Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has always wanted to catch a pass from legendary NFL quarterback Brett Favre.
Swinney and Favre faced off once as players in college, when his No. 15 Alabama team faced 25th-ranked Southern Mississippi at Legion Field in 1990. In that game the future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback bested the Crimson Tide, 21-0, but the two never got the chance to meet following the game.
Fast-forward nearly 28 years, to this spring, both Swinney and Favre attended a charity event at Southern Mississippi and instantly hit it off. The two spent nearly an hour before the event talking about their playing days, making connections and exchanged phone numbers.
They texted throughout the year and Swinney asked if the “Gunslinger” would mind heading to Clemson and speaking to the Tigers in the future and Favre jumped at the opportunity.
“We like to bring people in to give a different voice and a new perspective and to break up the monotony of fall camp,” Swinney said. “He was excited to come and had actually never been to Clemson.”
Favre spent most of the day with the Tigers on Wednesday, arriving early in the morning to speak to the team and sticking around for the first day of practice in full pads.
Swinney enjoyed listening to the former Packers’ great and believes his team has a lot to learn from Favre.
“He talked a lot about preparation and he always had a mindset of going out with something to prove,” Swinney said. “That’s a thing that made him great, no matter how many touchdowns he threw, he went in with an attitude of having something to prove.”
Swinney wants the same type of attitude from his team this fall. Despite the preseason hype and all of the recent success surrounding the program, the Tigers still have a lot to prove.
For the last several years Swinney has used flex time as an opportunity to loosen up his arm with one of the equipment managers.
He had a little different experience before practice Wednesday, “I traded out the manager for Brett Favre today and that velocity was a little bit different but I was 100% so that’s good.”
After shaking off the rust with the Clemson head coach Favre settled in to watch most of practice and really enjoyed his first trip to Tiger town.