Skalski's energy, enthusiasm takes Clemson's defense to another level

Skalski's energy, enthusiasm takes Clemson's defense to another level

Football

Skalski's energy, enthusiasm takes Clemson's defense to another level

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Baylon Spector has learned a lot from his teammate and linebacker James Skalski. However, more than anything, he has learned how to prepare and how to bring his full energy and enthusiasm each week to the playing field.

Skalski’s energy and enthusiasm for the game was evident against Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game, as he sparked a defense that held the Irish to a season low 44 rushing yards and to just 263 total in a 34-10 victory.

Clemson’s senior linebacker was flying in from every direction it seemed on every play. It was his energy that sparked the Tigers, who had 10 tackles for loss and sacked Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book six times.

“It is huge. He brings a sense of urgency that is unmatched on the field,” Spector said. “He knows where everyone is supposed to be. He is very coachable. He helps guys during the week and leads us during the week. He just brings that extra stuff we need throughout the week to prepare for the game.”

After sitting out the first meeting against Notre Dame, due to a groin injury, Skalski was ready to help Clemson avenge the regular-season loss. Not only was he flying to the football making plays and disrupting the Irish’s timing, but he was constantly smiling after every play and talking back-and-forth with the Notre Dame players about what was going to come next.

“I think you see that out of him every Saturday. Skalski loves to play the game,” Spector said. “He has a passion for the game. He brings it every week. Obviously, he had not been able to play a full game in a while so he was super excited.

“He was good and he was feeling healthy. We all got to see that (against Notre Dame). So, it was good and fun to see him back.”

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