Former Clemson defensive tackle Jock McKissic has been back at Clemson this week working at the Dabo Swinney High School Football Camp.
McKissic spoke to The Clemson Insider and shared his excitement about being back in Clemson with the opportunity to help and instruct high school athletes.
“It means a lot for me to have the opportunity to come back and work these camps,” he said. “The majority of people that come back and work now are college coaches or current Clemson guys and it means a lot for them to invite me because I’m not coaching now but I have enough knowledge in the game to come back and still coach.
“When I was young I didn’t have the opportunity to go to a lot of camps because of financial reasons. I had a single mom so it was kind of hard for me to go to a lot of camps and get the opportunity.”
McKissic, who began his Clemson career in 2005, became a regular starter in 2006 and although he did not go on to play in the NFL, he pursued a career in acting which he has always had a strong passion for. Although it’s been nine years since McKissic last played in Death Valley, traveling back to Clemson made him realize that although the facilities have improved and upgraded, the traditions and culture behind Clemson Football will always remain the same.
“My thoughts on the overall program is that it’s changed a lot and then it hasn’t changed a lot,” he said. “What hasn’t changed is the family-oriented atmosphere, the feel here, the hard-working attitude we have, the standards that we have at Clemson, you know ‘Best is the Standard,’ those things haven’t changed.
“The foundation hasn’t changed but the facilities of course have changed tremendously. When I was here we didn’t have an indoor (facility), we only had a turf field. Of course the new football facility is huge. The West End Zone was halfway complete when I was here so we just had the locker room area. We didn’t even have the coaching rooms. So that’s changed a lot and of course with tradition and winning.
“When I was here we were in Jervey and McFadden. We had our meeting rooms in McFadden and they were probably big enough for about 12 people. We had little folding chairs in our team meeting room. Over there they have the nice cushion chairs. That alone is amazing to have comfortable chairs to sit in while the coach talks.”
McKissic also touched on some of the great leisure activities the new Allen Reeves Football Complex has and how he would’ve loved to have them during his time at Clemson.
“They have a nap room,” he said. “You’re at the facilities about 80 percent of the time when you’re not in the classroom so we have a nap room with recliners and then they have a team barber. That was one of the things that when I was here was always a struggle. You didn’t have time to go to the barber shop so we always had a couple of guys on the team that could cut hair.”
Overall, McKissic has thoroughly enjoyed his time at camp this week and has really appreciated the time he has spent with former and current Clemson players.
“It bridges the gap between former players and current players… you get close to guys like that because you see how much you have in common even though you’re ten years or six years older than these guys so that means a lot.”
—Above photo: Former Clemson football player Jock McKissic, right, poses with Hollywood star Adam Sandler on the set of “Blended.” McKissic, who is back in Clemson this week helping with the Dabo Swinney Football Camps, was a stunt double in the film for Sandler’s c0-star Shaquille O’Neal. McKissic now works as an actor in Hollywood and Atlanta where he had roles in several films and television shows. (Photo courtesy of Jock McKissic)