Monday Insider: Game week has arrived in Clemson


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Tanner Muse's brother Nick plays at William and Mary
Tanner Muse's brother Nick plays at William and Mary

CLEMSON - Game week has arrived in Clemson.

The usual Clemson media suspects met with co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott and several players Monday in the indoor practice facility to talk about the close of fall camp and the opener against Kent St. With that in mind, here are some quick nuggets and takeaways from the interview session, with full stories to come later.

We will start with defensive end Clelin Ferrell. He was asked about the depth chart at defensive end, where true freshman Logan Rudolph was listed second-team on Monday’s release.

“We knew coming in, just off his recruitment video, that he was a little bit crazy,” Ferrell said of Rudolph. “He was chopping the wood in his recruiting video. He is very intense. No matter what, if a guy plays with effort you will find a spot for him somewhere. That's been the biggest thing with him. He's been dealing with a bit of a shoulder, but now he's past that. He tries to act like he's a quiet guy, but he lightens up when he's around us.”

*The parents of Clemson safety Tanner Muse might be in for a tough decision each week this season. Muse has been named the starting strong safety on Brent Venables’ defense, and his parents recently bought an RV so they could attend all of his games. Muse says at least 20 friends and family will be in attendance this Saturday.

However, his brother Nick committed to William & Mary last year and is set to begin his freshman campaign as a tight end. Where the parents end up each week might depend on whether Nick redshirts or plays.

“My brother plays at William & Mary now, so that has been a hot topic this summer for us,” Muse said. “We don’t know if he will get redshirted or not. Depending on that, it will have to be a game time decision for them to make.”

*Tight end Milan Richard has a famous uncle – former Georgia and NFL running back Herschel Walker.
Walker won’t be at Saturday’s opener but will attend a game this season. To Richard, however, Walker is just another family member.

“I never saw him play,” Richard said. “But he lets me know about it. He tells me about his career. But to me, he’s just another member of the family.

*Former centers Jay Guillermo and Dalton Freeman often told the media that centers were the smartest players on the field, and new starter Justin Falcinelli appears to be in the same mold. We’ve had coaches and players tell us that Falcinelli can build computers, and he admitted Monday that he builds gaming computers.

“It's not from scratch. I'm into gaming, so it's gaming computers,” Falcinelli said. “Just like five or six different parts that you've gotta put together. I mean, it takes a little bit of research, but they all click together fine. Screw a couple of things together. I've had one that I've just kind of improved upon the last couple years, and then I've built one for my parents. So, I think just two or three'ish.”

It all started with gaming.

“I played video games my whole life. I had a Nintendo 64 when I was a little kid, then a GameCube, PlayStation, XBox, XBox One,” he said. “And then when I got here I just kind of watching videos online of a lot of PC gaming stuff. So I started trying to get into that.”

Falcinelli will start Saturday’s home opener.

“It hasn't really set in yet,” he said. “We were just talking about it this morning that it's the first game week after going through and camp and all that I'm just excited that we're finally there--finally about to get going.

“I know that there's a lot expected of me and that I need to perform to a standard, but I've been playing with these guys my entire time here. We're all great friends, we all hang out together. I played next to Taylor my freshman year. I played next to Tyrone, Maverick--I've been swapped in a lot. I feel like I just fit right in and just keep going.”

I asked him about playing against Clemson’s defensive line every day and if he thought he would see any better during the season.

“Better? Maybe, maybe not. That's tough,” Falcinelli said. “They're fantastic players. I mean, getting to go against that every day definitely helps so much, because I know when I get into a game I'm not going to see something crazy or something or someone I've never seen before. Someone too big or too fast or too strong.”

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