We just wrapped up with Dabo, and the only big news is that they intend to redshirt Skalski this season,as I reported might be the case on Monday (READ HERE). Dabo just broke the news moments ago during our interview. Ironically, as we were waiting for Dabo, Gary told me he was trying to come up with a question for Dabo that hasn't already been covered. I told him I was going to ask him if Skalski was going to redshirt this season but that Gary could ask it if he wanted to because I had a couple other questions I could ask. Gary and I had talked about the possibility Skalski could redshirt before because every time we've asked about him during August, Dabo and Venables kept saying that he was "close" to playing but were very vague and didn't elaborate. So today, Gary asked Dabo how Skalski is but omitted the part about redshirting, and sure enough Dabo dropped the news. Then, of course, Dabo jabs at us in the media for not asking him about Skalski. Go figure!
Anyway, they will obviously play Skalski this season if they end up needing him, but the beauty is they can let him heal completely, play him in the post-season and still save an entire year of eligibility thanks to the new redshirt rule.
I also asked Dabo about the tight end group, and he agreed that it's the deepest it's been in quite some time, going on to say the wide receivers and backs are also in a much better place than they were this time last year. Remember how much offensive production they lost from the 2016 team with Watson, Gallman, Leggett and Williams? Well, now most of the offense from last year is back!
Finally, I asked Dabo for his thoughts on scheduling FCS opponents like Furman. There are some on ESPN and in the media who have advocated that all FCS opponents be eliminated for Power Five schools. The Tigers only play one, and they obviously have a long history with near by Furman, which was actually the first team Clemson ever played. Despite playing one FCS opponent each year, the Tigers typically play one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation year-in and year-out, with the rivalry game and then usually one of the better teams in the SEC as well. There are many schools--especially in the SEC--that play far weaker non-conference schedules, and some play as many as two FCS opponents. I think that should be eliminated, but there is no reason to eliminate the FCS altogether, and Dabo seems to agree wholeheartedly. He also pointed out that it's not that uncommon for an FCS team to upset an FBS team, as has been the case in recent years. Who, for example, could ever forget the App State win in the Big House at Michigan, ranked in the top 5 at the time?!
The full interview is below. And don't forget to check back tomorrow night for the season opener edition of What We Are Hearing, my weekly game preview!
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