CLEMSON – They’re here.
No, not actual football games. Keep wishing and waiting.
The hype machine cranks to a higher gear this week in anticipation for college football season. SEC Media Days are the main course for the next few days, but there’s plenty of garnish with less than seven weeks remaining before opening kickoff.
Clemson media assembled Monday night for the yearly offseason dinner with head coach Dabo Swinney and his family, among other school officials. That’s followed quickly by the summer golf outing at The Reserve, which is the only opportunity all year for the Tigers’ seven position coaches to speak.
Dan Brooks (defensive tackles), Robbie Caldwell (offensive linemen), Tony Elliott (running backs) and Marion Hobby (defensive ends) will chat with reporters Tuesday morning, before Danny Pearman (tight ends/special teams), Mike Reed (defensive backs) and Jeff Scott (wide receivers) talk in the evening.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables is on the record Tuesday morning, and offensive coordinator Chad Morris follows suit in the evening. Head coach Dabo Swinney will speak at length for the first time this summer with the media at 6:30.
After national award watch lists finish cycling out to the public this week, the ACC and its 14 members will host media days at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C. next Sunday and Monday. League commissioner John Swofford and the assembled student-athletes – it’s quarterback Tajh Boyd and linebacker Spencer Shuey for Clemson – are interviewed Sunday. Coaches and league referees go on Monday.
Fall camp begins as the calendar turns to August. The first practice in pads will be Aug. 7, preceding the opener by three and a half weeks.
The squad’s media day will be Aug. 17, and Fan Appreciation Day is the next day, a Sunday, when fans can get autographs from their favorite player, coach or mascot.
And then, of course, Georgia beckons. A matchup of titans, the Bulldogs and Tigers embark on their national championship quest under the nation’s watchful eye with kickoff set for 8 p.m. on Aug. 31 in a game televised by ABC.