Pearman a proud Tiger

CLEMSON - If you look at Danny Pearman's career, everything he has done up to this point has been the Clemson way.

A former tight end under Danny Ford from 1985-'87, Pearman learned what it meant to be successful being part of two Clemson teams that went on to win the ACC Championship.

"He has a lot of passion for Clemson," head coach Dabo Swinney said about his new offensive tackles and tight ends coach. "He loves Clemson and he played here. I know he wants nothing more than to see this Tiger Paw back as an ACC Champion."

Of course, Pearman would not know it any other way.

The last time he was on the Clemson coaching staff as a graduate assistant, he helped the Tigers to a third straight ACC Championship in 1988, while being a part of another 10-2 season in 1989.

"I have learned from a lot of folks," Pearman said. "From Coach Ford, to Coach (Gene) Stallings and all the way back to high school."

Pearman learned how to win more than anything else. And like his playing days, Pearman has been just as successful as a coach.

He has been a part of two staffs that have played for national championships and in 1992 as a part of the Alabama staff – that was Swinney's senior year – he was a team that won it. He also helped Virginia Tech go to eight straight bowl games from 1998-2005 and win the 2004 ACC Championship.

"He was on championship teams here at Clemson at a time when they were winning a lot," Swinney said Wednesday. "That's his attitude. That's his mentality. He has been at Alabama, Virginia Tech and some good places where they have won so I love what he is doing for us right now."

What Pearman is doing is trying to bring back a toughness and edge to a Clemson offense that used to me known as one of the most physical units in the country. During his time at Clemson, as a player and then as a coach, the Tigers consistently ranked among the ACC's best in rushing yards and in some years were ranked among the best in the country.

"You win with blocking and tackling," Pearman said. "For us to be successful, we have to win up front.

"We have to be able to win our individual battles then play as a collective group inside the system that makes us function."

That's something the Tigers did not do much of last year.


"You win with blocking and tackling," Pearman said. "For us to be successful, we have to win up front," Pearman says. (Roy Philpott)

Clemson's offense struggled to be consistent and much of that was due to the fact it rarely won the battle on the line of scrimmage. Thanks to injuries along the offensive line, the Tigers had no continuity as they averaged just 111.5 rushing yards a game.

"If you can't block, you are not going to do too much winning around here," Pearman said. "Basically we have to get better up front and get back to the fundamentals so that we can block people.

"Part of that is scheme and part of that is knocking people backwards, and part of that is working with somebody beside you."

His players are already finding out about Pearman's drive to be physical already.

"He is a tough guy," Clemson left tackle Chris Hairston said. "When he comes in, he demands nothing but toughness from you. You can be doing something like a kick block or something that you really just have to seal off, but you have to be tough with it.

"He has you driving and trying to finish off blocks. He is really preaching toughness. He has a lot of knowledge of the game. He is bringing something for all the tackles and that is really helping us out."

Pearman says his group is working hard to bring out that toughness so far this spring.

"It's all about discipline," he said. "It is just like anything that you do. That's a lot to ask sometimes to an 18 or 19-year old, but being disciplined and being disciplined enough within yourself to do things that will make you successful on Saturday is the key.

"Part of that is some toughness and part of that is being disciplined enough to do it right."

He also wants his players to be proud of who they are and what they represent every time they go out onto the field.

"I can tell the passion that he has for Clemson," Hairston said. "When he first came here he talked about when he played here and how there is nothing better. He is really showing us he can be a great guy and a great coach that can push us to the next level."

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