for young guys to believe this than older guys who've been there a while.



Question: Chad --- In your opinion, what is the MOST important ingrediant needed to improve defensive performance this year? Intensity? Talent? Depth? Coaching? What do you think??

Answer: Talent first and foremost,. I think we as players need to keep the same intensity throughout the year that we had through 8 games. Maybe a better off date will help that-



Question: Who do you think will be the biggest suprise on both offense and defense this year?

Answer: offense-keith kelly(he's amazing); defense-Rodney Thomas, JJ Howard, or Kalid Vaughn



Question: Chad since you praticed against them this year. Which offensive lineman should we expect big things from this year?

Answer: Kyle Young is one of the best in the country--he's the heart and soul of the o-line. Others like Watkins, Greg Walker, and Cedric Johnson will be big as well



Question: what is wrong with the basketball tem

Answer: I think they're going to be great eventually. I hope everyone will have some faith in the players and in coach Shyatt--that will show a lot about Clemson fans, and when you let a coach do his thing, eventually they will win with these type players. Mac Brown took 10 years to win a UNC.



Question: Who's the strongest player on the team?

Answer: all around, i'd say Nick Eason. Marcus Lewis and Nate Gallespie(sp?) are big time on bench



Question: What player on D that hasn't been on the field yet, should we look out for next year?

Answer: John Leake has a 42 inch vertical, JJ Howard has a 43, both run under 4.5's and are LB's--look out for both of them in the future



Question: toughest drill in mat drills?

Answer: 4 point wave, no question



Question: Tell us about the young defensive linemen on the team, please.

Answer: Kalid Vaughn is a guy i look to be a player, because he always plays at 110%; Dujuan Polk and Paul White will have to grow up fast, but will be good; Marcus Lewis is a great athlete.



Question: Where's the beef going to come from on the D-Line?

Answer: Bush and Darnell Washington will be our big men in the center



Question: Forget med school -- go NFL. They like guys that can tackle.

Answer: I plan on it--we'll see how it goes



Question: favorite place to hang out at clemson, other than DValley

Answer: at Berkeley Place with my roommate Altroy Bodrick(I'll beat you in 2k1 later Troy), at Mac's Drive-in, and Jervey (although not voluntarily)



Question: Chad, did you participate in Bowden's Ladies Clinic last summer? Will you do that again?

Answer: I did, and it was an experience to say the least--i'm recruiting young talent for next year to take my place:)



Question: Do you figure Torbush got what he deserved considering he overlooked you?

Answer: he's a great coach, and i never want to see anyone fired--i think he realizes what he overlooked for now, and I couldn't be happier anywhere but Clemson anyway



Question: So do you think Rod "pushed off"?...LOL

Answer: what's a pushoff??



Question: HOW do you like the defensive coaches--and do u think they do a good enough job--thanks!

Answer: Yes--I think coach Herring is one of the best coaches in the nation, along with Coach Smith, Allison, and Hines. I think he is doing a fine job, any of out shortcomingins this year should be placed on players for not making plays, and noone else.



Question: What young Defensive Backs impress you as being able to make an impact this year?

Answer: kevin johnson will be great, Mance should have a breakout year as one of the elite coners in the league, Eric Meekins, Houskin, Hemby, and a couple others will be good



Question: who is in charge of the 4 point wave

Answer: coach West and a new GA



Question: Chad, will you be taking your clothes off at the ladies clinic again this year?

Answer: i'm recruiting new guys for the job



Question: biggest eater on the team?

Answer: nick eason and bryant mcneal, i think they created a food shortage in Harcombe last year



Question: Do you think it is funny that USC just assumes that they will beat Clemson next year??

Answer: our on the field play speaks for itself in-state



Question: What is it like playing for Coach Herring?

Answer: intense, but probably the best learning experience of my life--i think i can go through anything after my years here



Question: Be nice to see you playing in the NFL as Dr. Carson! Good luck with the season. Who do you look forward to playing the most next year?

