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It's Friday! July-Ending Friday Items/Opinions

Dabo Swinney, the Fourth Horseman!  Whoooooo
Dabo Swinney, the Fourth Horseman! Whoooooo

- Former Clemson Tigers Dwayne Allen, Brandon Thompson, and Justin Miller have landed spots in the pro game. Allen inked a deal reportedly worth $3.08 million over four years with the Colts. The Bengals locked up Thompson for $2.6+ million over four years. Miller got picked up by the Lions. Miller's last full season was the '09 campaign with the Raiders/Jets. Best of luck to these guys as they play against the best football competition in the world.

- The ACC Media Days produced two unsurprising picks for the '12 season. The media voted FSU as likely conference champs and Sammy Watkins as the preseason player of the year. Choices of others would be foolish. Florida State is returning a boatload of talent from a team that most thought would win the ACC last season. Watkins is a stud, period. Only if you thought Dabo would sit Watkins for a really, really long time would one likely bet against him. Let's hope the 2nd year builds on his first.

Coach Dabo seems to be pleased with the effort that superstar wide receiver Sammy Watkins has displayed since his arrest earlier this year. Swinney will likely announce the Sophomore's punishment sometime within the next week or two. Interestingly, Dabo has stated that the young man will miss some gametime but has not ruled out Sammy making an appearance in the season opener against Auburn. I expected a couple games but it appears as though Swinney could invoke a lesser punishment due to Watkins' clean record, his ability to conduct PTI, and his excellent attitude. Surely this will be a learning experience for the young man though I do hope Swinney's judgment is not only fair but sends a message that people do make mistakes but there is a penalty for such behavior.

- The British Open last weekend was something else. Ernie said he felt good going into Sunday and came away with the jug. Adam Scott played beautifully for the majority of the week but appeared to ease off the pedal with four to play. When he needed it most, Scott just couldn't turn it back on and it cost him a major championship. The final major will be played out in several weeks down at Kiawah in the PGA Championship. Hopefully we'll see another exciting tournament to cap off major tournament golf for the '12 campaign. The only Tiger to make the cut was Kyle Stanley, who finished 5 over and tied for 39th.

- Who isn't ready for some football? Camp is on the cusp of beginning. We got lots of good items and lots of concerns. I'll be interested to see how Coach Dabo deals with the good and the bad. You'll recall last year Dabo was sky high following the Auburn and FSU wins. Swinney appeared to be at rock bottom following Ga Tech. With a (still) fairly young team, it will be important for the head man to try and assure the highs aren't too high and the lows too low. It is a long season and emotional rollercoasters are sometimes tough to deal with. I know Swinney is an emotional, high energy guy and am not asking him to change that entirely (it has paid tons of dividends for other aspects of this program such as recruiting) but would like to see more constraint simply because of the apparent effects on the 18-22 year olds playing the game. Teams will take on the personality of the Head Coach.

As usual, we must give credit where credit is due. A month or so ago I was extremely concerned with Clemson's progress on the recruiting trail. Even moreso, I laughed then almost cried when I heard Swinney run the old "we got ‘em right where we want ‘em" take. Well, the staff made great strides over the summer and Swinney looks like a prophet. We'll eagerly await the class to completely fill out and hope that these recruiters can hang on to the commitments already given, because a season that does not follow expectations will cause flips. Clemson has been extremely successful in the state of Georgia this recruiting cycle, and the AJC highlights Swinney and crew's successes. We believe CU may now take more than 20 players, and could offer 5 or 6 PSU upperclassmen if they are inclined to transfer here. Bear in mind that taking over 85 this year results in a reduction next year by the same amount, and 20+ newcomers puts us in a serious crunch.

The meat of summer is winding down. There are only a couple weekends without football, so be sure to fit in all the other crap you want to do in warm weather within the next month because, once football season starts, you all know that every Saturday is booked.