Tigers have many challenges to overcome in fall camp
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says the start of football camp is like Christmas in August.
“Last night was like Christmas Eve for me,” he said Tuesday prior to heading out onto the field with his football team for the first time this summer. “There are an enormous about of things you have to do, and boxes you have to check, if you will, to get the plane up and off the ground to get it flying again.”
Swinney said he and his staff spent a large portion of Monday getting a lot of the administrative things done, while also reinstalling the program, its core values, things they believe in and why they do the things they do.
“We make sure everybody is on the same page,” Swinney said.
From a football standpoint, there are a lot of things the Tigers need to gone over the next 30 days before opening the season on Sept. 5 against Wofford in Death Valley. Clemson has to replace eight starters on a defense that led the nation a year ago, while also finding someone to kick the football.
Placekicker Ammon Lakip has been suspended for the first two weeks of camp for his off-season arrest in June. On Tuesday, the Tigers had scholarship kicker Alex Spence, punter Andy Teasdall and walk-ons Christian Groomes and Greg Huegel kicking field goals.
“Who is kicking? Who is kicking off? Who is kicking field goals? Who are the backups,” Swinney asked. “There are some questions we have to get resolved there. But we have talent on the roster so we will see how that all plays out.”
But don’t take that as Swinney being concerned.
“On day one, I’m not concerned about anything. I’m excited,” he said. “I’m excited to go to work and to start the process. Hopefully, we will be able to meet some of the challenges that we have.”