Tiger Tidbits - Furman Edition

by - Senior Writer -

It is time for another edition of TigerNet Tidbits, or as I like to call them, the remains from the cluttered notebook of a cluttered mind.

First off, it was good to finally be back in Death Valley for the game last weekend, and see all of the improvements that have been made as far as the new boards and the sound system.

Now, that doesn’t mean my phone service was affected at all…I tried to post a few pics of the stadium and of pregame to Twitter for the folks that like to follow TigerNet on Twitter, and they just never went through. So data is still an issue. And I had a few issues with text messages coming through [yes, I will get between 30 and 40 a game from people who know me who want the latest injury report or to ask what we are hearing in the press box]. But overall, I thought the improvements were fantastic, and it was evident that Clemson and Mike Money have worked hard to make Death Valley a better game day experience.

However, one thing that Money told me was that the new ribbons and the video boards would really “pop” during a night game. I agree, they would really pop. Now, let’s get a night game at home…we have already had a night game on the road this season [inside the Georgia Dome], and have two more already in the plans [FSU and Wake Forest]. Last season, Clemson went on the road for night games at Virginia Tech, Maryland, Georgia Tech and South Carolina [four of the five road games were at night].

Seems like Clemson has a better shot of getting the national attention and the prime television slots while on the road, where the home teams gets the majority of the crowd shots. And let’s face it – a night time Death Valley is simply electric. It would be nice to get that first night home game since the 2010 South Carolina contest this season. In 2010, Clemson played three night games, one of which was at home.

In 2009, Clemson played just twice at night [again, excluding bowls and postseason], the second game of the season at Georgia Tech and then later on against Florida St.

I get the reasons for wanting all the games to start at noon or early afternoon, and I understand that television plays a huge role in the start times, as does how well a team is performing. But it really wouldn’t hurt my feelings at all if the Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and South Carolina games were all at night.

*Speaking of night games, and the fact that Clemson has played so many on the road lately: Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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was asked Tuesday about playing at FSU at night, and he smiled his trademark smile and said it would be exciting but makes for a long night.

I told him that while I am sure it is a long night for the players, it is even longer for the media. There are plenty of times that we are asked, “When will the team arrive back at Clemson?” We answer and we keep on doing our thing. Last year, for instance. I really don’t remember what time the game at Maryland ended, but it was late. We went down for the postgame interviews, and Maryland had Swinney set up in a tent on a small hill outside of the locker rooms. We were trying to get his postgame comments recorded, but the speakers in Byrd Stadium were blaring out the Randy Edsall postgame press conference. And, of course, the stadium was empty. Once the Edsall conference ended, they started playing music at almost ear-splitting levels (again, to an empty stadium) and we tried to finish the postgame interviews as quickly as possible.

The Clemson players and coaches were handed their postgame meals to eat on the bus to the airport, and we went our separate directions. I remember asking a member of their traveling party what time the team would arrive back at Clemson, and he told me the time (maybe 2? 2:15?) We ran back up the press box, and began the process of uploading the photos and videos and then transcribing all of the audio and writing stories. I emailed Crump the final story of the night, looked at my watch, and realized the Clemson team had been home for half an hour at that point, and most of the Clemson media were still in the press box at Byrd. A lot of us had to catch a bus back to the subway, and then a long ride through the different parts of Washington, D.C. to get back to the hotel. We got back to the room about 4 a.m., and had a flight that left at nine. Long night. Still love doing what I do. And if you ever want more stories about life in the press boxes, just let me know. I could do an article on which schools have the nicest press boxes, the best food, the best views, etc. And the worst of each.

*All of the hoopla surrounding freshman quarterback Chad KellyChad Kelly
Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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and his incident last week with another student was both surprising…and then not so much. Kelly is a polarizing figure, and he brings a lot of the scrutiny on himself with some of his social media stuff.

However, it is important to remember his age. And the fact that the kid, from what we have heard, can flat out play.

I asked one of his teammates a couple of weeks ago about Kelly, and he said that sure, Kelly needed to mature off the field and grow up a little bit. But that will come with age and maturity.

But he said that when Kelly steps out on the football field, he is ALL business and an extreme competitor. And I liked the final thing he said.

“If you are on the road somewhere, and down by four points with three minutes on the clock, he is the kind of guy you want in your huddle. He just has that confidence that he is going to get the job done.”

And Boyd told me earlier this week that Kelly actually helped him out during the Auburn game.

Boyd said he came over to the sidelines after one series, and Kelly told Boyd that he had noticed Auburn’s defensive ends were lining up wider than normal. If Boyd saw them lining up in wide splits and a pass play was called, he could then audible into a run play because the running lanes would be wide open.

Boyd went out the next series and noticed the same thing, and running back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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had a career night.

*I know there has been speculation about whether Devin Coleman might be able to return to the basketball team at some point this season.

Coleman, a rising sophomore guard, tore his Achilles tendon during a conditioning drill in July and it was announced at that time that he would miss anywhere from six to eight months of action. I know he has been rehabbing at a frantic pace, but I have heard he just won’t make it back in time to play this season.

Coleman averaged 6.8 points per game over Clemson's last eight contests, which included a team-high and season-best 15 points in the season finale against Virginia Tech in the ACC Tournament. He appeared in 22 games as a freshman in 2011-12.

*I watched Jae’lon Oglesby of Daniel High School – a 2014 commit – again last week, and this kid is just electric with the football. I can’t wait to see him in a Clemson uniform. He had 194 yards or so last week in just a half of play against Columbia, and would have run for 400 if Daniel head coach Randy Robinson wanted to run the score up.

*Now on to Robert Nkemdiche and the continued coverage of his recruitment. I got an email this morning from someone who wanted to know if Clemson’s staff has reached out to Nkemdiche’s mother, who was quoted in ESPN The Mag as saying her son’s recruitment was still open.

I didn’t know the answer to that question, so I went to somebody who knows, and they told me that NCAA rules right now allow the coaches to only try to speak to a parent one time per week, and with his mother currently in Nigeria, that has been an issue.

However, she is coming back to the states this fall, and it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that the family makes a trip to Clemson together. Let’s see what happens after that visit before everybody gets bent out of shape.

*I also spoke with 2014 quarterback DeShaun Watson briefly Saturday, and he told me that he is 100 percent committed to Clemson. We are hoping to speak more in-depth with Watson a little later this week.

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