When a player is recruited to the Clemson football program, he understands what is expected of him.
To play for Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney, he has to be about the team. There are no exceptions.
“He does an awesome job just allowing no entitlement,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “The guys that we recruit into this program, we don’t have a big problem with that.”
That is why you will not hear Trevor Lawrence or Travis Etienne gloat about being Heisman Trophy candidates. Instead, they deflect that kind of attention and want to talk about their teammates more.
“It is not really one of my goals,” Lawrence said. “It would be awesome if it happened… but first things first. I want to win a national championship. I think that is our team goal. I think, stuff like that, if it comes with it that is awesome. I’m just trying to do my job, do what I am supposed to do and see how it plays out.”
Scott says there is a fine line when it comes to self-promotion and he says their players do a great job of balancing those things out, especially Lawrence and Etienne.
“We have fun with it,” he said. “We have the little photo shoot where we get to take pictures and do that stuff. I think the biggest thing is what is the message when they get an opportunity to talk to the media and all of that.
“Are they talking about themselves? I told them a quote from Walter Payton. He said, ‘good players talk about themselves. Great players have other people talk about them.’ I think that is really what you want to see from your guys, but it really starts with Coach Swinney.”
Scott believes there is a place and time for a player to concentrate on their branding and their career, “but I personally think you can be confident but humble at the same time. I hope that is what describes a lot of our current guys here and a lot of the guys we have had in the past.”