It is time for the latest edition of Ask TCI. Each week we will take questions on the message board The Rock.
Each weekend we will run our Ask TCI feature with answers to some of the questions asked by the Clemson Insiders. Make sure to get your questions in next week.
Question – Robert, if you were going to battle and could pick one player on the team to take with you, who would you pick and why?
TCI – That is a great question. I would have to go with Tajh Boyd. Tajh is a leader. Everyone he goes people look up to him. It is not just his personality, but it is his passion and his work ethic.
A great leader and motivator is always needed. Tajh is the guy for sure. He will lead by example and get the best out of those around him.
Questions – Any good news regarding Kyrin Priester and the NCAA Clearinghouse?
TCI – No, it doesn’t look like Kyrin will make it into Clemson this year. This really shouldn’t have any impact on this year’s team as the depth in front of him would have made it difficult for him to see the field. Clemson is bringing in one of the nation’s top receivers classes in 2014 so talent at receiver for this year and the future is not a concern.
Question – Pass rush was terrible last year. What are the plans for Hobby and Venables to improve that?
TCI – The pass rush last season was not good early in the year, but late in the season it was much improved. In the first seven games the Tigers only has seven sacks. In the last six they had 27. They finished 20th in the country in sacks. Spencer Shuey took over at MIKE in the seventh game and started making the calls.
For the last six games of the season the Tigers pass rush was very solid. We would expect to see that improve even more with the more experienced depth they have returning.
Question – Other than South Carolina, which road game do you think will be the toughest or trickiest game?
TCI – The two ACC road games that are the biggest concern are NC State and Syracuse. Any time you go on the road for a Thursday night game it is a concern. Teams play their best at home when the nation is watching. There is no question that Clemson is more talented that NC State, but if they make mistakes and keep the Pack in the game it could get dangerous.
The Syracuse game is a concern because of playing in the Carrier Dome. Clemson has never played up there so it will be a new experience after a long road trip. Listening to the coaches and the players at the ACC Kickoff it sounds like it can be a very difficult environment to play in when the crowd gets going. The Canes fans will be out in force when Clemson comes to town for their first ever ACC game. Clemson is definitely the more talented team, but on the road in a hostile environment they will need to bring their A game.
Question -Will Anthony and Steward finally live up to their potential this year?
TCI – The answer to that question may determine if Clemson has a good season or a great season. We have heard good things about both during the spring and the offseason. The most likely to live up to his potential this season is Anthony. He battled a number of injuries last year. In the spring the staff moved Shuey over to WILL in hopes that Anthony can be “the man” at MIKE.
If Steward stays healthy he will have an impact this season and see the field for significant time for the first time. He has slimmed down some this year and finally appears to be healthy. He doesn’t have the experience that some others in front of him have, but he has plenty of talent. We would expect Steward to improve his game as the season moves along. By the end of the season he could become a more dominant player.
If both Steward and Anthony can play like 5-star linebackers this season the defense will reach another level.
Question – What is the situation on Kelly and the medical red shirt? If he does red shirt thats really puts him into a 1 on 1 battle with Watson. What if he is beat out? Does he transfer?
TCI – Absolutely not, the staff does their own evaluations of players. They know a thousand times more about evaluating talent than the online recruiting services. Not sure why anyone would think that the guys working at the recruiting sites would know more than the guys that have played the game and coached the game at a major college football level.
Coach Brooks has coached some of the top defensive linemen in the history of the game.
Clemson and other schools use some other recruiting services to get data on prospects, but that is different than the national sites the fans use. The Clemson staff has tremendous contacts around the region with high school coaches and others so they learn about the top players long before others in most cases. The staff has a lot more information on the recruits around the region than the online recruiting services.