The latest from Clemson camp in the Tiger coach and players’ words…
Tyshon Dye injury’s complicating RB rotation: We still haven’t made that decision. We still have some discussions and evaluations (to come). I really like both of those (freshman running backs). They’re capable of playing, both of them. No doubt.
The problem with Tyshon is he hasn’t practiced all week (lower back injury). He got out of the gate really, really good and brought something we really don’t have, but just hasn’t practiced in quite a while now. Hopefully we’ll get him back soon, but if not, we’ll redshirt him and go from there.
Same with Gallman, he’s been incredibly consistent throughout fall camp. He’s competing very well. But we feel really good about our four (other) backs. It’s hard to play six backs. We’re going to sit down and talk through our different scenarios and special teams will be a part of it as well.
But Hot Rod’s the starter, in a committee-look: Rod’s our starter. He’s clearly earned the right to be the starter. We limited him (Saturday). He can’t do it by himself. We’ll be a running back by committee.
Defensive backs – youth and health: All of those guys have competed well. We just have to decide who’s most ready. We’ve got several that could benefit from a redshirt, but it’s really a close call on a couple of them because we have to have enough bodies and depth to do what we do. I’m really proud of the veteran guys that we do have. Those guys have stepped up and competed very well…It could change in the first three weeks. A guy that we plan to hold, we end having to play.
We’re pretty beat-up. We held Robert ( Smith) today. We held Travis (Blanks) today…We still have several guys that have been out. We probably would have limited them today even if they had been cleared to go. It was good to get all those guys working…(Freshman DB Adrian Baker) has been out too. He’s a guy that was having as good a camp as anybody. He looks better, but he hasn’t practiced (lately).
Freshman RBs: I’m always bragging on Georgia (players). They are downhill. I like that. I really think they’ll help this football team. I don’t know what the coaches have planned for them, but no matter what’s planned, I think they’re going to do great things.
On Shaq Lawson’s development: He’s way, way more focused. In the spring, he just got here and was trying to feel his way around. He’s (now) more familiar with the plays and more focused at getting better every day. I feel like he has gotten better since the spring.
Preseason polls: We just have play regardless whether we’re No. 1 or the last one. We have to play hard. It really don’t matter until the end.
Excitement for season: I’m very encouraged. I’m very excited. We’re close to where we need to be as a program. We’ve got everything we need to be ready for this first game.
TE/FB Darrell Smith’s role in the offense: Darrell Smith is a big part of this offense. He’s a guy that is a fifth-year senior who’s put in a tremendous amount of work. Anything you need him to do he steps on that field and he’s going to have a big impact.
Thomas sees Clemson o-line as 'strength'
Autograph/O’Bannon lawsuit controversy: It’s been like that for a long time. It’s more out there now. It hasn’t changed since I was little. I remember getting autographs from this guy and that guy and people being out there like ‘I can’t wait to get this thing sold.’ It’s not something new. It’s just highly publicized right now.
Ready for game-time, o-line a strength: I’m tired of beating up on each other out here. I’m ready to play somebody else. We’ve been working all summer. As a unit, we will be a strength of the offense.
Shaq Lawson’s play: I think he’ll be pretty good. Right now, he’s a pretty good player. As the season progresses, I think he’ll be really good working with Corey (Crawford) and all the other players.