Mickey Plyler's Blog for April 28

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Mickey, Why in the world does it take football coaches so long to remedy a situation that is so apparent to common sense thinking and observant football fans?

Tommy swore all last year that it was the personnel, and not the scheme that was upsetting the punting and the punter. Now we find out after all this time and all the blocks, near blocks and poor punts what we already knew…that having those three guys backing up into Cole Chason’s face was a problem. And now we change it and immediately there are beneficial results.

It seems like it is pure stubbornness not to react more quickly. If I reacted that slowly to a problem as a Dentist I wouldn’t have a practice for very long or would have been sued for malpractice. As Bill O’Reilly might ask, “what say you” as I don’t think I am very far off base? Thanks. – John

John, I still will take a wait and see approach about the punt team in 2006. I hope it is fixed.

Mickey, I am sure you are aware of the two big in state recruits USC has recently landed in Gray and Richardson. Clemson has its share thus far, so I wondered how Clemson stands with the remaining uncommitted big time in state recruits? I guess what I am getting at, would be to see the top 20 sc recruits and their commitment status (who they favor, etc.). Thanks, Chuck

Chuck, Clemson will only take two or three more in-state kids. They have offered JR Hemmingway, Mark Barnes, Mason Cloy, Carlos Dunlap, Cliff Matthews, Brian Maddox, Stanley Hunter and Scotty Cooper. They have five in-state commitments so eight would be a pretty big number. At thus time it looks pretty good with Cloy, Hunter and Cooper.

Mickey, I heard this kid Xavier Dye committed, apparently some time ago, but I just heard about it. Is he going to be an impact player right away, I know he's 6' 5", but if you could give some info that would be great. Great Blog, Tell Rhymer he's right on the money with his last article today. – WALLACE

Wallace, Dye is a kid they have evaluated for two years. Dabo likes his hands and upside. Ron West did a nice job with Dye early and the staff thinks he will be a good one. He is a tall possession-type receiver and a really good kid.

Mick, I am really hooked on your blogs! It is great reading for hungry tiger fans! Who is our best position coach and why? Also, how will we re-emphasize punting (what will we do differently) and who is responsible? -- Howard in Albany, GA

Howard, Thanks for the kind words. I could make a great case for several of the coaches. I think Nappier and Rumph will be good ones but are still growing. You have to have this kind of youth on your staff nowadays. I would take out Spence and Koenning because of their role of a coordinator. So I could make a great case for Dabo, Blackwell, Burton, Brad or Ron West. All have their strengths and are invaluable. If I were to start a staff I would find a way to put those guys on it. The protection scheme for punting has been changed to a conventional look.

Mickey, Love the blog, always something to look forward to each day. I was just curious if Korn or Spiller were helping us out with the recruiting process. I remember hearing back a few years ago when Derrick Williams chose to go to PSU, and immediately began calling recruits that PSU had recruited in hopes of bringing them to PSU with him. Obviously these two names will help pull in some huge recruits in the coming years, especially in the WR department. There’s also a big name WR that has now put us in his top 3 due to the fact that we have a big time QB coming in but I can’t remember the name...What is your honest opinion on us getting into a BCS bowl in the next 2-3 years? Have a great weekend. – Andrew

Andrew, Greg Little is a great WR from North Carolina that Clemson is heavily involved with. Both Korn and Spiller will be great recruiters and ambassadors for Clemson. I think Clemson has a very good chance to get to the BCS in that time frame. They had a great chance last year and should be better this year.

Dear Mickey: I read your 4/14 Blog with interest; especially about your boycotting the CU Women's basketball program. Am I just imagining your posture or have you really decided to forego support/attendance for that group? While I think Jim Davis is one of the nicest and most sincere persons I have met at Clemson over the years, I would state w/o much consideration that the Clemson Lady's Basketball team had been on a downward ebb for several years.

Recruiting is no doubt a part of that spiral in the wrong direction.
However, I do not foresee much hope of reversing the momentum without changing some things at the top--in the coaching staff. Can Jim coach---you bet he can and has! Could he recruit against the upper echelon (now) of the ACC programs--I am not sure that he was going to get on the same wave length as many of the other ACC coaches and staffs.
I do know that for Clemson to have a successful basketball program, you and other pundits cannot sit on the pedestals and direct criticism at the program. I encourage you to rethink your posture with regard to the Lady Tigers; they need all of our support.
Yours truly, Bob --CU class of '60

Bob, Thanks for the e-mail. I am more loyal to Coach Davis than I am to those who made the decision. The program had two losing seasons in his tenure.

The decision was a terrible mistake. I am too stubborn on this one. I was not a big women’s’ basketball fan before and only went because of Coach Davis. Your points are valid about the future support but I am weak when it comes to forgiveness. It is a fault of mine that I am getting better at but still need to work at it. However, I am loyal to Jim Davis more than those who made the decision.


Matt, Davis is stronger and more physical. He accelerates off a cut well. Spiller is more elusive and faster with his top end speed. Waters and Adams are the clear leaders. Thanks for the nice words.

