Friday August 2, 2013
Clemson, SC—Clemson opened its preseason practice for the 2013 season on Friday evening at the Clemson Football Practice Facility below the Jervey Athletic center. The Tigers began the two and a half hour workout in the new Indoor Practice Facility with a walk-through and flex. The last two hours were spent on the outside fields.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney welcomed 104 student-athletes to the first practice. Just 10 of them are scholarship seniors. Despite the youth Clemson is ranked eighth in the nation in the preseason USA Today poll, the highest preseason ranking for the program since 1988. Clemsn finished the 2012 season with an 11-2 record an number-nine ranking in the same poll.
“Whether we are ranked 50th or fifth we will work with the same intensity, the same effort, the same focus,” said Swinney, who is in his fifth full season as Clemson Head Coach. “We appreciate the ranking, but we have one goal right now and that is to win the opener.”
Clemson’s first game is no ordinary opener as the Tigers will face fifth-ranked Georgia on August 31 at Memorial Stadium. It will be the highest ranked team Clemson has faced in a season opener in 50 years (fourth ranked Oklahoma in 1963) and just the second matchup of top 10 teams in the history of Memorial Stadium at any point in the season.
Swinney was pleased with what he saw from his team on Friday an indication of the amount of work the team put in over the summer.