When asked if he was anxious about competing against arguably the best defensive lineman in the nation in Florida State's Bjoern Werner, Shaq Anthony didn't blink.
"The way I see it, I try to separate myself from intimidation; I separate myself from fear. I make my mindset that's it's a nameless opponent. I never underestimate anybody," Anthony said.
"I'll give him [Werner] all the credit in the world because he's such a great player. But, I'll bring my best game to give Clemson the best opportunity to win."
Anthony admitted as a competitor, playing a team like Florida State is what you live for.
"It's always business against any opponent. But this week will be something more, the fire's burning a little bit hotter."
The reigning ACC champions are 14-point underdogs this week. Anthony doesn't exactly view that as a compliment.
"Each year we compete, and there's a lot of respect that isn't given to us that I feel like we have earned," he said. "We want to take that this week."
The offensive tackle said it's been a test of his ability to master the run-blocking technique coming from a high school that primarily featured the passing game.
"Repetition is key to learning technique," Anthony said. "I almost enjoy it [run-blocking] more now than pass-blocking because I can put more people on the ground. It's a challenge, but that's what I came here for, to be challenged. I love the grind."
Anthony also sites aggressiveness and a strong mental attitude as two "pluses" of his game.
"I'm undersized right now at tackle. I make up for it with toughness. Playing until I hear the whistle is something I take to heart- it's something I learned from my father."
The last time Clemson played on ESPN's GameDay, Anthony was there. Just not in a Tiger uniform.
"I was one of those kids out in front near the podium looking at C.J. Spiller and James Davis talk," he said. "I think today how blessed I am and how far God has brought me. I appreciate it because there could be a lot of other people in the position that I'm in, but they're not, so I don't take it for granted."
Anthony's father, Vernie Anthony, played on 1981 national championship team. Anthony said his dad is one of his toughest critics, but also one of the most influential people in his life.
"After I started against Ball State, my dad said he was proud of me, but he noticed four times I messed up. This week against Furman, he said I did a better job because he only counted three mess-ups."
Hailing from Anderson, South Carolina, Anthony is ready to make known that the Sunshine States boys weren't the only ones who grew up with football in their blood.
"People overlook the talent level in South Carolina," he said. "In my class, we kept a lot of our best players in the state. In high school, we all talked about how USC and Clemson were going to be good teams when we got to be sophomores and juniors."
Anthony added- "We're working just as hard in South Carolina as you are in Florida, it's not any different just because [Florida] is one of those golden states."
The Palmetto state product will have the opportune chance to prove that on Saturday night.
Extra Incentive for Anthony
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