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.
-Firstly, let me take a moment to complain about Media Days etiquette. The breakout interviews happen in a fairly large room, and the players have no microphones. Many, many reporters feel entitled to hang out in the breakout room and conduct gregarious, loud, and irrelevant conversations while interviews are going on. Understandably, many players speak pretty quietly, Crowder included. The result is that I am getting an entirely too intimate view of one reporter's severe dandruff while I try to lean in to catch even a few words of Crowder’s interview.
-Freshman OL that impresses Crowder: Bockhorst. Apparently benching 365, great personality like Jay Guillermo. This is great to hear. While technique is critical for OL making the jump, having the physical foundation makes the learning curve much easier. Maybe he’ll even be able to contribute this year.
-Biggest adjustment from HS: time management and academics. TC had to drastically develop his skills in this area to succeed at CU.
-Favorite postgame meals: Chick-fil-a and Smokin’ Pig. (Reporter’s note: Smokin’ Pig is not the best BBQ in the Clemson area. Both Black’s and Circle M are much better, as is Brasstown BBQ, though it is about a 45 minute drive.) Don’t blame me for this one guys.
-Just like last year, there was a reporter who asked every single player literally the exact same set of basically irrelevant, non-football questions. I feel compelled to report the answers.
- Question 1: Best dressed on the team? Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud.
- Question 2: Biggest practical jokers? Falcinelli and Slash (aka Christian Wilkins)
- Question 3: Teammate you want on your side during a fight? Big Dex (duh)
-Asked about how he can elevate his pass blocking to the same level as his run blocking, TC said “back to basics.” Technique and film study make all the difference. By mastering these two aspects of his game, he can ensure that he’s never surprised.
-How he feels about FSU vs. Bama: rooting for FSU because of conference affiliation.
-On Pitt loss: “They schemed well against the run. You have to establish the run. Run the ball, win the game.” Says he was surprised by the athleticism and technique a few Pitt players displayed.
-On Cervenka/Falcinelli battle: Complimented Cervenka’s physicality and athleticism, but noted he’s a lot less experienced. Also complimented Falcinelli’s emerging leadership. Nothing definitive. This makes sense from what we’ve heard/seen. And it seems like a the coaches will have a decision to make based on the set of skills the prefer from them, not because one guy is better than the other at everything.
-On RB competition: thinks it’s wide open, he has no idea who will start, and that all 3 main competitors bring qualities to the unit.
Slash/Christian Wilkins/CW42/Master Splitter:
-He’s working on the split with Dex, but it’s not there yet.
-A reporter commented about how Ben Boulware was FRESH last year in the capris, and whether Slash was really going to take over Ben's leadership position wearing a fairly plain suit. Slash replied that “Ben might know some nice clothes, but I know how to be sexy.” (Reporter’s note: Knowing how to be sexy is a major key.) Added that small guys have an advantage when it comes to looking fresh, because there generally aren’t fly shoes in a size 16, or shirts in a XXXL. Also mentioned that Ray Ray and Milan Richard are usually best dressed.
-Pregame music is late 90’s, early 00’s R&B.
-How to combat complacency in the program? “Leaders have to lead…Why not win two national championships?”
-Had two week high after the NCG, but during the first workout back, it immediately felt like they were starting over.
-Says one of his biggest responsibilities as a leader is “getting comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Slash isn’t naturally the most vocal guy, so he has to remind himself to always be out in front in terms of vocally maintaining accountability across the team.
-Most petty NCAA rule? Thinks parents should have more benefits and access, particularly on game days. This is interesting to hear.
-Favorite post-game meal? Whatever mom’s cooking, if she’s in town. Otherwise, Bojangles is a strong contender.
-Asked about how he’s been able to manage his nutrition, given his up and down weight requirements: Shouts out to Paul in nutrition. (Reporter’s note: most likely referring to Senior Assistant S&C Coach Paul Hogan).
-Sees his ideal DT playing weight as 305. May run a few pounds lower depending on how much time he sees in the hybrid role.
-Biggest Dex meal he’s ever seen? First day in the program, Dex ate multiple omelets—approximately 10 eggs—plus sides, breakfast meat, and waffles. Guesstimated he was at 10k calories/day for a minute there.
-On significance of winning the natty? “We blew every lid off the program.”
-On Saban’s “built like an SEC team” comments: Sees it as a knock on the ACC. Thinks ACC hasn’t gotten its due credit as the top conference in the last couple years.
-On Jake Bentley’s “not that much better” comments: “He has a right to feel however he felt, but we took care of business that day.”