By Trey McCurry.
Dabo Swinney spoke briefly to reporters after Clemson’s practice Wednesday evening at the Jervey practice fields.
The big news out of practice was that new-promoted receiver DeAndre Hopkins “tweaked” his groin in practice Wednesday and missed the second half of practice. According to Swinney, “He should still be able to play Saturday against North Carolina.”
In other injury news, Swinney also talked David Smith and his potential return from a high ankle sprain against Auburn. “I’m pretty optimistic with David right now. After watching him go through drills today, I’m hopeful at the very least he will be available and game-ready Saturday. Ideally I’d like to win the game without him, but I’m encouraged he can be available if needed.”
Another thing Swinney addressed was the importance the state of North Carolina is to the Clemson program. To see this importance, look no further than the 12 players from the state on the Tigers travel roster, including four starters: Dwayne Allen, Marcus Gilchrist, Chris Hairston, and Landon Walker.
“North Carolina is big for us. It is a state we have to do well in. Everyone right here around us is. It is almost like home for us, right here at the border. It’s the game thing with Georgia, or even Alabama. North Carolina has been good to Clemson over the years with some of the best players from Clemson coming from North Carolina. We have to continue to do a good job up there.”
Swinney also pointed out that the captions for the game would be North Carolinians Miguel Chavis (Fayetteville), Gilchrist (High Point), and Hairston (Winston-Salem).