Head coach wants fans to pack Death Valley on April 14
With Clemson’s annual Orange & White Spring Game just two weeks away, head coach Dabo Swinney sent Tiger fans a message. He wants to see them fill up Death Valley on April 14 when it kicks off at 2:30 p.m.
Why is Swinney urging Clemson fans, if they can, to come to Tiger Town instead of watching the game on television?
“That is a huge evaluation piece,” he said earlier this week. “That is why I hope our fans will show up on April 14.”
Swinney is anxious to see how guys who have not really played in front of a large crowd before, and the nine true freshmen who enrolled in school in January, will respond. It also looks good for recruiting for those prospects who will likely being watching the game on television as well as the ones who will make it to Clemson to observe and watch the game on a visit.
“The game is on TV. It matters. I mean it matters when they scan those cameras and you got bleachers where people are showing up,” Swinney said. “It says a lot.”
Besides the spring game, Clemson will also have a lot of former Tiger greats back for a visit as the spring game is usually a big Clemson Football Alumni weekend.
“It is a great opportunity to get those guys back around our players,” Swinney said.
But the biggest thing is having a huge crowd at Death Valley that can welcome the former players back as well help the coaches get a good evaluation on how the current Tigers will respond in pressure situations in front of a large crowd and good environment.
“I will tell you what. Our crowd is a huge, huge part of the evaluation piece for us because it is all we have. We need that environment to further evaluate these guys,” Swinney said.
There were a lot of prospects, teams and visitors at Clemson’s second scrimmage of the spring on Wednesday at Death Valley, and Swinney said it gave the team a spring-game kind of atmosphere.
The Tigers ran 91 plays in which the offense dominated the defense for the most part with seven touchdown passes and eight plays of 20 yards or more. There were also a lot of penalties and missed assignments on both sides.
“I think it is good. That is probably some of it today for some of these guys,” Swinney said. “It is their first time out here. There were a lot of people here. It was almost like a spring game here today. We had a lot of teams. A lot of prospects and a lot of different groups that were just here visiting today. So, I think it is good, especially with the spring game coming up.
“I really hope our fans will show up and have a great day here in Clemson on April 14.”