Matt Bockhorst admits he had no idea what to expect from the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry when he got to Clemson in 2017.
A native of Ohio, Bockhorst grew up around the Michigan-Ohio State game. However, he only really saw that rivalry from the Buckeyes’ side of things.
“Oh yeah that was one of the biggest things coming down here, I didn’t really understand the rivalry,” Clemson’s reserve guard said. “I just had never been around it and I had grown up around the Michigan vs Ohio State rivalry and I was never really a fan of either of those schools.
“But coming down here and really being immersed in it, it is a big deal and it really matters. Especially for the guys who grew up in South Carolina. There’s definitely a sense of urgency this upcoming week.”
Bockhorst got an even better point of view of the rivalry when he was reshirted two years ago and made the trip to Columbia for the Tigers’ 34-10 win. However, since he was not dressed that day, he had to sit in the stands among both fan bases.
“I think that was the year that some Coca-Cola bottles were thrown,” he said. “It’s kind of crazy though because it seems as if some of the fans have more hatred toward one another than some of the players.
“A lot of the players, especially at the bigger schools we were recruited together so we know each other well and there’s a mutual respect. We all grind. We all work basically all year and some teams have obviously found more success, but a lot of teams go through very similar schedules. The mutual respect between players is something I think it would be nice to see between fan bases.”
Obviously, Bockhorst has not been in the rivalry game long enough.
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