At the very least, his status as a senior grants him consent. So does the journey he's taken to reach this point.
Leaving Clemson was once
an option for McDowell, a very legitimate one at that. Facing the odds
that he did, most folks wouldn't have traversed the road that McDowell
opted to take.
But he toughed it out, opting to stay at Clemson after three long seasons
of not doing a whole lot on game days. McDowell's patience finally paid
off last season when he finished second among Clemson running backs with
450 yards and five touchdowns.
Now the Tigers' starting running back, he entered Monday morning's
media obligation with a big smile and an energy rarely seen from a player
not named Tajh Boyd.
"Turn up, ya'll," McDowell told reporters, while approaching the
interviewee chair. "It's game week."
There are plenty of reasons for him to be excited about what's in store
for this Saturday.
"It's the opener. It's Georgia. It's my last go-around. That's really got
me pumped. It's my last one. I'm a senior," he said. "It's my last-time
playing in front of my family, in front of the orange. I'm just ready to
go. I'm just ready to be out there and run down the hill.
"One thing I'm very excited about is the environment. The atmosphere
that's going around, we're peaking right now. This game, right here, could
be like Clemson has arrived."
While the Clemson coaches might claim that Saturday's game versus No. 5
Georgia isn't any more important than an opener against a team like South
Carolina State, McDowell thinks otherwise.
"The first game is a momentum game for us. The first game dictates your
season," McDowell said.
For a team with such high hopes for this season, this is a big game, a
really, really, really big game.
That's how McDowell is looking at this Game Day showdown with the Dawgs.
"This is all you play for, really. Against a top team -- Georgia -- going
out there to compete, both of us are ranked," McDowell said. "That's the
best way to start the season off."
He's right. These kinds of season openers are a whole lot more exciting
than a week one showdowns between a Top 25 program and Directional State
We, too, are excited, Roderick. Turned up, if you will.
Hot Rod's time arrives... finally
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