Garry Peters stepped up and answered the call when the Tigers found themselves in dire straits in the defensive secondary last fall.
The same can't be said for his off-season.
Dabo Swinney says there's a lesson to be learned: everything counts.
For that reason, Peters will be spending his time in Vickery Hall next week when Clemson opens spring practice for the 2013 season.
"Garry is a guy we're really excited about as a player," said Swinney. "He made huge strides this past year as a football player. But he's a guy who still has to fully commit and have his attitude right and understand team commitment.
"He's going to miss a few practices to start out spring ball just simply for that reason. It's not anything bad other than just that his attitude needs to be better. We're going to try to help him through that process a little bit.
"He's a guy - along with Bashaud Breeland, Martin Jenkins and Darius Robinson - who is a key for us from a veteran standpoint."
Swinney said the disciplinary action is intended to make a big-picture point.
"When you're trying to be great, everything counts," Swinney said. "If we've got guys who are not going to go to study hall, or guys who are going to be missing class, or are habitually late to class, then we're just not going to let them practice. It's a privilege to be able to go out there and compete on the field.
"We want to make sure that these guys are fully focused and have the commitment that it's going to take and have the attitude and consistency that you've got to have to go win at a high level."
Swinney said Peters will participate in team functions and meetings "and then I'll send him over to Vickery Hall when we go practice."
"If he'll continue to do the right things, from an attitude and academic standpoint, then he'll rejoin us and get going," he said. "We certainly need him."