Answer: thank you--Dr. Carson sounds nice. Ga Tech, no doubt



Question: Chad, the defense received criticism from some fans for a couple of poor performanances last year, many pointing to our ineffective play up front and the secondary and also our coaches, how do the players feel about the defense last year and have any of y'all seen much video of some of our great defenses we've had in the past?

Answer: yes i have seen some great defenses at Clemson in the past. I promise you, any disapointment for our play last year that you have is multiplied 100 times in the minds of the players and coaches. I think a lot of people forget that we were a top 10 defense for 8 games last year, and then we played badly against GA tech and FSU. A lot of factors contributed to that, including not having enought talent and depth, and also some fatigue and letdown after the GA tech game. There are absolutely no problems with our coaches--it is the same D-coordinator that with different players produced a top 25 defense just a couple of years ago.



Question: What's going to be the defensive scheme next year?

Answer: variable--i think you'll see some change, but exactly what, we'll have to let everyone wait--including our opponents



Question: Do you get fan mail?

Answer: a little--a few younger kids have sent me drawings, etc--i love getting it



Question: Chad, I watched you driving the USC backwards down the field last night. Certainly one of my favorite plays this year.

Answer: thank you-it was fun



Question: chad, many of our own recruiting "experts" were especially chagrined that we did not sign more top olinemen, coach rod told me that perhaps our best two linemen didn't play this year (smith, brantley) how do you see the oline shaping up next yr and can you tell us anything about brantley?

Answer: oline will be great--we have some great older players and an unbeliebable amount of young talent--having akil smith back will be big, he's put on 20 lbs and he was already fast



Question: Chad--Is Paul White going to be OK with his "situation?"Will he practice this spring?

Answer: as far as i know everything is fine. I believe he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, so he will be with us this spring and is already with us



Question: What do you think our record will be next year?

Answer: well, I'm working out and preparing for 12-0, I've never been one to shoot short of perfection



Question: did you watch how oklahoma played defense against fsu? and how would you compare their schemes to what we try to do

Answer: they looked very similar to how we played them in Death Valley two years ago--i was very impressed and i think we can do the same thing



Question: Hi, Chad. I must say I'm disappointed that you'll be missing the ladies clinic this year. No offense to the coaches, but you were the highlight. Thanks for being such a good sport.

Answer: thanks--i'll watch from the back, just not a prominent role



Question: Chad, night game or day games?

Answer: night are more fun, but i hate sitting in the hotel all day



Question: What about Brantely? Where will he play & how great can he become?

Answer: he's a good athlete, i think he's a tackle, and he will be good--i think the o-line will pan out this spring as to who will be the main players



Question: Chad, who is going to surprise people on "D" next year that we haven't heard of?

Answer: Kalid Vaughn, kevin Johnson, Rodney Thomas, JJ Howard



Question: What did you think of our recruiting class and who is someone that we missed out on that you would have really liked to get?

Answer: i think we got a good one, but i'm one to wait and see in August--a lot of good players aren't always the highly touted ones



Question: Chad, are you ready for the Spring Game?

Answer: it'll be fun, hope we have a lot of fans out



Question: Chad---you have a brother in high school who is a pretty good player---has he decided where he is going to school yet?

Answer: Andrew is a senior and has signed with Furman. They got a great player, as I think he would have been a D-1 signee except for the fact that he played 9 different positions in highschool, and played QB instead of lb senior year. He's 6'4, 215, so i think he'll be a lot better than me



Question: Chad, what do the coaches have you and the team doing now, conditioning?

Answer: matt drills at 5:30 AM, weightlifting in the afternoon



Question: Chad--you are an excellent student---are you still going to try for the Rhodes scholarship?

Answer: that's the plan, we'll see how it goes, it is very competitive and difficult to win



Question: What are the most difficult arenas in which to play college football?

Answer: Tallahassee b/c they are always ready to play there. UVA's is tough, VT's is tough. I've always wanted to play in some SEC stadiums, but won't get that chance



Question: Chad - do you ever check out the TigerActive Chat?

