All about the Tiger Paw

CLEMSON — The first time Jeff Scott really looked at the Clemson Tiger paw, let's just say he wasn't too thrilled with it.

When you're 13-years old and your father is the head football coach at South Carolina and you are up at seven in the morning having to scrub five very large paws off the driveway, then you can understand Jeff's resentment.

"I was out there in shorts and t-shirts trying to scrub off these tiger paws and somebody from the Greenville News came out and took a picture," he laughed.

His father Brad, who has been an assistant coach at Clemson the last 11 years, also got a huge chuckle when thinking back to that morning. It was Brad's first year at South Carolina and he was quietly trying to play everything down and get the paws off his driveway before anyone saw it.

It was the day before the big game at Clemson and he didn't want USC fans to think he wasn't taking it seriously enough by allowing something like that to happen. And then the newspapers started coming by, taking one snap shot after another.

"It wasn't just little tiger paws sprayed with a spray can, it was the pure Tiger Paw print that is out here on this street," Brad said while pointing out his office window in the McFadden Building. "They had the real stencil and there were five of them along our circle drive.

"All the newspapers had a lot of fun with that and we have the picture back at the house somewhere with Jeff and John out there trying to scrub tiger paws off the driveway the day before the big game.

"That was pretty interesting, who would have ever though that – never say never."

With the exception of the five years Brad was the head coach of the Gamecocks, the Scotts have pretty much inundated with the tiger paw since coming to South Carolina in 1994. These days Brad and Jeff have them on their shirts, their hats and even their pants as they both represent Clemson University as coaches on Dabo Swinney's staff.

Jeff even wore the Tiger Paw on his helmet for a short while as he played for his dad and former head coach Tommy Bowden at Clemson from 2000-'03.

"I tell people all the time that I went from scrubbing tiger paws off my driveway to wearing one on my helmet and now I'm wearing one on my shirt," Jeff smiled. "That's part of the rivalry and that's what makes it fun."

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