Mickey, Great Blog, thanks for all your answers. I may have missed something in previous questions, and I did not get to see the spring game. But I was wondering what the status is with special teams. How is it shaping up for the season and what changes are being made? --

Evan, Thanks. They did not work a lot on special teams during the spring game. I think it will be a strength next season. The more conventional punt protection should help. The return game should be much better because of personnel.

Mickey, Couple questions I hope you can answer........
In the end, & I know its a good problem to have-But where does RB Demerick Chancellor fit into the mix with Davis, Spiller, Merriweather and maybe Cox; Where’s DC's future? What’s holding Reese(qb) back.....seems to have more talent than Harper or Procter.? – Wayne

Wayne, Chancellor will have a role in this offense and because he is only a freshman that role will continue to increase in the coming years. He catches the ball well and is much tougher than we projected. Reese needs to more of a sense of urgency in my opinion.

Mickey, Will Coach Spence put Spiller and Davis in the backfield at the same time or will they alternate on plays or series? Southern Cal seems to mostly alternate between their two backs and keep a fresh player in the game.

Also, with Proctor at QB with the run pass option, do we really need someone else in the backfield? -- Jack

Jack, They will be in the same backfield at times and rotate at times. That role and relationship will evolve each week. The two-back sets give defenses something else to prepare for.

Mickey, I really enjoy the “no-frills” approach you are employing. Question…a kid named Faerber (sp?) did well in one of the spring outings. I can’t find him anywhere on the roster …got any info on him.
Thanks, Larry

Larry, Nelson Faerber is a walk-on from the Atlanta area. He is a taller kid that is pretty athletic. He could have a chance to contribute more this year. He had a good spring game.

Hi Mickey, Love the blog. Please keep doing it, I anticipate it each day. I hate the list. These guys are scholarship athletes. It is one thing to talk in generalities, but I don't like ranking guys like this. If you need a list, maybe compile a top 40 or something. Self confidence is something that Cole Chason needs, he knows he is bad, doesn't need you to put it up in lights. Anyway, I hope you take this as constructive. Later, Kevin

Kevin, I appreciate the kind words. I did take it as constructive criticism. I thought it was an interesting idea. I see that it was spilt but still think I was not too harsh.

Hi Mickey, Thanks for all you do with the blog. Did you see any improvements with the kicking game in the spring contest? Is the walk-on our guy? Also, have we improved on our 27-yard punts? I have to say that 27-yard punts will keep any team from being successful.
Thanks in advance, and keep up the good work! -- Mark in Pelzer

Mark, Thanks. They did not rush the punt team in the spring game. I will take a wait and see attitude with the new punt team next year.

Mickey, I am curious to see what your predictions are for the fall. I truly believe that on paper we are better than every team we play with maybe the exception of FSU. I do not see why we won’t play in the ACC championship. Every year I tell myself to not get over confident/overexcited, but I just can’t help myself this year with the players that stayed, the players coming, and the growth of the players we have had. Let me know what you think. Thanks! – Lance

Lance, I think they should be co-favorites to win the ACC. Clemson and FSU are the most talented teams in the Atlantic Division.

Hey Mickey, I'm a Tiger Alum in New York City, planning to go to the Boston College game in September. I'm not an IPTAY donor (yet) and was wondering how I could get a ticket (actually 3-4 depending who else I can recruit) in the Clemson section. I'd rather buy the tix beforehand, preferably from Clemson, than scalp at the stadium. Love your blog.
Thanks, and have a great week, Apoorva

Apoorva, Tigernet has a ticket section. I would start checking it in August. If not, scalpers will be there on hand in Chestnut Hill. Thanks.

It was not all that many years ago that there was a whole cord of deadwood on our 86-deep. We had to sign a lot of rough to get enough diamonds to field a competitive team. I'd hesitate to call a percentage of those rosters whose names even rang a faint bell but 50 comes to mind. There will be grumbling and snorting over exactly whom you ranked in a given slot but you have offered up your bottom half and there is not a player on it who has not either already contributed or who will not contribute at some point down the road. Have we ever had such depth? – John

John, Thanks. Clemson had this kind of depth in the late seventies and early eighties and then again in the late eighties. Those are the only times I have seen this much depth.

Mickey, I am a big Tiger fan and I enjoy reading the blog. Keep up the good work.
I appreciate your insights from seeing the players practice, talking to coaches, etc. Tiger fans have many reasons to be excited about this fall but we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.
The rankings were great to read, but several of them surprised me. Chris Clemons, listed as the starting free safety, was #50 behind a number of true freshmen – either he was under-rated or you expect someone to take his job soon. And the backup QB at #60 – he is one injury away from probably the most important job in the offense. Harper impressed me in the spring game despite the 2 interceptions. His progress will be very important to allow the coaches to gamble a bit more with Procter as a runner. I agree that Proctor could get 300-400 yards rushing from the fake handoffs, QB draws and scrambles since teams will put a lot of focus on Davis, Merriweather & co. I hope Harper proves to be more valuable. I sure hope Cole Chason proves to be more valuable as well, but time will tell.
Thanks for the insight, Dime

Good point on Clemons. I wanted to put potential in there as well. I really like the upside of the freshmen DBs. But I want to see them do it more consistently.

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