Answer: not usually. i check out the articles on the front page, and I call Crump on the phone for direct updates



Question: Chad, when does Spring Practice begin?

Answer: not this saturday but the next



Question: You guys really have alarm clocks that go off before 5:30am..LOL?

Answer: 5:11 on mine. i hate getting up in the morning



Question: Chad - what went wrong at the Gator Bowl?

Answer: we were very sluggish for whatever reason. We didn't play our best, but give VT some credit, they really deserved to be in a BCS



Question: But Chad, USC is an SEC Stadium, you have played there.

Answer: oops, i forgot(lol)



Question: What's the feeling like when you run down the hill?

Answer: amazing, i wil never forget it--it gets you ready to play



Question: Will the "D" be improved this season??

Answer: yes, we're planning on it



Question: Chad - you will be playing in an SEC stadium on Nov 17. Please don't be the first class in a while to lose to those guys!

Answer: we'll do our best



Question: Don't worry about USC, Clemson fans consider Willy Brice our home stadium as well, easy mistake!

Answer: thanks



Question: Chad--What are YOU doing?

Answer: drinking a pepsi, watching the game



Question: Chad--you meant a "real" SEC stadium???

Answer: my mistake--i meant like Sanford stadium, Tennessee's stadium--but Williams-Brice is definately a great place to play without a doubt, they're fans are very loyal and loud



Question: Chad, who did you help recruit this year?

Answer: Mark Jeton, he should be a great D-end, very hard worker with a lot of potential



Question: I bet you guys want revenge gainst GT huh?

Answer: yes, and especially me personally



Question: Chad, any word on a Tulane replacement?

Answer: you know as well as i do



Question: what would be your ideal playing weight and what is your time in the 40

Answer: 4.7, but hope to improve that to 4.65 or so, i'm planning on playing at 235-240 this year



Question: Chad do you think Nick Eason should be moved to def tackle?

Answer: well Nick, i think Nick should actually play offensive line, they say he's gotten fat and gotten up to 300 these days:)



Question: who is next season's best line backer and runner

Answer: linebacker--i think we will be a great unit, and that's the key to a great D. Runner--i think T-Zach, Bernard, and Kelly, will be the best group in the league



Question: Chad - Does the fan's excitement over the direction of the football program be felt by the players?

Answer: yes--the fans are great, and are actually a big reason for people coming to play here



Question: Will it be strange lining up this fall without Keith Adams next to you?

Answer: yes it will--i'm going to miss him and I thought we made a good duo--i wish him all the best for years to come in the NFL-he's a great friend and a great player



Question: Hey Chad. What can we expect to see from the Clemson defense next fall? How far are we from getting back to the punishing D of the 80s?

Answer: We are shooting to be a top 10 defense and return to the days of the ole Clemson defense.



Question: Chad--what do you really think of Nick Eason??Just among us tigernettersLOL

Answer: he is one of my good friends and one of the best players on the team. A great leader as well.



Question: Chad - which coach recruited you (He did a great job!)

Answer: Ensminger, McWhorter but coach Herring made the decision to offer me.



Question: How do you see the ACC this year?

Answer: Very competitive conference...I think some of the teams like UNC, UVA, NCSU will be moving towards the top of the conference again this year.



Question: Who will be the "mouth" of the team with Jolly gone?

Answer: Our hits will speak for themselves.



Question: Chad, what are some of your pre-game rituals?

Answer: listen to a burned CD with some Rocky, ACDC and a little rap



Question: Chad - as I see it, only about 7 of you will be seniors next year. Your leadership will be crucial with the younger players.

Answer: I think it is a big responsiblity and honor to be a senior leader and I look forward to the challenge.



Question: Do you play playstation 2?

Answer: not yet but I have a Dreamcast. We like to play NFL 2K1



Question: Chad--KatWoman© wants to know if you wear boxers or briefs. :)

Answer: boxerbriefs



Question: Chad, favorite Clemson uni?

