Having previously started at both offensive guard and tackle during his Clemson career, senior Sean Pollard is finally settling into his new role at center but knows that no spot is guaranteed, even as a veteran.
Pollard said at Monday’s press conference that he is looking forward to opening up his last season as a Tiger against Georgia Tech on Thursday night at Death Valley. He knows the Yellow Jackets will bring a newfound energy to the field, presenting Clemson with a good challenge early on in the season.
Pollard on nerves going into season opener
“I think every game is nerve-wracking. Until you get that first hit in, you’re going to have butterflies in your stomach and are going to feel kind of queasy, but with the opener there is a lot of unknowns. We’ve had a long time to prepare, they’ve had a long time to prepare for us, so you just don’t know truly what they are going to bring out there, so I guess that’s a little bit more nerve-wracking. We practice with a purpose here and we try to play to a standard. That kind of calms your nerves because we play for Clemson and play for our standard.”
Pollard on playing against Georgia Tech
“They are going to play hard like they always do. That’s one thing I will say about Georgia Tech is they always have pride. They’ll come in and smack you in the mouth, and that’s how they always play. With this new coaching staff, they’re known for bringing energy to the field and you can see it. They’re going to hit you hard and will be ready to play. Georgia Tech isn’t intimidated by anybody and they are going to come in here and give us their all. As a senior knowing you’re going to get the best out of everyone just makes it more exciting on game day.”
Pollard on the Tigers’ young talent
“It’s been different for sure. The young guys are all so talented and Clemson recruits so well. You can see the flashes and the sparks in that. Once they all get it, it’s going to be like ‘wow, there are going to be some great ones coming through here.’ We are the old guys now, where Christian (Wilkins), Clelin (Ferrell) and all those guys were the old guys before. We are a little more savvy, we’ve been there and we know a little bit more of the system, but once it fully clicks it’s going to be crazy.”
Pollard on how his role on the team has evolved
“It’s just realizing, even if you don’t think about it, the young guys are looking up to you. Everything you do and how you carry yourself is how they are going to carry themselves. A little thing of making sure I run completely off the field and paying attention to little details like that just tells the freshman and younger guys who haven’t played that ‘OK, he’s doing it and there’s a reason why he’s doing it. He’s been to the big game, so maybe we should listen to him.’”
Pollard on team mentality
“It’s a one-game mentality always. We prepare to play for Clemson, and if you’re preparing to play for us, you take it seriously and that’s what we do for every opponent. You can get beat on every day by anybody, and it doesn’t matter who you play, and if you don’t take it seriously then you’re very susceptible to losing and we don’t want to do that. That’s why we take every opponent seriously to make sure we give them the upmost respect because they are preparing as well, so why not give them that respect by doing the best you possibly can.”
We are pleased to announce a new partnership with Fanatics. This is great news for Tiger fans as they have the officially licensed Clemson gear.
The Clemson Insider will get a portion of all sales so get ready for another championship season by ordering your Clemson gear today and help support TCI.