Thursday Clemson football notebook

CLEMSON - Quandon Christian has some very fond memories from his first three years on the field at Clemson.

And he certainly hopes to make plenty more in 2013. While the football has been great, it's not the only thing he'll take away from his college experience.

"Just meeting new people," Christian said, when asked about his best memories at Clemson. "Getting to know everybody, getting to know different backgrounds, where everybody came from and playing with these guys on Saturday."

He added, "Building relationships with those guys, it was really big for me."

This is the final preseason camp of Christian's college career, the final few months he'll have with some very close friends and teammates.

"It's bittersweet. It's my last year. Clemson has been good to me," Christian said. "I appreciate coach [Dabo] Swinney coming down to little, old Lake View to recruit me. It was good for me. I got to meet a lot of new people, some of my best friends now."

A three-year starter at the SAM linebacker position, Christian has logged over 1,200 snaps and recorded 100 tackles during his career as a Tiger.

At this time next year, he could be fighting for a spot on an NFL roster. For now, that stuff doesn't really matter.

"I just go out there and play, practice everyday hard. Whatever happens at the end of the season, it's whatever," Christian said.

Brent Venables likes what he's seen from Christian during the first few days of camp.

"He's been consistent, done well. He's an older guy who understands what we're doing. You don't have to motivate him to come to practice," Venables said.

Looks can be deceiving

Roderick McDowell isn't the biggest guy. His measurables [5-9, 195] don't scream big, physical run blocker.

But McDowell's play certainly does.

"People see me, ‘He's a small back. He's not going to be able to put his nose in there, stick his nose in there in pass pro.' But I feel like I can do the same amount that a big running back can do," McDowell said.

The performance he turned in during the Chick-fil-A Bowl certainly speaks to that.

In order to help preserve his spot as the No. 1 running back on the depth chart, McDowell will have to continue his good work as a pass blocker.

"As a running back, you know you can run the ball. That's how I feel. I can run the ball no matter what," McDowell said. "If you can't protect your quarterback, nobody at the next level is going to want you. If I can go in there and help my offensive linemen, I can help my quarterback and contribute no matter whether it's at, pass protection or running the ball, I feel like I'm the complete running back."

Becoming more productive

There are times when it's hard for Corey Crawford to believe that he's already been around Clemson for two seasons.

Crawford's played a lot of football during that time. As a freshman, he logged 252 before upping his count to 575 last season.

"It's overwhelming almost. I thought it would be a longtime before I'd see this day," Crawford said.

With just one sack during his career, it's hard to believe Crawford doesn't have more. He's decided that has to change.

"I want to at least get eight sacks this year," Crawford said. "Regardless, just boost my sack numbers up…that's my biggest focus."

How might he go about doing that?

"I've been working on a few things. It's just me getting a better pre-snap read and get off [on] the ball." Top Stories