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Clemson Speaks at ACC Media Days

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NCAA Football: ACC Football Kickoff Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

We’ve had a chance to get some notes and observations from a friend of the blog at ACC Media Days. realnuckythompson has press access and was kind enough to pass along these observations. We’ve provided some of our own commentary on this information in italics. A big thanks to him for providing this as well as all of the players, coaches, and SIDs that took time to speak with him. This article looks at what Dabo as well as a few others said on Thursday. Later today we’ll have observations from Christian Wilkins and Tyrone Crowder

Dabo:

-“Everyone wants to talk about last year, what we don’t have…I want to talk about what we do have.”

-Confirms camp starts on Aug 1

-On Dexter Lawrence:

  • “I’ve seen guys leave our program looking like that…I’ve never seen anyone show up to our program looking like that.”
  • Dex was apparently 340lbs with 19% body fat before his freshman season, while benching 30+ reps on the 22

-On recruiting since CU’s achieved national respect:

  • “We had to beg Tajh to come see him…” but now, they always get a conversation, a visit, etc. Guys from all over the country call Clemson to come visit.
  • The difference is selling results vs. selling a vision. When you have results, recruiting is a lot easier.

-On VT:

  • Almost hired Justin Fuente. Told their AD “you think you got a good hire, but I know you got a great hire.” This is interesting to hear and seems to confirm the idea that a lot of the young ACC coaching talent is pretty good. Great to see, but likely makes things difficult for Clemson going forward.
  • Not surprised by VT's immediate success. Thinks they have no ceiling under Fuente.
  • Thinks that player development is his staff’s greatest skill set.

-Really burned by Yeargin injury. Saw him as a developmental player who had molded his physical and mental skills the right way, and was on the cusp of a breakout season. Likes the overall defensive depth but feels the team is a little short of experience at DE. Extra urgency added to Xavier Kelly’s development.

-On the QB competition: didn’t say anything we didn’t already know. But he’s clearly confident: “We got a bunch of grinders, man.”

The One and Only Tim Bourrret:

-Asked about Clemson taking the #1 ranking in Gameday programs: shouts out to Brian Hennessy, who put together the whole thing. Great source of pride for the AD.

-Asked about his favorite stat from last season: Clemson played the NCAA’s toughest ranked schedule, defined as opponent’s performance against everyone but CU. Also appreciative of the scheduling that allowed Clemson to play and beat the last 7 national championships. Extremely complimentary of Dabo’s record against national championship winning coaches. Like this reporter, he’s surprised that only 4 remain active.

Ultimately what you’d expect from Dabo. He’s looking forward with this team and trying to avoid complacency. It is hard to do, harder than anything in the business. But so far everyone is on the same page which is critical. His comments about the depth on DE are interesting because they are rather candid. If Dabo is saying that publicly I’m a little concerned. But until fall camp starts there isn’t much we can do.