Baylon Spector grew up hearing the lore of the Clemson-Georgia rivalry from his father Robbie who played for the Danny Ford in the late 1980s.
In those days the Tigers met the Bulldogs on the gridiron more frequently and now the matchups between the regional rivals are few and far between.
But Spector knows the importance of Saturday’s game for fans of both programs.
“Being so close it definitely means something to both states,” Spector said. “He (Robbie) did talk about the intensity every year playing them and is super excited and always looked forward to it. I don’t know why they got away from it but I’m glad it’s back.”
Not only does the game mean more to Spector because of his Clemson ties but it also carries weight because of familial ties to the Bulldogs.
The graduate linebacker’s first cousin, Kris Durham, played wide receiver for Georgia from 2006-10 before he was picked up by the Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Durham finished a successful college career in red and black with 64 catches for 1,109 yards and four touchdowns.
“It’s very exciting, I grew up dreaming of these situations and games,” Spector said. “I had family that played for Georgia so I’m super excited that’s all I can say.”
The Calhoun, Georgia native said there has been no family trash talk as of Monday but expects a call or text from Durham before the Tigers take the field against his alma mater on Saturday.
“He hasn’t hit me up about it actually, but I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t this week he probably will,” Spector said.
Spector wishes the two teams played more frequently and recalled conversations with his dad about the 11-year war. For him the game between Clemson and Georgia is definitely a rivalry game.
“He talked about it a good bit and it’s a huge rivalry even though we don’t play each other every year,” he said.
Clemson opens the season with the Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!