Answer: tie between all orange and white jersey and orange pants.



Question: Cgad - "Your hits will do the talking." GRRRReat answer! We will be listening!!

Answer: thank you



Question: Chad.. Ginger or Mary Ann?

Answer: Mary Ann



Question: Chad, did you follow recruiting this year? Impressions on the class? Great job last year, Best of Luck!

Answer: Not too much but hopefully they will contribute a lot in Aug



Question: What would it mean to you to beat Ga Tech in Atlanta your senior year?

Answer: it would be special for me personally and would also mean a lot to our program because they are a great team.



Question: With the departure of Adams to the NFL, how does your role ad a defensive leader change next year?

Answer: I feel have to be the main playmaker and leader where last year Keith took a lot of the attention and this year they will not have him to focus on so much.



Question: chad what was you favorite game last year?

Answer: usc



Question: Clemson consistently pumps out incredible linebackers, and you obviously are no exception. Who do you see stepping up and taking the role after you depart? Thanks!

Answer: a number of guys but Rodney Thomas will be a star and this year Altroy and Braxton will step up even more. All the young guys like Feaster, Howard, Leake, Ellis have a lot of potential.



Question: In most offenses who blocks you

Answer: guard on inside plays and tackle on sweeps and outside plays. The fullback on leads.



Question: What do you see as the greatest challenge this year for the football team Chad?

Answer: Having new players step up at many positions and replacing last year's leaders.



Question: chad, are you through with classes for today?

Answer: yes



Question: Chad, we live ya, man! You are a fine representative of Clemson. Keep up the good work, both on and off the field.

Answer: thanks



Question: Chad, which other colleges did you consider?

Answer: GT and Clemson were the main two



Question: What is the biggest adjustment for a LB coming out of high school?

Answer: speed and reaction time, there is no time to think on the field once the play starts, you just have to react and hit



Question: Do you read a key

Answer: fullback or running back usually, and you have to see what the linemen are doing at the same time, there's a lot to see during a play



Question: Chad - How much of an effect do facilities have on recruiting?

Answer: they are impressive, and usually make the difference when all is even.



Question: What's your favorite thing about Clemson University?

Answer: the people and this area of the country--I love going to the mountains in this area



Question: What are your feelings on the scheduling situation because of Tulane?

Answer: don't really have an opionion yet--i'm sure they'll find someone for us to play



Question: Which redshirt freshman recievers will we likely see on the field this year?

Answer: Hamilton, Huey



Question: do you think that we'll be able to cover the better teams man-to-man next year, thus allowing you to take some risks up-front?

Answer: don't know yet, we'll see



Question: what r/s freshman from last year do you see coming in and making an impact on the team

Answer: Brantley, Johnson (o-line), DeLsume, Leake



Question: Who do you think is our fastest player?

Answer: not sure--Woody, Huey, Mance, Hamilton



Question: Chad, I just want to thank you for your hard work and dedication. Thank you for giving us something to look forward to and for being a large part of our renewed success. I know that you will excel at the next level. God bless you.

Answer: thank you



Question: Do you expect the D-Line to be better next year? Secondary?Gracias!

Answer: yes, both will be different personel, but i think they will get the job done



Question: chad im going to go to two away games next year, one is USC and what game would you like to see a lot of CU fans at?

Answer: GT--we need to invade Atlanta--but i'd love to see a lot of fans at all the away games



Question: Chad - a lot of players don't support their university when they leave. I have the feeling you will!

Answer: i'm sure i will



Question: How about David Ellis and John Leake??

Answer: both are great players, David is a great hitter who will have a chance to show his stuff this year--Leake is an awesome athlete who just needs a little more toughness to be an incredible LB



Question: Chad, have you or your family bought a brick ?

Answer: my parents bought me one in the letterman section for christmas



Question: Other than Death Valley, best atmosphere for football?

