Dabo Swinney met with his players on Monday to make sure they know that Clemson is there to help as the dangerous Hurricane Florence draws closer and threatens to wreak havoc on the East Coast and Carolinas.
A number of Clemson players’ families could be impacted by Florence, as most of the roster is from states on the Atlantic Coast.
“We talked about it yesterday. We went around the room, who could be impacted, and make sure they all know that we’re here to help and that there’s some things we can do when people have to be evacuated and so forth,” Swinney said. “My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people who are in the path of this monster, and my prayers that the good Lord will just do something to turn it, sit it down, whatever, and that we won’t have to deal with the type of devastation that appears is coming for a lot of people. We’ve got players that are impacted by it, and we’re going to do everything we can to help them and their families as people evacuate.”
The NCAA allows schools to aid players’ immediate family members if they are forced to evacuate. Last year, Clemson was able to help Trayvon Mullen’s family, which is from Florida, during Hurricane Irma.
“We had it happen last year with Trayvon,” Swinney said. “His family came up here and stayed. We were able to help them with that. So, we just made sure that (the players) know the resources that are available to them and to communicate with us on what their needs are.”
Clemson senior wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is one of the players whose family could be impacted by Florence, a violent Category 4 hurricane.
Renfrow said his family, which is from the Myrtle Beach area, is in the process of deciding how they will deal with the situation.
“They’re good,” Renfrow said. “I think they’re going to stay. I’m not sure. They’ll probably make a game-time decision. … But they’re smart people, so they’ll figure it out.”
Regardless of whether his family stays or goes, Renfrow is glad to know that Clemson has their back and will do what it can to take care of them should they need the help.
“That was interesting to hear,” Renfrow said. “I didn’t know that I guess they can pay for hotels or whatever to evacuate. That’s cool that they got that passed. I’m not sure when they did, but Trayvon Mullen last year, it worked for him. But that’s just comforting to know that it can be in place and the school and NCAA can do for us.”
As they monitor Florence, the Tigers are also preparing to play Georgia Southern at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Death Valley. As of now, the game is still scheduled to be played, so Clemson is going through meetings and practicing as usual as they get ready to play.
“Just looking at it, I’m not sure what the rain’s going to do,” Renfrow said. “It rained a lot this past weekend at A&M. But it presents a little bit of a challenge as far as catching the ball, but not too much. … It presents a little different challenge, and hopefully during practice this week we can emulate that, maybe do some wet-ball drills and that sort of thing. But it will be raining on their sideline, too.”