The extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA in response to the pandemic has created interesting dynamics in locker rooms across the country.
Clemson calls its group of veterans the Sixth-Year Club that consists of defensive end Regan Upshaw, safety Nolan Turner, punter Will Spiers, linebacker James Skalski and running back Darien Rencher.
Rencher joined the ACC Network’s Packer and Durham Show this past week and talked about how different it is to have seniors who are actually young bucks on the team.
“It’s six, me and Skalski came in together, it’s funny because the seniors now are still like our little bros because they’re two years younger than us,” Rencher said. “The true seniors are still two years younger than me and Skalski, so we are like the old veterans holding it down.”
Head coach Dabo Swinney made it clear this past spring how excited he was to have sixth year players in the locker room to help guide a stall of young players in their development.
In fact, Swinney gave the older players an opportunity to rest from contact during spring practice and focus on helping underclassmen develop and learn the playbook.
The added leadership bodes well for the Tigers as they return a host of talent in pursuit of another College Football Playoff appearance and national championship this fall.
Clemson opens the season with a tall test against Georgia on Sept. 4 in the Duke’s Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
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