abrenner@postandcourier.com

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - When Stanton Seckinger rolled his ankle walking down a staircase at Clemson's team hotel, his status for Friday night's Orange Bowl against Ohio State was uncertain.

Seckinger, an Isle of Palms native, was inserted into the lineup before kickoff. The Tigers ended the night thankful their sophomore tight end was able to play.

Seckinger caught the final, 9-yard touchdown in No. 12 Clemson's 40-35 win over No. 7 Ohio State with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. He finished with two catches for 14 yards.

"It looks like a little screen pass, and it all depends on the flow of the defense," Seckinger said of his game-winning touchdown pass. "Luckily, they did what we wanted them to and it ended up really good."

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was aware Steckinger's status was a hot topic the past few days. In his gut, Swinney said afterward, he thought Steckinger would be able to play. He didn't waste the opportunity, catching the game-winning touchdown in Clemson's first-ever BCS Bowl victory.

Dabo deal close to done

A source close to the football program told The Post and Courier a contract extension for head coach Dabo Swinney has been "in the works" for six months, and is expected to be announced soon.

The Clemson Insider reported earlier this week it is an 8-year extension for Swinney, who currently is under contract through the 2017 season. An 8-year extension would merely extend his current deal four extra seasons, through the 2021 season.

Swinney has been rumored to be a candidate for jobs such as Texas, which has been reported to be ruled out by UCLA's Jim Mora and Baylor's Art Briles.

Discussions of offensive coordinator Chad Morris and defensive coordinator Brent Venables contract extensions or raises are not yet known, according to the source. Athletic director Dan Radakovich is declining comment on coaching contracts until after the Orange Bowl.

Beasley and the NFL

Junior defensive end Vic Beasley said he will announce his NFL intentions by Sunday.

"I pretty much know what I'm going to do," Beasley said.

Sounds like an NFL lean, helped by one sack and four tackles for loss against Ohio State. Beasley finished with 13 sacks and 23 tackles for loss this season.

Near the end of the regular season, Swinney said he believes Beasley should return to school for his final season.

Watson gets the start

Junior Grady Jarrett made his 13th start of the season at defensive tackle, while his running mate rotated all season long. On Friday, it was fellow junior Josh Watson, who made his fifth start of the season (but no two were consecutive.)

Watson briefly announced he was leaving the football program on Nov. 20, but four days later changed his mind and decided to return for his senior season. Watson earned his degree in sociology at Clemson's graduation Dec. 19.