Clemson, SC—Clemson had its fourth practice of the preseason on Friday evening on the practice fields behind the Jervey Athletic Center. Saturday night’s practice will be the final day of the NCAA mandated five-day acclimatization period.
“I was encouraged by the way the team worked today,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “They have been a focused group and that is important. Champions are not born, they are made and you have to have a daily commitment . They have to be focused on every play. I have talked to the team time and again about six seconds. Each play is giving full effort for six seconds at a time.”
Swinney talked about the play of his defense after practice. “The defensive side of the ball has played well. There were oame great thuds out there today. DeAndre McDaniel had a great thud on Andre Ellington towards the end of the practice. He has really played well in the preseason. Marcus Gilchrist had a strong day in the secondary as well.” Gilchrist had two interceptions during the drills.
“I think we can be special in the secondary this year. Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler are both on the Thorpe Award Watch List (announced today) and we are the only team in the country with both of our starting cornerbacks on that list. They are having a great camp as well.
“And, I am very pleased with what I see from Ricky Sapp. He looks like he is wide open to me. We will have some physical practices coming up in full pads and it will be interesting to see how he does.”
Swinney also commented on the fact that Clemson was not ranked in the preseason top 25 of the USA Today Coaches poll. “That doesn’t bother me one bit. I have said many times before whether we are ranked in the preseason or not really doesn’t matter. It will all be decided by the end of the year when we play the games on the field.”
Jacoby Ford and J.K. Jay continued to miss practice and were both in yellow jerseys due to injury.