Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says it is always fun to get a phone call from former Florida and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.
“If he is calling, he has something to say and it is usually pretty funny,” Swinney said following Wednesday’s practice as the third-ranked Tigers get set take on No. 13 Auburn Saturday night in Death Valley.
Spurrier was calling Swinney to invite him and Kathleen as his guest to his College Football Hall of Fame Induction dinner later this year. Spurrier also invited former Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer. The Ol’ Ball Coach was joking around on his weekly ESPNU radio segment on Wednesday that he only has two friends.
“I made the list,” Swinney joked. “Me and Fulmer … We are the only two he invited. I’m glad to be there. That ought to be a hell of a dinner. It will be fun.”
Though it may surprise some people because of their back-and-forth wise cracks when Spurrier was the head coach at South Carolina, but Swinney and Spurrier are actually really good friends.
“That was actually a neat call back in the summer,” Swinney said. “He was talking about the night before the event he was going to have a dinner so I was real honored he wanted Kath and I to come so I look forward to that.”
Injury updates. Clemson safety Van Smith is still questionable for the Auburn game, but the Clemson coach said the junior looked better and has made some progress with his sprained knee.
“He is getting a little bit better,” Swinney said. “It is one of those things where he is a little sore, but very stable. It is not anything where he has to have surgery on it or anything like that, it is just a little soreness he is working through, but he is getting a little better each day.”
Swinney said Denzel Johnson is good and that “I think he is going to be able to go.” Swinney said Johnson is probable to play in Saturday’s 7 p.m. kickoff.
As for the rest of the team, Swinney said they are generally healthy.
“We played a lot of guys and came through it in pretty good shape last week,” he said.
Rudolph has impressed coaching staff. Freshmen defensive end Logan Rudolph could see some serious game action on Saturday.
Last week, the freshman played 12 snaps for the Tigers and recorded two tackles and had one tackle for loss in the win over Kent State. Rudolph is listed as the second-team defensive end behind Austin Bryant for the Auburn game.
“He is practicing against good people every day,” Swinney said. “He is going against Mitch (Hyatt), Tremayne Anchrum, (Sean) Pollard and all of those cats. That is why he is listed as second team right now. He has demonstrated that he can go play.
“He has processed it well and he played end (in high school) so it has been a little more natural for him, but he has to be ready.”