CLEMSON -- Clemson wide receiver coach was a recent guest on Sports Talk with Dan Scott. SportsTalk can be heard from 9 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9 in upstate South Carolina.
Listen to the full Dabo Swinney interview Here: Real Audio - Windows Media
Dan: Regarding possible eligibility problems with Kelvin Grant, can you shed any light on that situation at all?
Swinney: Well I haven’t seen the story in the paper. I am not really sure what the paper says. I don’t see any problems with him being eligible this year. He still has a little work to do the rest of the summer. He should be eligible and be fine and ready to go. My concern with Kelvin is not this year but next year and the next year and the next year. It’s really on Kelvin and nothing to do with his capabilities or anything else. He is a very capable young man. He just doesn’t like school. He has some maturing to do in that area if he wants to be a Clemson tiger but he is making progress and has done much better this summer. He is a freshman, dug a little hole for him academically and he is going to have to have a good fall and spring to make sure his gpa will rise so he can maintain his eligibility.
Dan: Discuss the transition to the college curriculum and also compete in Division 1 football for incoming freshman.
Swinney: The biggest thing is that Kelvin got redshirted last year. Sometimes guy get lost in the shuffle and maybe they do not quite understand the importance of going to study hall, going to class, and doing the things necessary to get those A’s, B’s, and C’s. I think the biggest thing is that he loves to play. He is one of the best young men I have been around. He has a great personality and is just a great kid. I cannot say enough good things about him. He is just lazy in the classroom and it is that simple. If he doesn’t go to class and doesn’t go to study hall then we will just not play him. Hopefully it will not come to that but that might be the final straw for him and do what he has to do. It’s really is all on him.
Dan: Discuss the talent of the WR corps at Clemson.
Swinney: We are blessed here with some talented young guys and older guys. We got some guys that have played a lot and have been successful and have experienced winning and losing and everything in between. We have depth there. The biggest thing is to just get the most out of those guys and to get the full potential which will be more for some than others. I want all of them to be complete players and play as hard without the ball as with the ball. I think we got some players on this team that can break some 40, 50 yard runs at anytime. We need to make sure that we are blocking downfield and running routes full speed and stretching field. Just performing our role on the team to the best of our ability and that’s the thing that we need to do this year.
Dan: What did you learn were the strengths and weaknesses during film study or your WR’s?
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Swinney: Well, we got some guys that can catch the football and do something after the catch. The biggest thing is that we have guys that when they get the ball in their hands is that they have great after the catch skills. Hamilton, Currie, Youngblood, and those guys can do something with the ball after they get it. The biggest thing though is that I want to bring a little more toughness to this group and clean up some things with the younger guys technique wise that I think will help us route running and our releases and being more consistent catching the football. We got to always catch the ball when comes to easy catches and make some great catches. We will have to work on that in practice. That just comes from confidence and working on it and cleaning up on our release techniques. So that is some of the things that I saw. The main thing is just overall toughness.
Dan: Who has the best hands on the team?
Swinney: The most consistent guy out there this spring without a doubt was Kevin Youngblood. He was the most consistent, complete player on the field. As far as just great hands that aspect of it I would say Michael Collins and Kelvin Grant have got exceptional hands. They really do. Those other guys catch the ball well but those two guys have very natural hands.
Dan: Tell us about Michael Collins.
Swinney: He is great kid first of all. He does a nice job on and off the field. The biggest asset for Michael is his size. That will be something as he continues to develop that is going to become more of an asset. His weakness is he just hasn’t played football. He hasn’t played in two years. He went to Tennessee and redshirted and had to sit out last year. So he really hasn’t had coaching at that position. He played a lot of quarterback in high school. He is a very smart kid. He picks things up quickly but he has a good ways to go from an overall understanding of the position technique-wise and that kind of stuff. But he is going to help us.
Dan: How is your depth chart shaping up?
Swinney: Right now our first four kids in a four receiver set would be Kevin Youngblood, Airese Currie who by the way I think is going to have a tremendous year. I’m really excited about working with him. He has tremendous ability. Hopefully we can get him to another level this year. Derrick Hamilton at the other spot and Tony Elliot who I am excited about getting back out here. Those who be the first four with Kelvin Grant and Curtis Baham who I think is going to be a really good player for us really close to that group.