Answer: FSU, Williams-Brice in my experience



Question: What can CU do to help in recruiting to keep up with the likes of FSU? What do you think is lacking and keeping us from being in the top 5 in recruiting?

Answer: win every year--it'll come



Question: Chad, what's the hardest hit you remember from last year that you dealt to another player?

Answer: i think we broke Joe Burn's ribs, i hit the Citadel fullback pretty hard a few time--but he still wouldn't admit it in the paper:)



Question: Toughest class?

Answer: Biochemistry right now



Question: What was your hardest match up last year? You personally, not the team...

Answer: UVA came off the ball very well--and VT's o-line was great--those were very tough guys



Question: What will it take for you to raise your game to the next level this coming season?

Answer: i need to gain a little weight to pack a little more punch in my hit, I also can always improve my speed and quickness



Question: Chad, Clemson Women, scale of 1-10

Answer: 10.5



Question: Chad, I walked off of the field right behind you after the first half of the NCSU game this year. Fans were yelling suggestions to Coach Bowden(some of them were not too nice), who was just in front of you, and yelling at the players. Do you hear this?? Do you sometimes want to yell back?? Comments.....??

Answer: I think it is a vocal minority of fans who make rude comments, but I these people can rest assured--the coaches watch plenty of film, have years of experience, and are paid big bucks for that job--they need to have a little faith in their judgement--i do hear it, but I realize that the vast majority of fans are wonderful, so it doesn't affect me.



Question: Other than USC who is your biggest rival

Answer: GT



Question: Chad, what is the best lesson you have learned from playing college sports?

Answer: I've learned to work through adversity and keep fighting towards the goals i set. I've learned also learned that football isn't everything, and that things such as friends and family are the most important things in life.



Question: Why do you think, last season, that some of the early teams that we beat badly, disrespected the team so much in the press?

Answer: hurt feelings



Question: Chad --Esso Club or Tiger Town Tavern?

Answer: TD's Thursday night dancing---i like to break it down (yes, even though i'm a white boy)



Question: Duke Cheerleaders on scale of -10 to 1

Answer: i like the smart one's, i'd give them a 9



Question: How would you rate our strength coaches and can you tell us a little about them?

Answer: i love them--they are great and we are lucky to have them. Coach Batson is an incredible man who teaches us how to be men, both on and off the field



Question: Chad Can we beat fsu?

Answer: yes



Question: Chad - In your opinion, are we going to be better or worse than last year?

Answer: better, but different



Question: Chad, favorite hang out in Clemson on Friday nights?

Answer: wherever my friends are



Question: Woody or Willie?

Answer: both



Question: Chad, Thanks for taking time today to stop by, good luck this season!

Answer: thanks



Question: What are your goals after you graduate?

Answer: either NFL, Rhodes Scholarship, or medical school---I also think coaching highschool football would be a lot of fun



Question: How do you feel about the progress of Eric Meekeins over the last 2 years. Do you see him as a main contributor next year?

Answer: yes, he will be good



Question: How do you feel about the progress of Eric Meekeins over the last 2 years. Do you see him as a main contributor next year?

Answer: yes, he will be good



Question: Chad, do you have more fun playing run or pass defense?

Answer: i like them both equally--i need a pick for a TD this year though--if Jolly can do it I know I can



Question: Chad - who was the redshirt who put the big hit on Keith last year in practice - read where he almost knocked him cold.

Answer: Keith hits people so hard he gives himself concussion--the o-linemen know how it is--they don't mess with the LB's :)



Question: Chad -any nicknames that we need to know about?

Answer: white chocalate is one i can think of



Question: Were the reports of Rod Gardner having a 400+ LBS bench press accurate?

Answer: true



Question: What are your plans after graduating from Clemson?

Answer: who knows for now--a bunch of possibilities------ I want to thank everyone for their questions, it's been a lot of fun. I hope everyone will continue to show the great fan support that Clemson is known for. What's up Steve, mom, dad, Andrew, and anyone else I left out that I should've mentioned. Have a great day!



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