Sensabaugh's dues paid in full

CLEMSON - For four years, Coty Sensabaugh patiently waited his turn for one of the starting cornerback jobs to come open.

During that stretch, Crezdon Butler, Marcus Gilchrist and Byron Maxwell, all of whom are now in the NFL, served as starters on the Clemson defense.

"[Sensabaugh is] kind of like Maxwell. Maxwell was behind some pretty good players, waiting for his senior year and then he gets drafted to the NFL. He was a pretty good player," said head coach Dabo Swinney. "It's kind of the same thing with Coty. I'm very pleased with him."

The Tigers' third-year head coach admitted that he wasn't always certain that Sensabaugh would be a suitable answer after the departures of Gilchrist and Maxwell.


Coty Sensabaugh is sixth on the team in the power index with a 6.75 figure. (Roy Philpott)
"To be honest, going into the spring, I didn't really know what to expect from him, but he has worked very hard," Swinney said. "[Sensabaugh] been very coachable. He's done the things we've asked him to do, from a physical standpoint."

Sensabaugh is scheduled to occupy one of the starting jobs when the 2011 campaign opens against Troy. The redshirt senior, who made three starts in 2010, has 47 tackles and three interceptions in 557 career snaps.

Free safety Rashard Hall said Sensabaugh has come a long way.

"He's taken his game to another level. He's at the best that I've ever seen him. He's awesome right now."

Sensabaugh said there is one valuable piece of advice from the cornerbacks he's worked with over the years.

"You're going to go through ups and downs, you've got to continue working hard and never give up," Sensabaugh said.

Originally an Appalachian State commitment, he accepted a late scholarship offer from Clemson.

On the last Friday before signing day, former Tiger defensive coordinator Vic Koenning travelled to Kingsport, Tenn. to watch Sensabaugh's basketball game. Sensabaugh returned the favor with a visit to Tigertown the next day.

Clemson called with an offer on Tuesday. Sensabaugh's letter of intent was a day later -- national signing day.

Before joining the Tigers' 2007 class, he placed a call to the coaches in Boone, N.C.

"They really weren't mad at me," Sensabaugh said. "They let me know that they had to take my scholarship and go find someone else. I think they appreciated the most that I was honest with them. My mom made sure that I was honest with them."

Now, with one final season left at Clemson, only one thing is on his mind.

"I'm trying to win a championship. If we win a championship, all the individual goals will take care of themselves for everybody. That's the way I look at it," Sensabaugh said.


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