Q&A with Kevin Youngblood
Kevin, this is your last game as a Clemson Tiger. How do you want this senior class to be remembered?
Youngblood: I think for us, the biggest thing is to get to a 9-win season. That's something that Clemson really hasn't had in a long time. That would be something good for the seniors. You know we've worked real hard since the last bowl game and have been trying to get better during the season. Sometimes things have gone our way, and sometimes they haven't. But we are just going to go out there and try to do the best we can and get to 9 wins.
You faced two highly ranked teams in bowl games in Mississippi State and Virginia Tech during your career here. Do you feel like this team is better prepared to face a team like Tennessee this go around?
Youngblood: Yeah, I think so. If you look across the board at our team, we can match up with anybody in the country as far as positions go, or rankings, or speed. We just have to go out there and make plays. They aren't any different than us. They put their pants on the same way we do- one leg at a time. We aren't looking to go out there and walk all over them, and I know they aren't expecting to come in and walk all over us.
The team really seemed to hit rock bottom after the Wake Forest game this year, and then everything suddenly turned around in a major way. Do you remember what was said during that week after the Wake Forest loss that helped turn things around?
Youngblood: We went in the locker room after the Wake Forest game and I swear it felt like a dream. It couldn't be true. But the reality hit when the clock hit 0:00 up there. We were blown out and it was a big reality check for us. The players, the coaches, everybody just had to come together for the team and start focusing more on the task at hand instead of just waiting and waiting for something to happen. We had to start taking it upon ourselves to get the job done and start forcing the action.
After the bowl game, what happens for you in terms of your future at the next level? Do you start going to combines or are any of these all-star games looking at you?
Youngblood: Yeah, I've been giving this a lot of thought. Hopefully, I'll be going to the Senior Bowl or the East-West or one of these games. I haven't received invitations yet. I'm pretty much just waiting right now. Hopefully I'll get invited to the combine or one of these bowl games because I do want to continue my career at the next level. I just want to be in the game for a long time.
How much do you think about the NFL right now?
Youngblood: I think about it a lot. It's pretty much everybody's dream when you get to college to make to the NFL. Hopefully, with my god given talent, I'll be able to play on Sundays. It's something I'm looking forward to, and if it happens, it happens. But hopefully I will get a chance to showoff what I can do.
What kind of receiver do you think you can be in the NFL?
Youngblood: As I watch football on Sundays, I know I can compete with the best. I'm like, 'I know I can compete with the best.' Some of the plays you see guys like Randy Moss make, I can imagine myself making those kinds of catches. Some of the catches that Rod (Gardner) makes, I can imagine myself doing the same sort of thing. There are just so many things that I can do out there, I just want to be able to prove that I can do it."
Looking back over your Clemson career, what are the plays that standout to you?
Youngblood: Of course, my first touchdown against Wake Forest. Last year, against South Carolina when I got knocked silly going across the middle of the field. (laughing) The game-winning touchdown this year against Virginia. I'll always remember Derrick and many of his runs for touchdowns or him jumping in the stands when we beat FSU. There have been too many plays.
And what about that offensive pass interference call this year against Maryland? You still saying that you didn't touch him?
Youngblood: Man, I never touched him. (laughing) I'm still pleading that call right now. I was making my tape the other day and watching it, and I didn't touch him.
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