Down the Hill, one last time, for Clemson's dozen seniors

Dabo Swinney: 'I'm thankful for them - for their commitment, their perseverance, and for the change they've brought to Clemson'

Clemson players run down the hill, a tradition since late coach Frank Howard did so with players in 1967. Fans and television audience see what is termed 'The most exciting 25 seconds in college football.'

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson players run down the hill, a tradition since late coach Frank Howard did so with players in 1967. Fans and television audience see what is termed "The most exciting 25 seconds in college football."

One last time down the Hill.

Dabo Swinney expects the Valley to be rocking tonight when a group of dozen seniors lead Clemson's grand entrance

"I love Senior Day - to see those guys, the look in their eyes, to come down the Hill and see their families; and just to basically know that each one has seen it through," said Swinney."

This year's senior class includes many of the team's mainstays - defensive backs Xavier Brewer, Jonathan Meeks and Rashard Hall; running back Andre Ellington, center Dalton Freeman, linebackers Tig Willard and Corico Hawkins, tight end Brandon Ford, wide receiver Jaron Brown, kicker-punter-holder Spencer Benton, defensive end Malliciah Goodman, and long-snapper Sam Van Gieson.

As a group, they've won a school-record 23 ACC games, while claiming the Atlantic Division title three times in four years. Their 35 total victories are the most by a Clemson class since 1991. They've won 10 regular-season games for the first time since 1981, and they're part of a school-record 13-game Death Valley winning streak.

They'll take the field tonight against the Gamecocks with a 24-3 record at home.

"When you get to college and you see that mountain, you think you'll never get there," Swinney said. "But you put your head down and you climb and climb. To see those guys get their degrees and to have careers and the accomplishments these have had, it'll be a special day in the Valley....

"We've watched them grow into men. All of them will have their degrees within a couple of weeks, and all are going to be successful after Clemson, some continuing to play ball and others moving to other things in life.

"I'm thankful for them - for their commitment, their perseverance, and for the change they've brought to Clemson."

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waran writes:

I am proud of these players. I am also proud of my coach...of what he said about them. About all of them getting their degrees and their careers ... "to other things in life". This is what makes Clemson different from many other places I know and have taught. Good luck in the game today, good luck with your life as you move forward.

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