When Tony Elliott first learned he had tested positive for COVID-19, and was not going to be coaching in the Sugar Bowl this past January, he broke down.
“Just the initial shock. I had no idea,” Clemson’s offensive coordinator said Wednesday after the Tigers wrapped up their fifth day of spring practice. “It happened as we were coming off the practice field from our final walk through. I thought I was being summoned over to the side to possibly talk about an injured player.”
Instead, Elliott found out he was not going to be able to accompany his team to New Orleans to play Ohio State in the College Football Playoff.
“It was probably harder the first couple of days,” he said. “When they told me, I broke down. I was so disappointed. I started thinking immediately, what have I done? Could I have done something better? But by the time I got to the game and I was able to be able to be a part of the preparation. I knew that the guys were ready to play. I was just excited to see them play.”
By the time the game came around, Elliott was in a good place.
“I kind of centered myself and found a little piece. God does not say, ‘Oops!’ Everything happens for a reason,” he said.
Unfortunately, Elliott started to feel bad again when the Tigers started to struggle and could not run the football. Clemson fell behind fast in the second quarter and could not keep up with an Ohio State offense that was shredding the Tigers’ nationally ranked defense.
“I thought they did a good job early on. It was a little bit tougher towards the middle of the game when things were not quite going our way,” Elliott said.
“But as the game went on, and to see the guys struggle and to know I was not there to help them out, that is when it started to hurt.”
Make sure you dress to impress and wear the latest Clemson gear.
Please stay safe and get your officially licensed Clemson gear right here!