In his 12 years at Clemson, Dabo Swinney has had some very good football teams.
Two of his teams have won national championships. Two others have played for it, while a total of six teams won an ACC Championship.
Clemson has played in the College Football Playoff in each of the last five years, played in Orange Bowls, Sugar Bowls, Fiesta Bowls and the Cotton Bowl during Swinney’s tenure.
And though the 2020 season does not start until Saturday when the top-ranked Tigers visit Wake Forest, Swinney is already calling this year’s squad special. He said potentially, they have a chance to be the best he has ever coached.
“There is no doubt, the best teams I have been a part of have had great leadership in the locker room,” Swinney said during Tiger Calls Monday night on the Clemson Tigers Sports Network. “This team is no different.”
That chemistry and leadership in the locker room has allowed Clemson to stay together in every way despite what the world has gone through over the last six months with COVID-19 and with how the team helped organize and were a part of the Clemson Peaceful Protest this past June.
Swinney said that was a great moment for sure, but he knew this team was special long before then. He told his players back in April when he realized they were not getting back together in-person for a couple of months they had a chance to be great.
The Clemson coach felt, at that time, his team already had an edge that most did not and that it had a chance to grow. He said, as a coach, he saw the character of his team and the leadership of his team revealed at that time.
“This is a really, really strong knit team. It has been awesome. Just awesome to watch this group come together,” Swinney said. “I have had a lot of great teams, but I have never had a team have the challenges that this team has had. Never.
“Just take football away. Just with life, our world, young people that have all these things coming at them and to see the leadership and to see the maturity and to see these guys weather that and love each other. It has been really special to be a part of it and to see our culture win the day.”
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