In the Huddle: Wayne Gallman


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Gallman talks to the media following Tuesday's practice
Gallman talks to the media following Tuesday's practice

CLEMSON - This week, the Tigers are back in full swing as they prepare to take on No. 3 Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve, in Glendale, Arizona. With the Tigers coming up short last year on that same field, the coaches and players are using one word to describe the strategy of the remainder of the season and that word and strategy is “finish.”

On Wednesday, the media spoke with running back Wayne Gallman following bowl practice. The senior spoke about the main objective for the upcoming game, the Ohio State defense, playoff preparation, and his next steps, which tomorrow will be his graduation from Clemson.

Q: Are you looking forward to going back out to Phoenix and maybe leaving with a better result this time?

"It was a good experience last time we were there, but we just didn't finish. The objective is to go back and reclaim victory on that field.”

Q: Everyone is using the word Finish is that something the coaches have brought out or a player thing?

"It's more in the sport. You want to finish the season out strong."

Q: Ohio State is stingy against the run, what do you see out of their defense?

" They play a really base defense. They put your athletes against theirs and see who is best. It's a really good challenge that I'm willing to accept. Preparation is preparation and we have two weeks, and we will be ready."

Q: Is there anything different about your preparation this year as opposed to last year? Regarding practice schedule and what you are doing at practice?

"Of course not. I can't really tell in terms of schedule because Coach Swinney handles all of that and I just go with the flow."

Q: Do you get antsy having to wait so long to play a game? If you could draw it up the way you wanted to would you rather go ahead and play this game next week?

"Yes. When I am fully prepared, I am ready to play. I get tired of meetings and film study, because we have done so much. I am just ready to get out there and play."

Q: You graduate tomorrow. Are you excited about that?

I'm glad I'm done with school and won't have any more papers to write. I know this a big part of life, and I am glad to experience it."

Q: How much does it help to have classes behind you in terms of your preparation?

That's all we get to do. No more homework and just football what we love to do."

Q: Where does the graduation rank among your accomplishments in college on and off the field?

"It was a goal of mine and a next step. People see graduation as the high point, and it is a high point, but I see it as a next step. There are so many things you get to experience through life, and I’m glad I’m experiencing graduation. Even though there is more to come after that.”

Q: What was the most difficult class at Clemson?

"The work from my first communication class of Comm 201."

Q: Everyone is banged up at every position after a long season. Does this break do anything more for guys at your position at running back having time to heal?

"I think it matters for the whole team. It gives everyone the chance to go in the training room and get treatment so that we can all be ready to play."

Q: Do you feel like a different player when the ball kicks off, and you've had almost a month off?

"Yeah. When I’m healthy or even when I’m injured I play 100%. Football is a contact sport, knicks and bruises come with it, and I don't worry about it. "

Q: Are you ready for the NFL?

"Of course."

Q: CJ (Fuller) has really emerged as the guy behind you, is there a point in the season at which you felt like he really took a step forward in improving?

"You can really tell at practice. His confidence and learning the playbook and really going out there in different periods, like O versus D. He has really taken the lead, and I am proud of him."

Q: Against a team like Ohio State, does read option tend to work better or just straight run game?

"They try their best to stop the run, and their secondary is very good. More quartback runs and different things like getting an extra block might help against them from what I’ve seen on film. I'm in love with the running game."

Q: Who would you compare them to that you've played? And how are they similar to Ohio State?

"Probably Pittsburgh. They play base defense and really bring the pressure when they want to. They also let their secondary just play."


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