Skalski not bothered by All-ACC snub

Skalski not bothered by All-ACC snub

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Skalski not bothered by All-ACC snub

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Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is very happy for his 16 players that were named to the 2019 All-ACC Football Teams, which were announced by the league Tuesday.

However, Swinney thinks redshirt junior linebacker James Skalski should have earned All-ACC recognition as well and made that clear during his press conference Tuesday.

“Not real sure how Skalski didn’t make it,” Swinney said. “He would have been one of my top votes for sure. I don’t even think he made honorable mention. But if I’m correct, I don’t think Isaiah Simmons made honorable mention last year … and he was pretty good last year, too, but didn’t make honorable mention in the league. But it’s just kind of how it goes.

“But I give a personal shout-out to Skalski because I think he is a war daddy and has had as good of year as any linebacker we’ve had.”

Skalski appreciates his coach sticking up for him but says he is not concerned with individual accolades and does not care much about being left off the All-ACC squads.

“I mean I’m really not worried about all that stuff,” he said. “I know who we got here, I know the piece of the puzzle I am to this defense and I just know the task at hand, which is winning the ACC Championship, and that’s all that really matters to me.”

Skalski is second on Clemson’s defense with 80 total tackles, just four behind ACC Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Simmons. Skalski also has six tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass breakups and seven quarterback pressures in his first season as the Tigers’ starting middle linebacker.

Asked if he feels he has performed at an All-ACC level in 2019, Skalski responded, “100 percent.”

“Yeah, how can you not say that or believe that about yourself?” he said. “Yeah, I think so, but congrats to all those guys that did make it. They’re well deserved.”

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