The Clemson Tigers may have reached the pinnacle of college football last season, but that doesn’t mean they’re done pursing bigger and better things.
Clemson made it very clear Thursday at ACC Media Days that the team is not satisfied with one championship.
Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on defending national champion Tigers' thoughts going into this season: "Why not win two?"
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) July 13, 2017
When asked why he's not wearing Natty ring to #ACCKickoff, Christian Wilkins said, "That's last year's accomplishment, doesn't matter now."
— Kelly Gramlich (@kellygramlich) July 13, 2017
Clemson lost a lot of key players from its championship roster, but defensive tackle Christian Wilkins wants the younger players on the team to know they aren’t entitled to anything because of past success.
“You’ve got to let them know early that we didn’t just luck up on a national championship,” Wilkins said according to tigernet.com. “It’s not an easy route. It’s not an easy path. It’s a lot of hard work, a lot of preparation in and out, each and every day, and you’ve got to be ready for each and every game, and this is a tough league, too.
“The ACC is the best league in college football, and you can get beat each and every day, so you’ve really got to be on it because you never know.”
Last season was magical for the Tigers, but Wilkins is correct about keeping things in perspective. Clemson lost to Pittsburgh and got past N.C. State only because the Wolf Pack kicker missed a 33-yard field goal at the end of regulation. Clemson went on to win in overtime.
Had the Tigers lost both of those games, they wouldn’t have even been in the ACC Championship Game.
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney also turned the page from the 2016 championship, expressing confidence that his new starters are ready for bigger roles.
"We have a football team that's focused, and we have a lot of guys that are hungry to go prove that they can get the job done." -Swinney pic.twitter.com/ODLz4cRYTN
— Blythe Neal (@blythemneal) July 13, 2017