By Heath Bradley.
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney has always been known as a great motivator of his football team. Recently, Swinney had an outside source come speak to the team, allowing the players to hear another source of motivation entering fall camp. Swinney has read a couple books by the speaker and felt the insight of the author could help this team entering 2012.
The author spoke to the Tigers telling them to determine a word they wanted to define their 2012 season. While the team has one goal for the season as a whole, the speaker felt each player should also focus on “one word” they felt would help them become the best player they could become in 2012, “a vision”. As players stretch before practices and games, Swinney walks around speaking to each player of the team.
Since meeting with the speaker, Swinney has asked players what their “One Word” for the season was for 2012. Swinney said today following practice that when he walks around the players. “You hear everything from faith, to responsible, drive, to toughness and perseverance.”
One player’s word seemed to stick out to Swinney more than the rest. That was the word of redshirt senior running back Andre Ellington. “Relentless” is the word chosen by Andre Ellington for the season and Coach Swinney could not be happier. “I love it. That is what he looks like, he has got the eye of the tiger.”
Ellington’s ability to stay on the field and avoid injury in 2012 will play a vital role in the success of this football team. Ellington has spent part of each of the past two seasons hampered by injuries and Coach Swinney understands that his ability to stay on the field is important for the Tigers. “I am just praying the Good Lord will keep him healthy. I think he is headed for a special year if we can keep him between the lines.”
If Ellington can stay healthy and run with “relentless” passion and intensity, he can impact the game unlike and other running back in the ACC. Ellington will get the chance to show his relentlessness early and often for the Tigers. With a young offensive line Chad Morris and the Clemson offense will likely run the ball more often to create good situation for Boyd to find open receivers in the passing game. Ellington also figures to be a more integral part of that passing attack this season, working hard over the offseason to better his hands. With relentless effort and hard work, Ellington has the possibility to have a very special final season as a Clemson Tiger.