Though the first game of the 2018 football season is less than seven months away, the process has already begun.
“We are ready to get started on this 2018 team,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said.
The Clemson football team began the first phase to its new season on Wednesday with its All-In Drills at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility in Clemson. This is the first step in getting the Tigers ready for spring practice, which will begin on Feb. 28.
“It all starts with our All-In Drills, which is an awesome opportunity for us to really kind of instill some of the core values that you have to have in a championship program,” Swinney said.
Since the end of National Signing Day, Swinney and his staff have self-scouted themselves and have tried to figure out ways they can make themselves better as a whole.
“We have a lot of quality control going on right now with our staff and our support staff and studying and trying to figure out how we all can get better,” Clemson’s head coach said. “That’s what we try to do. We all want to get better and continue to grow and mature and be the best version of whatever role we have.
“That is the challenge I have for this staff and everybody in this building. Everybody has to get a little bit better.”
The Tigers should be better just based on all the experience it has returning in 2018. Clemson will be a junior and senior lead team that will return 17 starters on offense and defense that started at least four games in 2017. They also return 21 other players that played significant roles in crucial situations.
“We are going to work hard at that and then we are going to ask the same things from our players,” Swinney said.
Clemson of course is coming off its third straight appearance in the College Football Playoff and third straight ACC Championship after going 12-2 last year. The program has recorded seven straight 10-win seasons and only Alabama has won more games during that time than Clemson.
After falling a game short of the national championship game, the Tigers are hungry to get the new season started, so it can start climbing that mountain once again.
“Spring is coming early here at Clemson and (we are) choppin’ at the bit to get on the field,” Swinney said. “The Spring Game is April 14. So hopefully we can have a huge crowd come and see these guys for the first time for a lot of them.”