Though the NCAA passed a new redshirt rule this past off-season, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says it does not change too much in the way the Tigers’ coaching staff will approach redshirting freshmen players this year.
Swinney says the coaches’ thought process is still the same.
“Let’s go through it exactly the way it has been in the past,” he said following Monday’s practice at Jervey Meadows. “Who do we know are going to play? Who are those guys? Who do we know that is going to redshirt as if the rule has not changed? Then, is there anybody that is on the bubble?
“That is kind of how we go through it. If they are going to play, why and let’s talk about it and make sure we are on the same page. If they are on the bubble, why and what’s our plan? We have always had a plan in the past for those guys. Then there are these guys that are definitely going to redshirt and here is why. So there is a reason for everything.”
The only difference is they will have the opportunity to play some of those redshirt players this year. The new rule allows a player to play in as many as four games before he defaults on his redshirt status.
The new rule really helps with those players that may be on the bubble. It can prove a player is ready and he can add depth to this year’s roster or it shows he is definitely not ready mentally, physically or both.
“We are not really changing anything. Whoever those guys are we are going to redshirt, we know that at some point we can get them in a ball game,” Swinney said. “It is just something that has never been here before.”
Swinney says the guys that are being redshirted will still be in their Power Hour program, which is something they really believe in at Clemson and something that has been proven to work.
“We are going to grow them up,” Swinney said. “Look at Jordan Williams. Man, what a transformation he has made in a year’s time. It is unbelievable! He is fixing to have a great year for us. He is a good football player. He has not played yet, but man he has been through Power Hour, he has been through the spring. He is in a whole other level than he was this time last year.”
Swinney said the thing he really likes about the new rule is the fact they can throw a player like Williams, a defensive tackle, into a game and get him some experience here or there.
“That is something we will talk about just week to week once we have decided this is definitely who we want to redshirt,” Swinney said.
Swinney says the coaches have talked about potential players from this year’s freshman class they might want to redshirt, but they have not made any definite decisions. On Wednesday, the staff will hold a meeting and candidates to be redshirted will be on the agenda.
“We’ve talked about it. We kind of have our initial thoughts,” Swinney said. “We will kind of reconfirm that on Wednesday and then we will set that depth chart on Thursday and kind of let everyone know here we are and here is the plan and then meet with everyone. It is not something I want to release to the media. They need to hear it from me before you guys.”
Clemson will conclude fall camp on Tuesday with an afternoon practice.