9,200 Low Country locals impacted by proposed federal pay freeze

President Barack Obama urged a federal wage freeze Monday. About 9,200 civilian federal employees work in the tri-county area.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais

CLEMSON -- Tigers head football coach Dabo Swinney was candid Tuesday when asked if he had been contacted by programs interested in Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.

The Clemson coach said "about five" programs have called, though Ohio State is not one of the suitors.

The questions were in reference to speculation Morris is on new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer's offensive coordinator wish list.

"I've had calls from other people, about five, but not Ohio State," Swinney said. "Chad is a great coach. ... Chad is committed to Clemson. He loves it here. I don't see him leaving for any place until it's his opportunity to be a BCS head coach."

Meyer and Morris have a good relationship that dates back to 2003 when Morris, then a high school coach, visited Meyer, who was coaching at Utah. As an analyst for ESPN this fall, Meyer visited Clemson several times and watched practices. Meyer also did a piece on Morris' offense for ESPN's College GameDay show.

Morris was asked about the Ohio State speculation Monday.

"There is nothing to say," Morris said. "I am just trying to win an ACC championship."

Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips has indicated the program will look at enhancing Morris' contract this offseason. Morris signed a four-year deal paying him $450,000 per year earlier this year.

In his first year at Clemson, Morris' up-tempo, no-huddle scheme has led the Tigers to a dramatic offensive improvement from last season.

Watkins ACC rookie of the year

Freshman receiver Sammy Watkins was named the ACC's offensive rookie of the year Tuesday after setting freshman program records with 72 catches, 1,073 yards and 10 touchdowns. Watkins is the first Clemson player to win the award since James Davis in 2005.

Swinney finished third in the ACC coach of the year voting behind Virginia's Mike London and Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer.

Creative accounting

Kevin Steele brought a number of statistical printouts to his Tuesday meeting with the press, saying his run defense was not as poor as the final stat totals suggested Saturday at South Carolina.

Steele said eliminate the 76 rushing yards on seven quarterback scrambles by Connor Shaw and his defense only allowed 3.4 yards per carry.

"That's winning football in anybody's book," Steele said.

Lesson learned?

Swinney said one lesson learned from the second half is how to better handle success.

"I stood here before the team on Aug. 4 and I told them how I was very proud of them how they handled adversity (last year)," Swinney said. "I said here's the bigger challenge: I'm telling you right now (success) is coming, handling success (is key).

"I recognized a change in focus and you confront them, but it's like raising kids as an adult and parent -- you can see things, but sometimes you have to learn things on your own and it's a painful process."

Emergency meeting

Swinney said he had a 2 1/2 hour meeting with the entire team Monday.

"People don't have a clue," said Swinney of Clemson's second-half slide. "We had to create that accountability and encouragement from within, and we did that."

No more Tweets for Tajh

Quarterback Tajh Boyd shut down his Twitter account recently because of an overwhelming amount of "negativity," the sophomore quarterback said. ESPN reported that Boyd Tweeted that South Carolina's defensive line was "average" but Boyd said he never wrote such a statement on his Twitter account.

He said it

"I live in reality, not in fantasy land ... We've accomplished more this year than has been accomplished here in 20 years," -- Swinney.