News and notes from Monday's player interviews

by - Senior Writer -
Dwayne Allen said he has made changes to keep from wearing down this season.

AUDIO: TE Dwayne Allen

AUDIO: CB Xavier Brewer

AUDIO: LB Corico Hawkins

CLEMSON – Clemson tight end Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
RS Jr. Tight End
#83 6-3, 245
Fayetteville, NC

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says he knows all about the new rules changes in college football, especially the ones related to celebrations during a play or following a touchdown.

Two years ago, during Military Appreciation Day, Allen scored a touchdown and – coming from a military family – threw a simple salute to the military personnel in the end zone. He was promptly flagged for a 15-yard penalty.

This season, the penalties are even rougher.

Previously, all unsportsmanlike fouls were treated as dead-ball fouls. This season, a new “taunting” rules change means that a player who taunts another player before he scores a touchdown would be flagged and the score nullified, plus a 15-yard penalty would be accessed from the spot of the foul.

Allen said the coaches have made sure the players know the penalty for excessive celebration.

“They have really harped on, ‘Just act like you have been there before’ and the importance of the new rules and how touchdowns can be taken off the board,” Allen said. “The rules are there for a reason, I just wish they would call it both ways. I feel like for the defense, a touchdown for them would be a sack. They can get up and celebrate all they want and they don’t get penalized. I just wish it went both ways.”

However, Allen said that head coach Dabo Swinney’s response to the salute made him never want to celebrate a touchdown again.

“I got chewed out pretty bad after the salute,” he said. “I got chewed out the rest of the first half, I got chewed out at halftime and I got chewed out coming out at halftime. There won't be any celebrating from me.”

*Allen said that he hopes the addition of extra playmakers means an open field for him.
He said that last season he saw extra attention from defenses because they didn’t respect the deep ball.

“Defenders won't be as quick to jump on me,” he said. “Last year when we played Miami, their best corner and one of the best in the country [Brandon Harris] manned up on me for the entire game because they didn’t respect the outside threat. Hopefully the guys we have can establish themselves early and become a threat.”

*Allen also said he feels like he knows how to take better care of his body this season, and it includes a little massage therapy that he previously made fun of.

“I changed my daily routine and what I do after practice,” Allen said. “This year, I am stretching after every practice, and I understand how stretching and flexibility can make a difference. When I have time, I roll my legs and I get in the cold tub.

“One of the things I am going to take advantage of this year that I didn’t take advantage of last year is the massages we have on Thursday. That was something that I was like, ‘Oh, those guys just wanted to get rubbed down.’ But I am definitely going to take advantage of that this year. They really did just want to get rubbed down, but they were able to retain their legs.”

*I asked offensive coordinator Chad Morris about the Troy defense, which is a little undersized, and how the Troy coaches scheme to stop the run despite the size differential. Morris said that they put an extra hat in the box – bring up a safety or a corner in run support. Clemson saw a ton of that last season, so it will be interesting to see how the addition of speed on the outside counter-acts the extra bodies in the box.

*Corico HawkinsCorico Hawkins
Jr. Linebacker
#42 5-11, 230
Milledgeville, GA

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said he has been surprised at how the freshman linebackers have progressed since they have been on campus.

“They have picked it up faster than I did when I got here,” Hawkins said. “Stephone [Anthony] is very mature. I remember when I hosted him that I noticed how mature he was, and he is a lot like me. Coach Swinney said that is why he paired us up. He is very mature and I think he will play well.”

*Hawkins said he feels comfortable with his role and with calling the defensive signals.

“After the North Carolina game last year and I made all the right calls and got everybody lined up, I was proud,” he said. “They do so much. Compared to last year at this time, I am much more comfortable. I can't even sit here and explain how comfortable I am, and it helps me a lot because it takes the pressure off when you have to call the signals.”

*Christian to play nickel? We have heard about the tremendous athletic ability of WLB Quandon ChristianQuandon Christian
RS So. Linebacker
#34 6-3, 215
Lake View, SC

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, but he hasn’t seen the field as much as the other linebackers because he came off when the Tigers would move to the nickel package – and the Tigers have played a lot of nickel the past two years because of the rise of the spread offense.

However, Hawkins said that he and Christian will be on the field in nickel situations this season.

“He has so much athletic ability and can run very well,” he said. “Just watching him cover receivers is impressive. I have enjoyed seeing him grow as a player and watching him grown in his skill and technique. We have worked hard this summer.”

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