A lot of people have wondered why James Skalski wanted to return to Clemson for one more season.
It would have been easy for him to start the next chapter in his life. Maybe take a shot at playing in the NFL or starting a career in his chosen field.
But he did not do that, why?
“I am mad. I am upset with how (last year) ended,” Skalski said. “I want to leave here out on top.”
The Tigers ended last season with a disappointing performance in the Sugar Bowl, being dominated by Ohio State in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. The Clemson defense especially struggled and Skalski did not even make it through the game, as he was ejected for targeting after a collision with Buckeyes’ quarterback Justin Fields in the second quarter.
It was a night to forget for Skalski, the defense and all of Clemson.
And though he was upset he and the defense did not perform well, the linebacker says that is not his motivation for 2021.
“To me, it happened. It is over. I am on to the next thing,” he said.
“It is more motivation for me knowing it is my last ride at Clemson than a previous game,” he said. “To me, it has nothing to do with the past. Like this is it. This is truly it for me. I want to do everything I can to make it the best experience possible.
“Give (the fans) the best experience as possible and bring glory to Clemson.”
Skalski and the Tigers will get their first opportunity when Clemson takes on Georgia in a possible top 5 matchup in Charlotte on Sept. 4, as part of the Duke Mayo’s Kickoff Classic at Bank of America Stadium.