Tigers Offensive Stars talk Sugar Bowl



2018 Allstate Sugar Bowl

Clemson Offensive Player Quotes – 12-29-17


Kelly Bryant | Quarterback | Clemson University

(on fighting for the starting position and having people doubt the offense without Deshaun Watson): “It’s a process. After the championship game last year, everyone was talking about how we couldn’t get back to this stage and not a lot of people gave this team a chance. So we took that doubt and ran with it and had that mindset of coming ready to work and here we are right now.”

(on getting the opportunity to play Alabama): “It’s something every kid that grows up watching football dreams about – playing in a semifinal game against a team like Alabama. I’m ready and I’m trying to embrace it and make the most of this opportunity.”

(on being backup quarterback to Deshaun Watson – wishing to play or knowing the role would be backup): “A little bit of both. As a competitor I always wanted to be out there playing but there’s always a time when you have to be patient and wait your turn, and that’s what I did. I continued to grow and soak up as much knowledge as I could through Deshaun and the coaching staff. It helped me become the player I am today.”

(on the effect of Coach Dabo Swinney recruiting high-rated QBs): “The coaches are straight up with you. They tell you they are going to bring in the top rated players in the country and that you need to make sure you are working and pushing yourself to be a better player at all times.”

(on Coach Dabo Swinney’s personality and how he has allowed Bryant to lead): “He’s a player’s coach. That’s one thing that caught my eye during recruitment. He’s been straight up with me and can relate to me. He’s down to earth, what you see on TV is what you get. He has allowed me embrace who I am as a player and a person. Having the support from him and the coaching staff just makes your comfort as a player go up.”


Mitch Hyatt | Offensive Tackle | Clemson University

(on Clemson QB Kelly Bryant):“Knowing Kelly, since I came in with him, he’s always been a great guy. Always calm and collected, never flinches at anything. I think he’s really exceled this year and has surpassed the expectations anyone had for him. If you talk to Kelly, you can tell from just the confidence he has that he’s determined. He’s focused.  You can tell from how confident he looks when he’s making plays, scrambling around making plays on his feet.”

(on the biggest difference between this defensive front for Alabama vs. last year): “This year they’re definitely a lot tougher. It’s harder to move off the ball from the point of attack. They’re definitely more stout inside. You can see that from tape. They do a lot of variations, so we’ve got to recognize those and get the right calls to the line.”

(on if they have more confidence as an offense now that they’ve seen Alabama’s offensive scheme): “Yeah, we know what to expect this game. This is the third year we’re playing them so we know what they’re going to bring and how tough the game is going to be. It’s just going to be a brawl out there.”

(on the best front seven they’ve played this year): “We’ve played a lot of great front sevens. Alabama’s up there and they might be the best we’ll play all year. Auburn and NC State have two great front sevens, but Alabama just poses a different threat. It’s going to be a different challenge for us.”


Travis Etienne | Running Back | Clemson University

(on being the “tour guide” for his teammates in New Orleans): “It is [fun] but sometimes you don’t know the answer to everything. So, I just have my phone at my side and do some quick research. But, for the most part it’s been a fun experience for me showing them around.”

(on his first meeting with Co-Offensive Coordinator Tony Elliott): “Well the first time, he came there were a lot of schools there and he wasn’t really saying much. But, when we went one-on-one, he gave me the perspective of the program. He didn’t really have to say much aside from that I should come check it out and that I’ll love it. That’s exactly what happened.”

(on if anything about Clemson reminds him of home): “Yes sir, Just the people, how close-knit people are, and just how things are run around there. It reminds me a lot about home.”

(on what it will be like playing at the Superdome and being so close to home): “It’s just going to be a surreal experience, and it really hasn’t dawned on me yet how big of a deal it is. But, I think that afterwards I’ll realize how big it was and just the impact that I had or can have on the game. With everyone watching me and me being from here just puts a cherry on top of it all.”

(on what it was about Clemson that led him there): “I was looking for a balanced offense, a good program, a program that would do it the right way. They’re constantly recruiting players and you want to be and play with the best and they always push you to be better. In terms of me coming in at that time and not knowing what I want to do just kind of shed light on the situation. I took my vision from there, and I just really liked it. It was the best option for me.”


Hunter Renfrow | Wide Receiver | Clemson University

(on the mentality going into the Allstate Sugar Bowl): “I haven’t really thought about that but I would say it’s like a tiger getting ready to pounce on its prey.  We are loading up, practicing, preparing, and anxious for Monday to come.”

(on what makes him effective): “I think the biggest things are the way I practice and prepare.  The guys that get open in practice are the guys that the quarterbacks throw to in a game.”

(on the biggest misconception of Clemson heading into the season): “People thought we lost too much to get back. We’re really young, inexperienced, and lost so many guys on the offensive side of the ball. It’s kind of what we are doing now by developing younger players during and after practice for competitive depth next year.”

(on the Alabama defense and plans to attack it): “I can’t reveal too much but over the last couple years but we have done a good job at attacking their weaknesses. Alabama’s defense doesn’t have many, but we take what they give us one play at a time.”

(on his secret to success against Alabama’s defense): “We elevate our game whenever we are challenged against a really good opponent. It is what champions do. Coach Swinney has built this program for these types of games by setting high standards for us as players.”

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