No.1 Clemson has finished August Camp and turned its gaze toward next Thursday's opener against Georgia Tech. Dabo talked about the difficulty of preparing for an opponent in its first game with a new coaching staff. For over a decade, Dabo has done battle with Paul Johnson and his triple-option offense. In fact, Dabo's first game as interim head coach was against Tech in its first year under Paul Johnson, and the Tigers lost a close game in which they led in the 4th. Johnson retired at the end of last season, so Dabo and the coaches have been watching film from Temple last season to get a feel for first-year Tech Head Coach Geoff Collins. It must feel somewhat bizarre for Brent Venables and the defense, who have devoted copious amounts of time over the years prepping for Paul Johnson's offense--even in the spring. I imagine the players in particular won't miss it--especially the cut blocks.
I asked Dabo if he's looking forward to seeing Diondre Overton play slot receiver in the opener. Dabo said that Overton has come a long way since he first arrived at Clemson and has really become a technician at the position. Overton, of course, moved over to the slot position in the spring when starter Amari Rodgers tore his ACL. Overton has an unusual body type for the position--he had been playing boundary receiver behind Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross--but Overton has very good hands, and his height might be a unique advantage in the slot.
From a health standpoint, the Tigers are in good shape. Derion Kendrick, Jake Venables and Baylon Spector are all back from hamstring injuries, and Frank Ladson should be ready to go next Thursday after having minor knee surgery over a week ago. Freshman tight end Davis Allen is finally back from an ankle injury, and Dabo is very pleased with where he is on the learning curve.
The full interview is below!
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