DeStefano vows to work harder after poor combine showing

by - Senior Writer -

Dorman OG Patrick DeStefano Patrick DeStefano
Offensive Line
6-4, 275
Roebuck, SC

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says he is worn out and the grind of taking official visits and phone calls every night from multiple sources has taken both a physical and mental toll.

Then the competitor in DeStefano comes out, and he told TigerNet Wednesday night that last weekend’s showing at the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas combine at Spartanburg High School showed him that he just has to work harder.

“Everything I did was terrible,” he said. “My 40-yard dash time was terrible, my shuttle was atrocious and my drills were terrible. I embarrassed my family and school. Now some people are going back to their schools and saying that I am overrated – and that pisses me off. I take that personally. It is all on me now. When I mess up, it’s my fault and I have to fix it.”

He was asked if he just had an off-day, and he gave an emphatic no.

“I can't go out there and play Division 1 ball, or play in a big bowl game, and say I had an off day,” he said. “I can't hide under that excuse. I have definitely installed some punishment for myself for that showing. There are going to be a whole bunch of conditioning and self-imposed mile runs.”

DeStefano visited the Clemson campus last weekend, and said that will be his last visit until after Dorman completes spring practice. At that point, he plans to announce a list of his leaders.

“I set myself a deadline of May 23rd, which is the Monday after our spring game,” he said. “That is when I will hold a press conference and narrow down my list. I just want all of this done before summer starts. There will be no more than 10 on the list, and hopefully under 10. I would love to have a list of six, but knowing me I will get up there and add to it.”

DeStefano made that visit to Clemson along with his buddy – Ninety Six offensive lineman Oliver Jones Oliver Jones
Offensive Line
6-5, 292
Ninety Six, SC

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“The last visit for me was the overnight to Clemson for me, and that should be it for me, I hope,” he said. “I am so sick of traveling. But it has been great to have O.J. and have somebody that knows what I am going through. He is going through the same thing, but he has it 10 times tougher [due to injury]. He is a fighter, and I have the utmost respect for him.”

DeStefano had Clemson as a leader last fall, and the Tigers should easily make his list, especially considering he is developing a tight bond with new offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell.

“Robbie Caldwell is a down-home guy,” he said. “The last time I was talking to him, we were just talking about fishing. It is a hobby we both share, and he is a great guy. He is a great coach and has had an illustrious career.”

**NOTE: DeStefano added that he may take some snaps at center this spring, a position that his dad played in the NFL. “A couple of coaches have asked about it, and they want to see some game film. So I am going to get some snaps in during the spring game. I am comfortable wherever a team needs me – except quarterback.”

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