CLEMSON, S.C. – In Dabo Swinney’s perfect world, his Clemson football team is the last off the field at season’s end and the first team to open practice every spring.
The past several years have been pretty darned close to perfect for Swinney, what with unprecedented success for the program, including four College Football Playoff championship game appearances in five years.
“It has kind of become our norm,” Swinney said of the late finishes and early starts. “We’re the last off and one of the first – if not the first – back on the field. And I love that.”
Swinney will have 108 players for the first day of practice Wednesday, making the Tigers the first Atlantic Coast Conference team to get into the spring of things, if you will.
Clemson will conduct 14 practices during the next 5½ weeks before capping the spring with the annual spring game April 4.
PRIMARY CONCERN:Rebuilding secondary key for Clemson this spring
LOOKING AHEAD:An early forecast for college football’s Top 25 in 2020
“We’re very blessed that we’ve able to have a lot of time to keep practicing and staying in football shape,” Swinney said. “And we’ve got a lot of guys eager to get back out there and back at it.”
Fifteen of the players, all of whom joined the program in January as mid-year enrollees, will be experiencing their first spring practice as Tigers, providing Swinney’s team with a youthful flavor once again.
Last year’s team featured 80 freshmen and sophomores on the 120-man roster; this year’s team enters spring with 66 freshmen and sophomores, and that number will swell to approximately 78 when eight freshman signees and a few walk-ons join the fray over the summer.
“This is back-to-back years that we’ve got a young team,” Swinney said. “We signed a big class last year and another big class this year. Next year’s class will not be as big, so that’s kind of the cycle we’re in right now from a roster management standpoint.
“The good news is we pretty much have the entire roster here this spring and that allows us to compete in a very competitive way.”
Several of the underclassmen could have an immediate impact on the team’s fortunes, and they’ll receive plenty of opportunities during the next several weeks to flash their skills.
Swinney has shown during his tenure that he’s not afraid to throw first-year players into prominent roles; think Mitch Hyatt and Christian Wilkins and Trevor Lawrence and Tyler Davis.
The practice field is the ultimate spring training ground and will offer the early enrollees a chance to get a leg up on their fellow freshmen.
“It’s a great group, and I can’t wait to get them on the field and turn the page,” Swinney said. “Obviously there was a lot of good last year. It was a great year and we’ve got a good group coming back, but it’s still a different team.
“We have to identify what our expectations are for the spring and what are the goals and objectives for the team. You’ve got to start over and earn it all over again.”
Having the apt skills to play with words to put forth various updates and news relating to the field of technology in an interesting way has made Adrian is a contributor in our organization. He is dedicated to writing articles related to all the up-to-the-minute inventions, launches, updates, and much more happening in the world of technology. In his free time, Adrian offers a guest lecture to kids about the latest inventions.