Question #3: Will The Tigers Find Consistency In 2005?
The last two seasons have been plagued by inconsistency. Under Tommy Bowden, Clemson has shown it could beat FSU, Miami, and Tennessee, then turnaround and lose to Wake Forest or Duke. In 2005, Coach Bowden is looking to find consistency.
In 2003, there was a solid group of seniors that stepped forward and led the team to a strong finish. In 2004, a young group of leaders matured as the season went on. Now, the question remains will they find consistency in 2005?
Everyone will look and say the schedule is difficult. Yes, the schedule is difficult, but it is not going to change. The team must focus on factors that are within their control. Thus far, the team has done the job.
The first step was establishing a group of leaders. Seniors Charlie Whitehurst, Chip Myrick, Charles Bennett, Jamaal Fudge, Tye Hill, and juniors Anthony Waters, Reggie Merriweather, and Chansi Stuckey have emerged as leaders. There is a solid leader at every position on the field. These eight players are well respected, and when they speak, others listen.
Through solid recruiting efforts, the staff has built depth. Coach Bowden said following Friday’s practice this was the most competition he had ever had. There are several players that are inexperienced, but vying for playing time. Solid leadership through the spring and summer has allowed several players to perform ahead of the curve. Establishing depth is a big step towards finding consistency.
Many will question the consistency with two new coordinators. Once again, the players deserve a great deal of credit for the efforts they put in during the summer. We will know more after the first scrimmage on August 13th, but there has been little to no complaints about the transition period.
The reason Clemson did not start 2004 like they finished 2003 was a lack of leadership. Leadership is not a problem in 2005. I fully expect this to be the most well prepared team in Bowden’s tenure at Clemson.