Reviewing the eventful week that was in TigerTown…
1) Remember K.J. McDaniels? The first-team All-ACC wing still has a decision to make between the NBA Draft and playing his senior year in Clemson. He has until April 27, and he should come back.
Ultimately, McDaniels has to make the best decision for him and his family, but as Brad Brownell has said, his ceiling is even higher than the marked improvement over the last three years. The decision is to either cash in on that now as a potential late-first-round pick or work his way into a “lottery” pick next season (worth $500,000 to more than a million or more per year).
McDaniels’ eye-catching athleticism is going anywhere, but he can become a bigger threat as a shooter and facilitator and make a viable run at ACC player of the year. Selfishly, I’d like to cover him and what could be a really good Tiger team next season, but either way, there’s not a bad choice in front of the Birmingham native.
2) “If the quarterback room isn’t right, nothing is right,” Cole Stoudt said a couple weeks back, clearly recalling a Chad Morris-ism. The elephant in Clemson’s WestZone was somebody wasn’t going to be happy, eventually. It’s no real stretch in retrospect to say Chad Kelly’s emotions were something the coaches had to manage. Morris said in the wake of the spring game that Kelly’s passion can help and hurt him. That in mind, it feels like the coaching staff could finally give Stoudt his due this week after Kelly’s dismissal. Deshaun Watson will have his time – even this season, but Morris, Swinney and Stoudt himself have seen all they need and more this spring out of the Ohio native to lead the Tigers this fall. As for Kelly, he needs to find the right situation and get the right kind of influences around him. When he's focused, he is a talent. There’s a roadmap out there for this kind of thing now that can end in a successful collegiate career.
3) I’m about five days into knowing that the Freedom From Religion Foundation exists. And if you strip down the rhetoric – that’s really the point, isn’t it? In many ways, the whole situation is beneficial for all. The FFRF has achieved recognition on a scale they probably couldn’t have even imagined when they lodged their complaint about how intertwined Clemson football and Christianity is. The issues have been addressed in articles across the Web and segments on national cable news aplenty. On the flipside, the school has stood behind Dabo Swinney and his staff – along with many current and former players in a circling of the wagons that has made a tight-knit community that much tighter.
In some interesting timing, Clemson released its new recruiting video this week entitled, ‘The Total Package,’ hailing an environment you just can’t find anywhere else. This is how Swinney is going to run his program, and up until this week – you couldn’t find many folks having an issue with it. Still, the discourse from the week, overall, is positive. Sometimes, it’s good to stop and talk about why we do the things we do, even if it evokes heated conversation. The FFRF complaint may make Swinney retool some aspects – it may not. But something good can come out of it.