A product of Clemson’s local football factory at nearby Daniel High School in Central, S.C., offensive linemen Cade Stewart has seen a lot in his time at Clemson.
Stewart has been a Tiger for five seasons and has seen and experienced at lot of success, including being a part of two national championship squads.
Clemson’s starting center took time with the media earlier this week to discuss how the offensive line is handling the criticism, the state of the team after a loss, and how his last visit to Florida State reignited his love for football.
Stewart on the mistakes against Notre Dame
“We’ve just got to do better for ourselves. You can make all the excuses in the world. You can say this happened, that happened, we should have done this better, we should have done that better, but at the end of the day, they were a really good team. They fought really hard. They won the game. Now we see how to fight, and we were able to show we don’t give up. We don’t bow down to nobody, even though we didn’t have the outcome we wanted to. We have those characteristics that are hard for a team to find and we’re able to develop on those. Now we get to go back in and work on our technique and become a fluid and fundamentally sound team and offense.”
On if the Tigers are listening to the criticism of the O-Line and running game
“We just see it as an opportunity to get better. There’s always something that goes wrong and things happen that you don’t expect to happen or want to play out. It’s just an opportunity for us to grow as players and as a team and to get better and really refocus for this upcoming week to go out there and make a better performance.”
On leadership from offensive coordinator Tony Elliott after the loss
“Coach E is an incredible coach. He’s a natural born leader, for sure. He always finds the good in everything. There’s always something to be better and I love that as a player. You can always go to Coach E and look for advice. He’s always got great advice for any situation. Everybody, not just the offense, but the defense respects him because of how hard he’s worked, how smart he is, and his ability to communicate with anybody on any topic is truly incredible.”
On his first time playing at Florida State in 2018
“I remember the whole experience, the first time being in Tallahassee. They have a beautiful stadium. Just getting to get out there and play a lot, it was fun. It made you realize why you came to play the game and why you love it so much—because it’s game day and you want to give it all you’ve got. It really shows you why you work so hard 365 days a year. I think that game really showed me why I love the game so much and why I want to keep playing and pursue it.”
On comparing FSU and Notre Dame’s defensive lines
“I think they’re a very good defensive line. They have some incredible athletes. Same with Notre Dame. Those are some of the best players in the country. I think both defensive lines are really physical and tough defensive lines. You’ve got to eat your Wheaties. You’ve got to come at it because you play for Clemson. Everybody’s going to want to come for Clemson to give you their best shot. Week in and week out, you’ve got to give them everything you’ve got because they’re coming for you. We’ve really just got to do what we do every week—prepare. It’s the biggest game of the year because it’s the next game like Coach (Dabo) Swinney always says. We’ve got to refocus and fundamentally be sound for this week and prepare for the game.”