.The last time the Clemson Tigers were on the field, they were getting pushed around by Ohio State in a 49-28 loss to the Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl.
The Tigers open the 2021 season with a marquee matchup against SEC foe Georgia, one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire year.
Clemson linebacker James Skalski spoke at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte on Thursday and said opening with an opponent the caliber of Georgia gives the team a shot at putting any lingering doubts about this Clemson team to bed early.
“We usually end our regular season in Charlotte,” Skalski said. “It’s a pretty cool experience getting to play a team the caliber of Georgia in a place luckily we’re familiar with. It’s exciting. We’re happy we get that caliber of opponent so that we can hopefully prove some people wrong.”
After taking advantage of the NCAA giving players an extra year of eligibility, Skalski is now heading into his sixth season with the Tigers. He’s what many are referring to a “super senior.”
No matter what, the veteran linebacker knows this is his final collegiate season. Now that he is a little older, Skalski recognizes this could very well be his final season as a player and that a professional career certainly isn’t guaranteed.
“I just show up every day and I’m in love with what I do,” Skalski said. “When you get old like me, you start to think about, ‘What am I going to do for the rest of my life?’ I’m getting to that point.”
If his playing days are over after the coming season, Skalski said thinking about a life without football is hard to do and that he could very well envision himself moving on to the coaching ranks.
“I just can’t think of my life without the game of football or sports in some way,” Sklaski said. “Maybe I’m not the next Coach V or Coach Swinney, but in some form or fashion I’ll be around this game. That’s just how I see it. It’s something I love. I can’t get enough of it. So I got to have it.”
However, Skalski said the Tigers still have some unfinished business to take care of and that he wants to go out on his own terms.
“I mean, I’m very excited,” Sklaski said. “It truly is the last one, so I got to go out with a bang.”
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