By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- With the Tigers’ trip to the Discover Orange Bowl just weeks away, center Dalton Freeman believes that he and his teammates are doing a great job of getting back to basics and working on becoming more polished on both sides of the ball.
“Practice is going good so far, we’re just going out there and working on the basics,” Freeman said. “We continue to stress the fundamentals and working on what got us this far. For a lot of the veteran guys we’ve been able to get in a lot more work and take the young guys under our wings and show them how to study film and how to break it down. We’re getting ahead and that’s the great thing about having a month to prepare.”
What has it been like on campus for Freeman after the Tigers’ brought home the ACC Championship to Clemson?
“It’s unbelievable, that’s why we came here to win championships,” Freeman said. “To finally get the respect from everyone that we’ve been working so hard to get, it’s a lot of fun.”
Has it been difficult for the team to get back into the frame of mind that they need to get back to work after winning the ACC Championship?
“I can speak for myself and a lot of these guys we were ready to get back out to work,” Freeman said. “As well as we played there were still some things to correct, we were ready to come out and play the next week, it’s unfortunate we’ve got to wait a month, but we’re taking advantage of the break and trying to get healthy.”
One of the five goals each year for Clemson’s program is to win the bowl game, no matter what bowl they’re invited to. The fact that it’s a BCS Bowl adds a little more urgency for Freeman and his teammates to achieve the goal.
“That’s our main goal,” Freeman said. “One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to win the bowl game, no matter what bowl it was. Now that we have a BCS bowl, we’re going to give it everything we have.”
Freeman believes that winning the Orange Bowl could be a spring board for next year’s season with the win giving the team momentum moving forward.
“It’s huge especially for recruiting and building the foundation that we’ve laid so far,” Freeman said. “It’s going to be huge for us. People don’t understand how much work goes into the program and really having this month to get healthy and get recovered, I think that’s going to be big for us. But at the same time you have to worry about getting rusty, so we’re taking great advantage of practices and really getting ahead in the meeting room.”